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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Remember: Walking (Anarchy) in the (Streets) Sand

Seeing Girl Groups: The Story of a Sound encouraged me to go to Goodwill and Positively 4th Street and hunt for used vinyl as a teenager. I really thought The Shangri-la's were tough, street-wise girls. I thought of them as punk. I was a big Sex Pistols fan at this time as well, but was troubled by their sexism, particularly on this record, Some Product, but I was also pretty obsessed with listening to this record over and over again. It was probably about 5 years before I would hear The Slits, so that gave me a lot of time to imagine what an all-female punk band would actually sound like and how they would present themselves. There really wasn't an example that I knew of. I also didn't hear or even hear of The X-Ray Spex until I was 18 or 19, which seems odd now, given that I was totally music obsessed and immersed in punk. I had heard X, of course, and I was a big Avengers fan, but both of those groups just had female lead-singers and that seemed a little limiting. All the Dangerhouse stuff was out of print, so even if you had heard of The Bags or The Controllers or The Eyes, there was really no way to actually get those records. So this idea of what it would be like if The Shangri-la's were playing their own instruments and writing their own songs really stuck with me.

I remember hearing that The Shangri-la's had played with The Sonics locally and this somehow cemented their reputation in my mind for being really tough chicks. I took this image with me when I would walk around downtown at night. I didn't have go-go boots or long hair and I rarely wore make up, but I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be a punk rock Shangri-la...a girl gang...towns full of girls in gangs...in groups...girl groups...teenage punk rock girl groups...ruling every town. Why hasn't this happened yet?


Cathy said...

When I was 14, I made my Mom go with me into an "oldies" record store on a school field trip to New Orleans to search for a Shangri-la's LP and remember feeling similarly. I still feel like the Shangri-las were/are pretty darn punk.


love buzz said...

are you a tammys fan? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er8PN385PEA