Punk is not dead, yet. 35 years after the arrivel of punk music in Iceland, a project kicked off to make a Punk Archive aka Punk Museum Iceland aka Punk Collection Iceland. Keflavík has his Rock ‘n Roll Museum, and 101 Reykjavík will get a museum in the old zero (wife of), ‘Bankastræti 0’ public toilets were put into operation in early 1930, the same day the City Hotel opened on 19. January 19. Public toilet was discontinued in 2006.
Guðfinnur Solvi Karlsson (of Dr. Spock and Prikið fame) signed a lease with the city the end of August 2016. Goal is to have a Punk Museum when Airwaves Festival hits downtown.
“Pure” punk was just small part of the Icelandic rock wave that has been called the Rock in Reykjavik era. “Punk” is not just fast and angry music, but also an attitude: “The thing is not what you can, but what one does” – the war scream of Einar Örn Benediktsson (of Purrkur Pillnikk, KUKL, The Sugarcubes fame) is still valid.
Punk season here begins in 1978 with a visit of The Stranglers and the Icelandic/German Grund-brothers of the great punk band The Big Balls & the Great White Idiot. Fræbbblarnir played at MK in November 1978. Other bands began to play with these Icelandic punk godfathers.
Fræbbblarnir performed at Kópavogsbíó druing Easter 1980. One year later, Bubbi Morthens become the biggest rock star of the country. Many new awesome bands were shot in the period 1981-82 by director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson and his companions for the rockumentary Rock in Reykjavik (Rokk í Reykjavík). For Dr. Gunni 1981 is the best year in Icelandic music history.
If you did something related to “punk” in the period 1978-1992 contact Doktor Gunni @ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. They look for objects and photos. Posters, Flyers, Gig Photos, the Headband from Jonee Jonee. The more, the better.
ROK had a small interview with Dr. Gunni, one There are punk musea around the globe. Why does RVK needs one as well?
All good cities need one. It’s called PUNK, but it is also lots of new wave, avant garde, surrealism etc – The Icelandic creative music scene from 1978 to 1992 and beyond. We decided to call it PUNK as it is the most understood word.
Who are the people behind this punk project? How did you meet and started this project?
Finni from Dr. Spock came with the idea. He got me in. Also there are Thordis Claessen, a graphic designer, and Langi Seli who’s the countries best set designer.
Why making a museum in 2016? Because punk’s not dead (after all)? Because the punk era is the origin of the success of Icelandic music worldwide?
Yes and yes.
The museum will be at a special spot downtown, former public lavatories. Who come up with the idea to have a ‘toilet version’?
It is underground too. There is no “toiler version” but we will have hi tech virtual toilets for your best museum experience.
What items will be on display? Please make us curious! Was the IS (post)punk scene different than in the UK? Just copy cats or more than that?
Not so much copycats. It was very original just like Icelandic music today.
You will just have to come visit to see what is on display.
Some years ago there was a punk exhibition in Kópavogur, sometimes called the punk city of the island. How different will the punk museum in RVK be?
Very much totally different. The opening will take place during the Iceland Airwaves festival ’16. Some bands will perform as well, Fan Houtens Kókó for example. More names to reveal perhaps?
Nobody will perform.The museum is too small and we didn’t want to have outdoor concert cos you’d be playing Russian roulette with the weather.
And most important the one and only Johnny Rotten (aka John Lydon) will open the museum on Wednesday during the festival. What an honour to have him! Not exactly a Holiday in the sun!
He likes it rough.
All the best with the museum and God Save The Queen! Thank you!
– Wim Van Hooste