This essay Greg Graffin
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The band Bad religion was formed in the early eighties and has now been
around over 15 years and has released over eight albums, the lead singer has
continued his schooling and now has one bachelors degree ,a masters and is
working on his Ph.D.
Greg Graffin was born in 1965 in Wisconsin. His mother and father were
divorced after his birth. In 1976 his mother his brother and him moved to San
Fernando valley California, which is now the punk rock capital of the world.
"Like millions of other victims of divorce in the seventies I had to deal with
the fact that my father was now living far away(In Racine, Wisconsin) and that I
would not get to see him very much." While his father was in Wisconsin he began
work at the university of Wisconsin as a professor. He still works their today.
Greg was often picked on in high school because of his "Punkness". "There were
three people at my high school who were punkers, I mean I got beat up everyday
by long haired people who listened to Rush and would beat me up because I didn\'t.
When he was fifteen he started a band with other social outcasts who didn\'t
quite fit in. They settled on the name BAD RELIGION.
Bad Religion does not pertain to any kind of sacrilegious activities or
the like. Instead it is a statement against any establishment that promotes
dogmatic thinking or punishes individualism and rewards followers. Greg once
said in an interview "Instead of rewarding uniqueness we, for some reason
probably because of cultural and social necessity, we chastise unique behavior
and reward conformity". On 15/10/93 Greg said BR has 108 songs and 5 or 6 are
about religious issues.
Greg has a very different view point about education then most punks.
When the band broke up in 1983 he moved back to Wisconsin and attend the
university of wisconsin-madison. soon the administration had found out that he
was not an official resident any longer so he was kicked out. (he had recently
spent several years as a California resident) He traveled back to California
where he was a resident and attended school at UCLA. in 1987 he received his
masters degree in geology. He had previously received his Masters degree in
Anthropology and a his B.Sc. in geology. This work was very field oriented
since he had to study fossils to get the degrees. In 1990 he transferred to
Cornell University (in Ithica where he currently lives) for a Ph.D.. It will be
a biology degree, but since he studies fossils it will be evolutionary biology-
paleontology. Because of touring with his band the Ph.D. is on hold. Currently
he still has to write his thesis on bone tissue , finish up some of his actual
lab work and take the orals. He is planning to due this in 1997. He was a
teaching assistant in The evolutionary department at Cornell university. He
taught mainly pre-medical students when they took a course in comparative
anatomy. His Ph.D. is in evolutionary biology but he sometimes refers it to
Zoology since the fossils he studies are from vertebrates. The actual Ph.D. is
on bone tissue he has been referred to as one of the top five bone
paleontologists n the world. He has had one of his papers printed in a leading
scientific journal. He says that he plans to stay involved in science for the
rest of his life. He said "if I could make a million dollars with Bad Religion ,
I would start an institute that would be for research on early vertebrates ,
that is what I study."
Greg says he chose punk rock as his medium because he saw a vacancy in
the music. "Maybe that\'s what attracted me to it. I saw that there was
definitely a vacancy. People didn\'t perceive (punk) as valuable, and I like
challenges ... What better thing to do than use a style of music that the media
characterizes as all negative and use it for something positive?" says Graffin.
"There has always been this problem because the media stigmatized punk from the
earliest days. I think what they were concentrating on was the fashion. When you
say \'punk\' people automatically think of spiked hair and leather jackets and
violent people. And that has nothing to do with what I thought of it in the
early days, (which was) really thought-provoking music with a great melody,"
says Graffin. In fact he considers the music he and his band make as
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