Punk Rock originally had a three chord sound. Everyone knew that the music was not important as the message. Sid Vicious was never known as the best player of the 70s or of any era, but everyone knew who the Sex Pistols were.
True punk rock bands include (but are not limited to): Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Ramones, Youth Brigade, Bad Brains, DK (pre-1987), Descendents, Minor Threat, Fugazi, 7 Seconds, Bad Religion, Sub Society, and Teen Idols.
Examples of "punk" rock, only by record label classification: Good Charlotte, Blink 182, Simple Plan, Avril Lavigne, No Doubt (yes, I once had someone tell me they are punk. Yes, you may laugh too), 311, and The All American Rejects.
Kid2: No, that makes you a fucking tool.
Kid1: But I want to be punk. How can I be punk?
Kid2: In the words of Jello: "Punk ain't no religious cult,punk means thinking for yourself. You ain't hardcore cause you spike your hair, when a jock still lives inside your head."
To paraphrase: Mall punks, mall punks, mall punks.....fuck off!
After VU, The Stooges, a Michigan-based proto-punk band, formed and followed the same philosophy. Led by the infamous Iggy Pop, The Stooges may have "rocked" far harder than VU, but nontheless had VU's flare for being controversial; not only did they follow in VU's footsteps by writing lyrics that blatantly reference drugs and sex, but putting on bizarre live shows, in which Pop would perform shirtless and cut himself, as well as cover his body in peanut butter. While VU managed to gain slight acclaim with their ties to artist Andy Warhol, at the time of their existence, The Stooges enjoyed virtually no success, and barely sold any records at all.
Shortly after The Stooges, The New York Dolls formed, not only adding to the blueprint for what would shortly thereafter become punk rock, but doing the same for "glam" rock; dressing in drag, drawing influence from the likes of David Bowie, and playing 'Stones-inspired songs that would eventually influence the likes of Motley Crue and Poison. However, like VU and The Stooges before them, they never broke through to the mainstream audience, and disbanded in the early seventies.
Now the year was 1974; bands like The Ramones, Talking Heads, and Television began to form. The Ramones, whose music was influenced by bubble gum and girl pop as much as it was by the likes of the Rolling Stones, played fast, catchy, simplistic three-chord rock songs, and became the first punk band to play regularly at CBGB's. Talking Heads, whose music was more diverse and pop-sounding, soon followed suit, as did Television, whose music was more complex and jazzy, as well as having featured revolutionary, dueling guitars. Richard Hell & the Voidoids were also key players in what is now considered the CBGB's New York punk scene.
While The Ramones and Talking Heads would enjoy lasting careers, and, in the case of Talking Heads, critical acclaim and mainstream success, Television self-destructed after two studio albums, including the classic "Marquee Moon." While similar fate struck many other New York punk bands, their influence nontheless managed to stretch across the pond, hitting England. Bands like The Buzzcocks, The Clash, Evlis Costello & the Attractions, and The Sex Pistols began sprouting up, and the punk rock scene reached it's height between 1977 and 1978.
While The Clash and Elvis Costello both managed successful careers well into the eighties, the death of Sid Vicious essentially marked the end of punk, and as bands like Joy Division, and Echo & the Bunnymen began what would become the post-punk movement.
So when you kids are trashing The Strokes for being overhyped and trendy, despite taking a page from the likes of VU and Television, who had more to do with punk rock than Operation Ivy ever did, and when you're calling New Found Glory "too soft," when Talking Heads seldom used distortion, just remember-- none of the bullshit you listen to is punk rock, so it doesn't matter!