Uploaded on Jul 29, 2007
The Women of 1970's Punk!
(See also Part 1 prequel video, "THE RUNAWAYS -QUEENS OF NOISE (1977)", and the Part 3 sequel: "LiLiPUT -EISIGER WIND (1981)")
Idealism collapsed into anger by the mid-70's. With the wrenching backlash of Punk Rock and the empowerment of feminism, the modern Rock'n'Roll woman was forged and set loose. Every girl now walking with a fierce heart and strong stride is their heir. Let's give it up for the mothers of the revolution.
The accused: The RUNAWAYS, teen maelstorm from California who forecast every Punk and Metal grrrl to come; TINA WEYMOUTH, bassist for the Talking Heads and leader of the Tom Tom Club; her comrades from CBGB's -the New York club where Punk was born- were DEBBY HARRY of Blondie, and PATTI SMITH; Somali/Brit POLY STYRENE piledrived with the X-RAY SPEX; and her sax player, LARA LOGIC, started the postpunk band Essential Logic; Joan Jett was so enamored of Punk that she had to forge a new future beyond the Runaways; her near-twin, bassist GAYE ADVERT, sparked the UK band The Adverts; one of the first groups on the heels of the Sex Pistols was SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES, paving postpunk and goth: from Detroit, NIKKI & THE CORVETTES were the Ramones' sisters in spirit; San Francisco brought the rage with PENELOPE HOUSTON inciting The AVENGERS; the English PENETRATION was spearheaded by PAULINE MURRAY; poet/artist/proactivist LYDIA LUNCH fronted many New York projects, including the wonderfully named No Wave band, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks; her compatriots JUDY NYLON and PATTI PALLADIN grabbed attention with SNATCH; the Los Angeles scene crested with folks like EXENE CERVANKA of X, PAT and ALICE BAG (no relation) of The BAGS, and DIANNE CHAI of the ALLEY CATS; wielding her axe like Lizzy Borden is the eternal POISON IVY of the garage psychobillies, The CRAMPS; political firebrand VI SUBVERSA flicked 'mother wit' like a whip with the POISON GIRLS; HAZEL O'CONNOR broke through scoring and starring in the undersung Punk film, "Breaking Glass" (and inspiring Pris from "Blade Runner"); from the ashes of junkiedom, MARIANNE FAITHFULL made an arresting comeback in ravaged granduer; from Georgia, KATE PIERSON and CINDY WILSON brought the mod past into the eerie future with the B-52's; CHRISSIE HYNDE left Ohio, worked in McClaren's and Westwood's SEX boutique, and formed the PRETENDERS; starting as erratic punks, no one could predict that THE SLITS would shortly flip the script into postpunk; the DELTA 5 did the original "Mind Your Own Business" covered by Chicks On Speed; from San Francisco, domme JENNIFER MIRO leads the perverse band The NUNS to this day; the feminist fist of LESLEY WOOD surged the AU PAIRS to glory with wit and intensity; starting as Kleenex, the German group LiLiPUT cut an astounding swath of postpunk brilliance; ...as did Englands' THE RAINCOATS...; and Germany's MALARIA, whose "Kaltes Clares Wasser" was also covered by Chicks On Speed; the United Expirements of America, or U.X.A., were conducted by DE DE TROIT from San Fran to L.A.; performance artist and sex activist COSI FANNI TUTTI confounded boundaries with the proto-Industrial band, THROBBING GRISTLE, and later Chris & Cosey: PEARL HARBOUR torpedoed stereotypes such as with her twist on "Fujiyama Mama"; and Punk couldn't be more personified than in the hellacious free-for-all that was WENDY O'WILLIAMS of The PLASMATICS.
About X-RAY SPEX: They made one album but it is one of the five best Punk albums of all time. "Germ Free Adolescents" is wall-to-wall perfection, skewering consumer culture with barbed lines and serrated guitar and sax. The eye of this storm was the unlikely Poly Styrene. Small, eccentric, mercurial, brilliant. Seemingly erratic and perhaps hallucinatory, Poly had unerring instincts for making off-kilter things work completely. She unnerved even Johnny Rotten, who later deemed her band "superb". It's often said that the Riot Grrrl movement and Bikini Kill wouldn't have existed without her. And the moment you hear her, you know it's true.
-the opening cartoon is by Jerome Gaynor.
-the Lesley Woods photo is by Philippe Carly; buy great punk shots at:
-Alice Bag of The BAGS has a terrific site honoring the Women of L.A. Punk:
-also check out:
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