Ari Up was born Ariane Forster in Munich on 17th January 1962.
At the age of 14 she formed The Slits with drummer Palmolive, the line-up was completed with the addition of bassist Tessa Pollit and guitarist Viv Albertine.
“Ari was the most dynamic woman I have ever known. The way she carried herself was a revolution.” Viv Albertine in maximumrockandroll
Known for their fierce stage shows, The Slits were chosen as the main support band for The Clash on their 1977 White Riot tour and Ari can be seen briefly in the Clash film Rude Boy, as well as in the Don Letts film The Punk Rock Movie (1978).
In the wake of her death in 2010 the New York Times ran an article quoting journalist Jon Pareles who wrote; “They (The Slits) had embraced rhythms beyond basic punk, while their lead singer, Ari Up, reveled in every quaver and yelp. She sang mocking critiques of trendiness, romance and consumerism as the music juggled rock, ska, reggae and something like funk. The Slits came up with odd-angled chord progressions that better trained musicians wouldn’t touch.”
Vivien Goldman, a journalist and a friend of Ariane, said “You cannot be a female artist on the wild side, very passionate and self-expressive, without being formed at least in part by Ari,” and “In her feral 14-year-old way, she did represent a new archetype of womanhood”.
Indebted to Flavourwire for compiling this list of quotes by Ari herself
“We were actually very conscious and alert, and felt like we were partaking in a revolution. We had revolutionary ideas about changing the culture.” – Spin, 2oo7
“You can’t decide who to be when you’re born into a revolution; it’s like a big explosive instinct. There’s no hindsight about it.” – Black Book, 2009
“When we started in ’76, why did we say: ‘Anarchy for the UK’? Why did we take part in that whole revolution, all of us? Because there was that total oppression. The system is fucked, it’s totally fucked.” – The Quietus, 2009
“Find out who you really are, then accept who you are. Fight for your life every day to be who you are.” – Spinner, 2009