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(Credit: Instagram @anthonybourdain)


From The Clash to Dead Boys: Anthony Bourdain's favourite punk rock songs


There’s a lot to admire about the late, great Anthony Bourdain. A wonderfully gifted chef, a more-than talented writer and one of the most educated music lovers you’ll encounter. However, as with everybody, there is one shining asset that blinds us all whenever we attempt to look at Bourdain for too long without protection. The retina-burning brilliance of Bourdain can be found in his authenticity.

Never afraid to show his vulnerability or allow his personality to be diminished by media training, Bourdain operated under the guise of being one of “the realest motherfuckers” around. Much of that devotion to being a true representation of himself came from his pure and unbridled love of punk rock. Below, we’ve gathered up a heap of his favourite punk songs to make arguably the greatest playlist we’ve ever created.

First thing’s first, and in a bid to try and remain as real as Bourdain, we must confess that this playlist is likely only a small fraction of Bourdain’s favourite punk songs. Compiled from a host of different interviews, including a newly conducted one by the director of Roadrunner, the new Bourdain documentary, Morgan Neville, the playlist is likely a simple smattering of the chef’s most treasure riffs and razor bladed vocals.

The chef seemingly connected with songs with a charge of electricity running through them, the quaking moments of unknown terror permeating through every note. These were the song he connected with, including notable hits from NYC stalwarts, Dead Boys, and a doff of the cap to Elvis Costello, Bad Brains and Stooges on a few occasions.

The chef also had a place in his heart for the downright dirty New York Dolls and their hit ‘Personality Crisis’, which Bourdain says was “an answered prayer,” before adding: “The antidote to all the lousy music of the era. Loud, unapologetically sloppy. Johnny Thunders guitar made life worth living again and permitted everything good that followed, like New York punk. Joyously nihilistic.” A theme that sadly runs throughout the playlist.

Bourdain was a punk rocker until the end, never-wavering from his unstoppable mission, never dropping his gaze from you or anyone else who crossed his path without the proper papers. Anthony Bourdain was a true original, and we’re proud to have been able to share his love for music along with him.

It was a badge of honour that he had sewn into his sleeve, alongside his heart, and one that permeates the music with which he feels most connected. Below, you can hear some of that connection as we revisit some of Anthony Bourdain’s favourite punk songs of all time.

Anthon Bourdain favourite punk songs:

  • ‘Chinese Rocks’ – The Heartbreakers
  • ‘This Is Not A Love Song’ – Public Image Ltd.
  • ‘Personality Crisis’ – The New York Dolls
  • ‘Down on the Street’ – The Stooges
  • ‘Sonic Reducer’ – The Dead Boys
  • ‘Love In Spurts’ – Richard Hell & The Voidoids
  • ‘Pay to Cum’ – Bad Brains
  • ‘Riot Act’ – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  • ‘Penetration’ – The Stooges
  • ‘Jet Boy’ – New York Dolls
  • ‘I’m So Bored With the U.S.A’ – The Clash
  • ‘Human Fly’ – The Cramps
  • ‘Beat on the Brat’ – Ramones
  • ‘Bodies’ – Sex Pistols
  • ‘Damaged Goods’ – Gang of Four
  • ‘Lipstick Vogue’ – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  • ‘Lust for Life’ – Iggy Pop
  • ‘Gimme Danger’ – The Stooges
  • ‘Supertouch/Shitfit’ – Bad Brains
  • ‘Straight to Hell’ – The Clash
  • ‘Atomic’ – Blondie
  • ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ – The Clash
  • ‘Dance This Mess Around’ – The B-52’s