Thursday, October 2, 2008

TVD's Daily Wax

If you've seen one of the many many many history of punk documentaries or read any number of books on the subject, you've undoubtedly come across the story of when Siouxsie and the Banshees appeared with the Sex Pistols on the 'Today' show with host Bill Grundy. At one point during the interview Grundy begins a horrible attempt at flirting with Siouxsie, to which Steve Jones, guitarist for the Sex Pistols, called Grundy several words not approved for daytime television in the UK. Bill Grundy was fired not too long after the show aired but nobody ever talks about that moment, which ruined Grundy's career and impacted the Sex Pistols' future as well, while looking at it through the lens of a feminist perspective. Often the only time you'll hear about Siouxsie is in the context of the Sex Pistols or Bill Grundy's pathetic pick up attempts.

Every story about that day ends in Steve Jones "standing up" for Siouxsie, so to speak, and Grundy getting canned. Siouxsie was, and still is, a strong woman and an awesome singer. Siouxsie may have gained notoriety as a groupie of the Sex Pistols, but she and the Banshees went on to have a career spanning twenty years, surviving the so-called death of the punk movement. Siouxsie's story is interesting, but so are the stories of other female punkers, like Vi Subversa, an anarcho-punk mother of two with a voice more haunting than Marianne Faithful's and more brash than Johnny Rotten's. Vi's lyrics were so powerful and controversial they resulted in her band, the Poison Girls, being attacked by British political parties. Although female punkers like Siouxsie and Vi inevitably get grouped under a small section in some chapter of most punk historical texts, they deserve as much space in the history books as their male counter parts.


Siouxsie and the Banshees - Hong Kong Garden (Mp3)

X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage Up Yours! (Mp3)
The Slits - Typical Girls (Mp3)
The Au Pairs - You (Mp3)
Poison Girls - State Control (Mp3)

1 comment:

Urban Gypsy said...

I saw this interview... if anyone's interested it's easy to find on youtube. Siouxie indeed has a fascinating story... look at her write-up on wiki, it's awesome right from the start: "Her mother was a bilingual secretary, her father a laboratory technician who milked serum from poisonous snakes."