And so another innovator of my generation has passed away, the unique talent that is poly styrene, you know your getting old as the people you grow up with start to die, a friend of mine who was only 48 sadly died of cancer last year.
X ray spexs were one of the most unique bands of the punk period and the lyrics were well ahead of their time. They played at the rock against racism gig at victoria park with the clash i remember the clash but have no recollection of x ray spexs! I finally caught up with them at the roundhouse in 2008!
Germ free adolescents is a true classic album which is a must own for any collection as is live at the roxy.
Polys influence on music is still felt over 30 years later with all the riot girlls about!
Coming so soon after Ari Ups death im truly gutted at her passing, she had just brought a critically acclaimed solo album out too.
Another big part of my youth has gone,the world is a little less day glo today.
Im not a good enough writer to say what her death means, she was different to all the other punks at the time punk was becoming much of the sameness, you had to be there at the time to know how special and different she was.
POLY STYRENE THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES SLEEP WELL RIP.
As an addition to the above piece i want to add this great story written by an American on twitter who i follow it just shows you how music can touch people all over the world if you want to follow ed here is his twitter account
And this is what he wrote,
@poly_styrene passed. In ’79 I’d heard punk albums by only a few band- The Clash, the Pistols & the Stranglers – when. I drove down to LA with a few friends to see a KROQ show with 5 bands we’d only read about (X, Alley Cats, DOA, Weirdos& the Dills) at the Stardust Ballroom. We arrived when the doors opened (along with several hundred others) and were treated to an hour of punk rock and new wave chaos through the monstrous PA. About the 4th or 5th song, Bondage Up Yours came on, and Polly’s voice tore through the crowd exactly the same way Johnny Rotten’s had a couple songs before. I remember looking at my friend Mark, and he’s looking at me like “Who the fuck is that?” and asked a punk near us, getting a sneering (we all looked like fucking hippies then) “The fucking X Ray Specs”. Although both Exene and Diane Chai (Alley Cats) later that night went on to destroy my classic rock universe, Polly was the first woman singing punk rock I had ever heard. I know I wasn’t the only one who had that experience. And I bet every woman rocker I met in the ’80s had an X Ray Specs album.
Thanks for that Ed.