Photos of the Day: female punk royalty
The always-fascinating blog Dangerous Minds recently posted something great on its Facebook page recently: outtakes from 1980 photo session for a UK music magazine featuring a summit meeting of most of the key female figures in the late '70s punk scene. Taken by Michael Putland for New Musical News, the pictures have actually been around the block a few times before, but it's always a joy to see them.
Featuring (clockwise from left, above) The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Blondie's Debbie Harry, The Slits' Viv Albertine, Siouxsie Sioux, The Selecter's Pauline Black and X-Ray Spex's Poly Styrene, the photos are nostalgic (look how young everyone is!), a bit sad (Poly died of breast cancer in April 2011) and quite powerful in how relaxed, funny and fearless everyone looks.
But these photos are mostly important because they capture the exact last moment where being a woman on the nascent indie music scene was enough of a rarity that they could fit most of them into a single camera frame. From The Raincoats, ESG and Marine Girls to The Go-Go's, Bangles and Bananarama, women were right on the verge of achieving something closer to gender parity in what had originally been mostly a boys' club. And it was due almost entirely to these women right here. Plus Patti Smith.
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