Old School Music

dealing with punk rock, speed/thrash and other music styles of the 80ies and beyond, a webpage connected to Red, Black & Green

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rubella Ballet and "She's A Punk Rocker UK" documentary part 2

How were women perceived, watched, thought about at the beginning of punk rock ( there were for example Chrissie Hynde, Jordan, Vivienne Westwood, The Slits, Siouxsie around the Sex Pistols)? Same question for the rock scene in general? This is one of the themes explored in my documentary She’s a Punk Rocker U.K.. Women punks were often treated like dirt by most of the general public once they had seen the Sex Pistols on TV and became annoyed that they Swore on TV. They read in the press punks are filth and people didn’t like anything about the way we looked. The public often attacked punks verbally and physically. But punks men & women also frightened the public with their looks and that we would fight back verbally and physically we didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought we wanted to be ourselves expressed through a punk movement we created. Within punk most women felt equal to male punks as they treated us as equals. A lot of punks became punks to get away from the pub, club & late night fighting and sexist pubs club scene of the time which was Disco. We only protected ourselves I never saw a punk start a fight with non punks. It was also difficult to get a conventional job looking punk. In the British anarcho punk scene, you had Lost Cherrees, Rubella Ballet, Youth In Asia, Hagar The Womb, with female musicians, I could also mention Beki Bondage from Vice Squad, and Helen Hill from The Violators. So what made you all decide you would go onstage and create a band? What were your influences, your inspirations? Punk was the only reason I helped form a band and the only way into the world of music and gigs. I don’t come from a family of professional musicians. By the time I formed a band with Sid I had been a punk for three years. The first six months of being a punk in 1976 there was no band to see it was about the way we dressed. Then when punks started to form bands I went to all the gigs. I have seen every punk band of the time I went to all the known & unknown local venues. Then when Crass started to play gigs they often organised the gigs themselves so there was room for other local bands to play with them. Also Crass would often let anyone from the audience go on stage with friend or anyone else in the audience to play. Punks got their hands on musical instruments including guitars & drums and where willing to learn to play them or just get on stage and make a noise. But we were having a good laugh teaching each other and learning to play. We also learned about the music business as we created spaces for our own gigs becoming music promoters and released our own cassette tapes, records alongside booklets, flyers, posters, graphics& fanzines Something else to say about "She's A Punk Rocker" (especially where and how to find it)? I made this film without any funding because I decided there is a need for our own punk herstory. It may be unconventional in style and content and took many years to finish due to going it alone with Sid to finish an edit. Learning to film, interview, write transcripts & edit, the steep learning curve involved in making a documentary to a professional screening standard. Punk gave me a way & confidence to do anything I want to, I get job/life satisfaction but not financial rewards. The point is anyone can do anything in life and this is especially important for women and girls in the world today to know they can empower themselves to live the life they want not other peoples rules imposed on them. Free online. Zillah Minx documentary For She’s a Punk Rocker DVD Send £10 through paypal to sidandzillah@hotmail.com or UVP productions Or She’s A Punk Rocker U.K. This is a one-hour film Documentary by and about Punk Rock Women 1977 Punk Rock an Oral History by the women who were part of Punk. Punk women changed the public face of female. It was very empowering for universal women. The story of punk could almost be a women’s liberation story. Caroline Coon. 1977 sees the explosion of a new subculture: Punk. Punk women were clearly visible by their appearance, clothes, makeup, hair, piercing and tattoos. Punk was the first youth movement where women were equals. Prior to punk, women were seen as the girlfriends of skins, mods, hippies and teddy boys, but a female punk was a punk. Punks, both male and female, hit the media headlines from 1976 onwards. Moral outcry erupted as the media and officialdom proclaimed Punk Public Enemy Number One. Being a punk was dangerous, so why did so many women become punks? Was it just about dressing up outrageously? Were these punk women treated as equal members of the subculture and how were they treated by the rest of society? How did being a punk affect their lives? Did punk woman directly influence society’s attitudes to women today? The lives of these women will reveal an insight into female punks and a culture that has been greatly misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. Their personal oral histories explore their experiences of being a punk. Life stories, gigs, fashion, music, politics, friends, relations & events. The women to a varying extent agree that today they are still punks at heart, if not in appearance. Why did women want to be punks? How did they become punks? Socially what was happening in their lives? Was it a gradual move or a sudden overnight decision? Did being a punk change their lives? The present media interest in punk is a male-dominated vision of the era. This programme reassesses - from the perspectives of punk women - women’s roles in a dynamic movement that irreversibly changed the face of society, politics, art and music. Director: Zillah Minx – Lead singer with punk band rubella ballet since 1976. Director She’s A Punk Rocker U.K. * SAPR facebook * Rubella Ballet


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