Growing up in the 1970s, we had already spent a lot of time spent listening to music. Whether that was wonderful Radio 1, weekly episodes of Top of the Pops, LPs from the local record shop or later on being in the audience at our first gigs, there was already a whole tide of musical water under our young and very formative bridges.
Punk was the siren call. Punk blew open almost everything that had come before. Punk happened so quickly that nobody had the time or even cared to write down any rules. There were no rules, and the “no rules” rule also applied to girls. Punk itself happened in London and other major city centres, but the shock waves could be heard loud and clear in every small town for years afterwards.
We were young enough to hear that first blast, but maybe not yet old enough to participate in that first explosion, and because we were still on the sidelines we had the time to become keen observers of youth culture. We had a Grandstand view of the sounds, the fashions and the excitement, we could wonder what all of this actually meant, where it was going and where we fitted in to it.
Mainstream teenage girls magazines like “Jackie” and others never embraced Punk. They never saw the potential for a girl revolution, they didn’t print chord charts or advise on bass strings. They were still carping on about make-up and periods, and although they would occasionally mention new wave bands it would still only be in the context of “pin-up” material, Paul Weller, or The Boomtown Rats, they all got the same old David Essex treatment. And even then they didn’t really wake up to THIS until about 1979.
So what were girls like us to do? Where did we fit in? Where were the other girls? They were probably doing the same things as us; listening to the radio, reading the NME, saving up for our first electric guitars and playing them through tinny amps in back bedrooms. Watching, listening, and filtering everything around us.
Punk Girl Diaries is somewhere to put all of this.
Punk Girl Diaries is about growing up.
Punk Girl Diaries is about learning to play music.
Punk Girl Diaries 1976 – 1984
We’re older now but still punkgirls. On the left: Lene Cortina On the right: Vim Renault
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This blog came about because there seems to be interest in the role of females in punk music. There are icons, of course and a big US and London scene. But we are the little sisters of 1977. Too young to leave home and live in a squat, but captured by the spirit of punk that has gone on to determine our lives.
So this blog is about small-town post-punk, the battle of attitude, nostalgia and laying down historical funnies. We did form bands; we are both guitar-wielding veterans still making a noise.