Originally when I first came up with this internet scrap heap that I kindly refer to as “The Pig”, I had wanted to include articles on music. I never got around to it. Be it procrastination or life got in the way somehow. It is never too late to start though. Sadly, the first entry revolves around the death of Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. She died on the same day as her last record came out oddly enough.
X-Ray Spex may not have been my favorite band in the whole world, but a lot of my favorite memories are attached to them. When I was a young turk, one of my best friends had drawn their logo on his flight jacket. We were all young and angry with a massive campaign against the world. Our jackets were like armor for us. And there was Vic, with his X-Ray Spex jacket. That was the flag he was flying some days and it ruled. Those truly were the salad days.
Another time I was going to pick up an ex-girlfriend from work and had to walk by a parade. I really could have given a shit what parade it was to be honest. I did hear a float playing “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” and got excited and started rocking out a little as I walked towards said parade. It turns out it was the Gay Pride Parade and it was the Leather Daddy float. I took a quick inventory of what I must have looked like and noted the smirks and peaked interests of some of the Leathermen in attendance. I felt like a clown at that moment. However; now when I look back, I think it was a pretty hilarious incident in my life.
Finally, another fond moment involving that record involved several friends and I tripping on mescaline. We were high as hell and somebody was singing “I’m A Cliche” over and over again. It may have been playing in the tape deck, I really can’t confirm that. But I do recall said friend singing the part that goes “yama yama yama……” over and over again. Since then, I have subsequently fallen prey to that part of the song as well and will have it stuck in my head for days. Regardless, so here you have a car of hoodlums on hallucinogens out for a night of vandalism. Our car stopping every so often to smash out windows of convenience stores and suburban homes with Poly and The Spex as our siren luring us into further danger. It was a beautiful night when I think about it.
So here I am some 20 years later sipping coffee and reflecting on how this one woman’s work had affected my life. Would she have been happy to know of these deeds? Maybe? Perhaps not? I’ll never know. But I do know this, she would have probably been happy to know that her songs brought up some of the fonder memories of some stranger’s life. Isn’t that what we all want? To be a part of something greater; be it good or bad?
July 3rd, 1957 – April 25th, 2011