We welcome a new link to the sidebar today with PunkGirlDiaries getting the attention that they quite frankly have merited for months now, but I am so behind in writing posts. I first encountered them when Punkgirldiarist linked to a post I had written about The Invaders and Soo Catwoman. When I followed the link back to the source I was amazed to discover that Punkgirldiarist was Polly Hancock, the guitarist for The Popinjays, a band whom I seriously purchased after seeing their fantastic video for “Vote Elvis!” on 120 Minutes back in 1991 at the tail end of my TV viewing days. I loved The Popinjays and have all three of their fine albums and as many singles as came near my grasp. Intrigued, I dove into the PunkGirlDiaries world and discovered that they are virtually alone in providing an important look at how the catalyst of Punk Rock effected the world of young women of the era.
That’s right! The web is positively awash in music obsessed men reliving the glory of the Punk Rock [or Post-Punk, harrumph!] to their almost 100% male blog audience, but here were two women, of close to my age [I’m guessing here they are a little younger] discussing what it was like to be two young girls who were present when the freight train of Punk Rock came barreling through, disrupting the carefully stratified Rock Hegemony®. The blog was began as a daily exercise by Ruth Miller of the indie band PO! and Polly Hancock of The Popinjays. I was not familiar with the music of Ms. Miller, but I need to rectify that soon. Polly Hancock I had three albums by. They trade off on posting and they have apparently begun the exercise as a project to last all of this year, but I hope to see them persist a while longer.
It’s exciting to see the blog not only specifically discuss women who were central to Punk, but the larger culture of the time in Britain that was pitched to young women by the patriarchy of the day. A world of Jackie Magazine [analogous to Seventeen Magazine in the US] where makeup tips rubbed elbows with the latest pin up idols. All very much past its sell-by date as of 1977 and a world of gobbing, squatting, and personal empowerment as women joined with men in picking up guitars and having a go at making their own music and tearing down the star system.
What I especially love about the blog is the detail about items peripheral to music but nevertheless informed by it. How it was like to dress defiantly and try to leave the home without getting stopped by one’s parents. What is was like coloring their hair any shade of the spectrum once girls could see a future beyond blonde. If this is indeed only a blog that lasts a year, one hopes that they will compile and edit the postings into a wonderful book which will hopefully inform and inspire young women to forge their own way in music and anything else!
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