X-Ray Spex live 1977
PoC of Claasic Rock - November 2015
Marianne Joan Elliot-Said (b. July 3, 1957) or better known as Poly Styrene was the leader of the British punk rock band, X-Ray Spex. Poly Styrene was born in Bromley, England to a Scottish-Irish mother, who raised her alone, and a Somali father. After running away from home and gaining inspiration from seeing a Sex Pistols concert, Styrene decided to form her own punk band and so was the creation of X-Ray Spex in 1976. She soon became the public face of the band and with her braces, fashion, and heritage, she refused to be boxed into the conventional image of a punk rock front person. Poly Styrene was firmly against the 70′s archetype of female rock artists as sex symbols and stated that “If anybody tried to make me one (a sex symbol) I’d shave my head tomorrow”. Her punk feminist attitude led to songs such as “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!”, a song that became an anthem for the riot-grrl movement that spoke out on consumerism and materialists. X-Ray Spex debut album “Germfree Adolescents” follows this attitude as well. Poly Styrene left X-Ray Spex in 1979 and released her album “Translucence” in 1980. Sadly, she died on April 25, 2011 from breast cancer and is survived by her daughter Celeste Bell-Dos Santos.
A group portrait of female punk and new wave musicians in London, August 1980, L-R (back) Debbie Harry of Blondie, Viv Albertine of The Slits, Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie And The Banshees, (Front) Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, and Pauline Black of The Selecter.