Finally, Besser is talking about music! I've been waiting for this as he never seems to want expand on things like his old zine, etc.
First off, Wire wasn't punk? What about this jam:
-- Ex-lion tamer
-- Mr. Suit
Wire was a huge influence on bands like the Minutemen, whose first albums are undisputeably punk.
As for describing bands like Talking Heads and Television as new wave, there are two things to remember:
1. Bands like the Talking Heads and Television were considered "punk" not just because they were playing CBGB's, but because they were also among the first bands to be featured in the uber-influential Punk Magazine, started by "Please Kill Me" author Legs McNeil.
2. New Wave was a term invented by Sire mogul Seymour Stein in order to re-package these punk bands since the word punk had such bad connotations (Stein himself has said that he found the term "derogative" -- http://en.wikipedia....i/Seymour_Stein
) So just because there was a concerned campaign to ensure bands like the Talking Heads, Television and Devo were listed as "New Wave," they could also be described as punk too.