1974-1977 NYC punk was in large part about musical invention and exploration, and the early scene fostered a fair amount of diversity.
Steve Forbert, the folk singer, had his NYC debut at CBGB (he was really good , too, and the “punk” crowd loved him).
The people I saw at CBGB in those days had no uniform or musical religion save for curiosity. By 1976 or '77, though, “punk” became more of a brand than a philosophy; Macy’s had pre-torn safety-pinned shirts on display.
It was not about simply playing crude, unskilled pop songs (though there was that, too). People were interested in ideas and musical concepts (for better or worse). Even the Ramones had an astute conceptual edge to them (for a while, anyways). It wasn’t so much that musical skill was to be rejected or scoffed at, but that lack of skill shouldn’t be a deterrent to exploring ideas.
The spirit lived on in No Wave and the mutant disco that cropped up around lower Manhattan while CBGB became more of a punk-means-hardcore venue.
Nowadays, though, bands labeled “punk” are the often the least likely to show any of the musical adventure that was once a key part of the scene.