I have written a lot of semi historical stuff and I'm a stickler for canon, incompatibilities bug me. So I tend to make timelines. Trying to timeline Ethan and Ripper brought up some stuff. I was only born 1977 so I have no first hand recollection of pop culture before the 90s but web research can tell you anything. I'd be more confident if it was older bits of history (on account of there being no one around to tell you where you get it wrong) but barring input from someone who was there this is the best I could do-
This site has a timeline running from 1970 to 1975, with 72 as the 'official' start of glam and 73 called 'the year of glam'.
I couldnt find an exactly equivalent timeline for punk but sites tend to start at around 76-77. Sex Pistols started in 1976. A history of punk referred to a lot of the same bands as the glamcandy site. So it looks like glam leads to punk?
Robin Sachs said at a convention that Ethan was definitely glam. See this definition and tell me that is not pure essence of Ethan Rayne. Divine decadence, theatricality, re-invention, cheap and trashy at heart, and if you can't laugh at yourself, we will laugh at you. So very Ethan.
Ripper otoh is pretty punk in attitude, as far as we've seen. I have heard they used a photo of the Sex Pistols and replaced the face to represent Ripper back in the day. His Band Candy outfit (t-shirt and jeans) was sort of generic bad boy, but very not glam. No shiny or make up or anything.
According to IMdB Robin Sachs was born 5 February 1951 and Tony Head was born February 20 1954. If that were the case for their characters then Ethan would have been in his 20s before glam and Ripper would have been in his 20s before punk. Giles says he was 21 when he went to be Ripper. If Giles is same age as the guy that plays him that would mean 1975ish. Death of glam, birth of punk.
OTOH by then RS would be 24. Interesting age. Could be glam but by modern youth culture standards he would be getting on a bit. Was that the case then? Were teenagers and students the driving force like now?
I think the age gap between Ethan and Ripper is about right. If they got together around 75-76 then glam would be dying and punk being born. Ethan, being older, would have just lived through the glory years of glam in his own glory years as a student (if we assume he went to higher ed, which aint necessarily so). Ripper, eager to make a break from the old life, would want the new thing- punk, which suits his anger and anti-establishment pose.
The only problem with those dates is that the only time ref we have is Giles saying 'It was the early 70s' in Beer Bad. My dates would be more mid 70s, but if punk existed in the early 70s it isnt much mentioned on the web.
Other problem with Ripper=punk is that while the look and attitude are there, the music doesnt seem to be. We have the we hope he's joking line 'Bay City Rollers, now thats music' back in The Dark Age, and when he listens to music with Joyce in Band Candy its Cream, Tales of Brave Ulysses, which apparently was from 1967. Which is interesting music but not helpful dates. If its stuff he listened to as a young teen that supports the early 70s date for his Ripper phase. But we've never seen him listen to or approve of punk. In fact his disapproval of the 'noise' Buffy listens to - 'Music has notes. This is noise.' - doesn't sound very punk at all.
I think he was just a punk, not punk per se. Trying to be a hard man but secretly into the equivalent of Take That.
comments, especially of the 'don't be daft I was there and...' variety, very welcome