Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poly Styrene

The ecstatic side of punk was represented by its two most famous women, Patti Smith, & Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex; both brought a hippyish, free-spirited quality to punk's basically puritanical (& male) attitudes.  Patti, of course, has had an active, prominent career following some time she took off to raise a child. Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliott-Said), who died yesterday after a long battle with breast cancer, had a  brief period of punk celebrity at the height of the British scene in the Seventies,  afterward recording only a few solo efforts (one scheduled for release today). But the handful of classic X-Ray Spex singles & one great studio LP, Germ Free Adolescents, are beloved & enduring. Everyone familiar with X-Ray Spex has a favorite song, & mourns Poly Styrene.

Phoebe Snow also died.

Got me thinking about Grace Slick & Janis Joplin, how their independent spirit must have been so inspiring to Patti Smith & Poly Styrene, & to Phoebe Snow, for that matter ( what's with the P.S. initials?).

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I have to admit- her life passed without me knowing a thing about her. But this was a beautiful tribute and if she was a part of you’re growing up, then I love her. My favorite part was this quote: "We can confirm that the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter, won her battle on Monday evening to go to higher places." Isn't that perfect?
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