Yesterday coming home from wherever, I was listening to an interview on Indy 103.1 (one of LA's best joys). They were talking to Keith Morris from the Circle Jerks (and prior to that Black Flag) and they asked him who were the Circle Jerks' influences. He said, and I'm paraphrasing:
Our biggest influences weren't so much the people we liked. But we formed the band in part because we hated what was going on in music, so those were our biggest influences: the bands we didn't want to be like.
And here I need to say that I hear something like that and it so totally warms my heart. There is such a thing as a punk rock ethic, for lack of a better way to put it, and even though it's pretty rare that I put on a band like the Circle Jerks anymore (though I listen to Indy all the time and they do play those bands), once a punk--always a punk.
In fact, I have this theory that there's such a thing as "congenital punkness." People who are congenital punks find themselves strangely calmed by music like hardcore punk rock. It's like Ritalin: if you're ADD it calms you down; to the rest of the world it's speed. That's how you know if you've got a punk rock soul I figure.