Poly Styrene Dies at 53

After a long battle with cancer an icon of punk feminism and lead singer of the band, X-Ray Spex has died at age 53. Here she is singing, Germ Free Adolescence:

And her classic, “Oh Bondage up Yours” where she spoke the famous words, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think, oh bondage up yours!” Her battle cry encouraged countless girl bands, she laid the foreground for the Riot Grrrl movement and she inspired girls like me to speak up and to not conform. She will be missed.

Hey Smashley check out that sax…

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. Poly Styrene fought at the barricades. Poly Styrene, Pearl Harbor, Wendy O Williams, Siouxie, Debbie Harry. My generation of girls learned what to do with the balls we were born with from these women. We will keep her alive.

  2. Ah dammit! I didn’t know this had happened. To me she embodied the positive aspects of the early punk movement. She was an individual first and foremost. One who applied her own standards to everything she did and lived a truly creative life. One who never succumbed to the nihilism that pervade many of her contemporaries. Or so it appeared to me from the far side another continent. Her spirit in some small way lives on in me and I hope to pass down some of her fierce individuality to my little daughter.

    I’ve often wondered if she and the others from that time and place every considered that a middle aged ex-pat father would one day ride his bicycle home under a river of antipodean stars singing their songs loud and proud to an audience of startled cows, sheep and horses. Heh, probably not.

    Good bye Ms. Styrene, you will be missed but not forgotten.

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