Rock family trees

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For more than three decades, veteran music journalist Pete Frame has specialized in creating fantastic Rock Family Trees that map relationships between musicians and bands. In the comments on my post yesterday about our Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree, commenter Preston Sruges pointed us to Frame's family tree of New York New Wave, featuring the likes of Blondie, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, and The Ramones. Frame has posted more than 2,000 (!) of the trees on his Family of Rock site -- from Art School Dance to Seattle: Grunge to (one of my faves) the Velvet Underground. He has also compiled them into a series of books and releases prints too. They remind me of Fluxus artist George Maciunas's incredible "Expanded Arts Diagram" that mapped the avant-garde scene of the early 1960s.


  1. Wow, I recognized that “tree” and style right off, but the bands were not the same! I had one of these posters in my dorm room way back when, so I’m glad to read that I’m not losing my mind. 

    1. Byrne was born in Scotland but moved to the US for college. Talking Heads is most certainly a New York band.

      1. Per Wikipedia, he moved from Scotland to Canada when he was two, then moved to Maryland when he was 8 or 9.   So it looks like he moved to the US well before college.

  2. Love these things. I’ve tried to start a rule whereby all company org charts should be drawn like this. In fact, someone did make a font for you to use:
    (interestingly, they created it purely based on the family tree included in an album by The Cult, and didn’t realise there were many more trees.)
    My favourites are the 80’s Liverpool scene ones:
    Fantastic stuff.

  3. Thanks for the hat tip!

    I saw it on which is a pretty wonderful site of artsy randomness that has been mentioned here previously. 

  4. Someone should totally make a series of a bajillion comics based on this and post it on boingboing.  Oh wait…

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