Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Poly Styrene, RIP

X-Ray Spex in action.
Poly Styrene, the legendary lead singer of the punk band X-Ray Spex, has died of cancer; she was 53. Her searing vocals, her feminist politics, and her general take-no-shit attitude helped to inspire and influence several generations of  female rockers from Kim Gordon to Kathleen Hanna to Beth Ditto. (The NYT has a nice obit.)

Her most famous song was the band's first single, "Oh Bondage, Up Yours," a wailing protest against consumerism and misogyny and other forms of modern bondage. "Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard,” she announced at the start of the song. “But I think" -- and here her quiet voice modulated into a shriek -- "oh bondage, up yours!” Here's a video of her performing the song. (NOTE: If you're having trouble with the video loading properly below, here's a link to it on YouTube.)


  1. Yeah, the worst part is that she died on Monday, and her new album was released on Tuesday.

  2. Poly Styrene is one of my heroes. It seems like every day there's another band I'm never going to get to see live.

    ScareCrow: fuck off and die.

  3. The world is a little less dayglo now.


  4. I deleted Scarecrow's obnoxious comment. Really not appropriate.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.