Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1957-2011 Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliot-Said)

I just learned today that Poly Styrene passed away this past April (I'm more than a little out of touch) and the news made me very sad.  Strangely, I had just been thinking the other day about writing something about X-Ray Spex and how important they were to me, which is how I found out she had passed.  I was looking around at video clips when I saw someone post that she had died of cancer. Growing up it seemed like there were a lot of girls trying to be like Siouxsie Sioux, where if they really had been on the ball they would have been learning from Poly Styrene, a totally unique individual, which come to think of it is probably why she didn't have a bunch of girls emulating her.  Poly was definitely one of my favorite people to come out of the British punk movement, a hero even, she was always changing and evolving and 100% about doing what she wanted and never mind being cool which was what I always wished punk was more about, more Jonathan Richman and less Sid Vicious.

There's a good interview with Poly in Jon Savage's The England's Dreaming Tapes and she comes up in several other interviews including one with Jah Wobble, who speaks highly of her.  If you don't have a copy of X-Ray Spex's Germ Free Adolescents album by all means buy one or the Let's Submerge two disc compilation that contains that album plus more.  And you can DL a copy of Poly's out of print 1980 solo album Translucence here-

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