Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"I Remember The Women Being The Strong Ones"

From time to time, I get emails giving me feedback on my website, www.alicebag.com. One of the best things about doing my website has been establishing connections with old friends, not just for myself, but between people who haven't seen each other in years. I'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank Ms. Jenny Lens, whose energy, passion and incredible memory have made many of these online and in-person reunions possible.

I have to share an excerpt from a recent email I received from Gaby Gomez, who was around in the early days of L.A. punk but who I didn't know very well at the time. She writes:

"Hi Alice, I just got in touch with Rover again thru a “happy accident” and she directed me to your website... I wanted to thank you for publicizing all the very strong women who made up the scene back then. I feel it was very much a scene of women, at least I remember the women as being the strong ones.

I remember one time when Rover and I lived at the masque, and Lee Ving was spray painting on the wall out in the alley. I think someone came down the stairs and said something, because Ro and I went running up the stairs to see. Well, there he was. And Rover just called up that big loud mean voice of hers and said (Something like) “What the hell do you think you are doing?” And Lee Ving turned around, looked around at us, And Ran Away! We just laughed and laughed. That was one of my favorite remembrances of Rover, this little tiny sprite, chasing away the big bad punk rocker. It still makes me laugh every time."

Thanks for allowing me to share this memory, Gaby! And thanks also to those of you who take the time to write to me. I can't always respond to your comments and/or inquiries in a timely manner, but I read all of your comments and emails and appreciate the feedback. Someone asked about adding a bulletin board or a forum to the website. I'll consider it. Monitoring comments for accuracy and subject matter is time consuming and I don't know that I have the time for it. For now you'll have to continue to comment on the blog if you want others to respond or write directly to me at alice@alicebag.com.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Punk's Not Dead

Susan Dynner and her punk conspirators have been working on what has got to be a true labor of love for the past few years, a film entitled Punk's Not Dead.

I have no idea what this movie is going to be like, but Susan seems to be genuinely interested in presenting the complete picture of punk rock, then and now. Now you have a chance to speak your mind about what punk rock means to you. This is from the Punk's Not Dead website:
"Love it or hate it, if you’ve got something to say about the state of punk today, we want to hear it.

Loads of documentaries about punk focus on the same handful of bands, repeating the same old story over and over again. For once, we’re going to invite the fans of the music into discussion.

Punk’s Not Dead tells a different story, looking at punk through the many perspectives of those directly involved today. We want to expand our story to document punk communities all over the world, in places like Osaka, Mexico City, Prague and all over the US. However, our budget prevents us from traveling there ourselves.

That’s where you come in!"

In a clever bit of DIY filmmaking, Susan is soliciting video contributions from punk bands, punk fans and anyone who has a strong opinion about the state of punk today. You only have until October 15 to get your contribution to them, so speak now or forever hold your peace!

Click on the photo below to find out how you can have your voice heard.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Punk Rock, High Tech Yard Sale

We're selling off some of our collection of records, flyers and other stuff this week and next week on Ebay. We'll keep adding things as the week goes by. Some of the items are quite rare and others are things we just need to part with, trying to reduce the clutter in our home and our lives. Check it out, you might see something you'd like! Alice and Greg's Punk Rock Yard Sale!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Women In L.A. Punk - Part XV - Lisa Fancher

I know, I know, I'm late on updating my website and I got behind on keeping up my series of interviews with women in the early L.A. punk scene. But we're finally getting our lives back to "normal" after our move and now we can get back to the fun stuff!

I am happy to announce that we have a new interview posted today with Lisa Fancher. For those of you who don't know, Lisa was one of the first females involved on the business side of the indie record business. She got her start at Bomp, which was one of the first stores to carry punk music. Through her label, Frontier Records, Lisa was responsible for helping establish and distribute globally what became the blueprint for the So-Cal Hardcore sound. It would be hard to overestimate her importance to the modern punk scene.

Click on the Women In Punk thumbnail to read her interview.

Monday, September 05, 2005

While I Was Looking The Other Way

During the past few weeks I’ve spent so much time focusing on my band projects and my family's needs, (back-to-school for my daughters, job interviews for my husband) that I've largely ignored what's been going on in the news. My attention was grabbed by the recent, devastating hurricane and the horrifying aftermath. I was so upset by what I saw as the grossly inadequate response by the federal government to this major disaster that I felt compelled to act.

There's no question in my mind that the way President Bush reacted (or didn't react, until after the bad press started to take its toll on his public approval rating) is a direct reflection of his administration's complete disregard for the disenfranchised Americans: people of color, the poor...and add women to that list.

It took several days for the President to marshal the resources so desperately needed to save lives in Louisiana and Mississippi, but it took him only a few hours to nominate the conservative John Roberts to succeed William Rehnquist as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Again, Bush's actions are a direct reflection of his priorities: he is determined to overturn Roe v. Wade before the end of his term.

Why is it murder when a woman decides to terminate an unwanted pregnancy? And if the President knowingly refuses to spend the money on upgrading the New Orleans levees - which all reports indicated would be necessary to save lives in the event of a category 4 hurricane - and thousands of people die as a result, is that not murder?

The latest outrage: this morning, CNN reported that Kellogg, Brown and Root (a subsidiary of Halliburton) has been awarded the contract to rebuild the military facilities in the hurricane devastated areas. Again, no time is wasted where corporate greed and religious ideology are involved. But when it comes to saving the lives of what are largely poor, black Americans, I have to agree with Kanye West who had the guts to say on live t.v. what so many of us feel in our hearts: "President Bush doesn't care about black people."

It's so easy to get distracted by what's going on in our everyday lives, by our own worries and concerns, that we lose sight of the big picture, and that's what the powers that be count on. While we are all focused on the hurricane rescue efforts, the Senate Republicans and the Bush administration are seizing the opportunity to push through a massive break for the wealthiest, the repeal of the estate tax. While CNN runs tributes to the late Justice Rehnquist, no one is paying attention to the larger implications of a President who openly opposes a woman's right to choose stacking the Supreme Court with his appointees. While Fox News runs human interest stories about daring rescues in New Orleans, the Pentagon awards another multi-billion dollar contract to Dick Cheney's cronies. It's important to stay informed and the mass media often delivers kernels of truth within larger stories, but mass media more often serves to distract us rather than keep us informed. It's also natural to want to shut down when we're seeing unpleasant images or facing difficult choices. It's so much easier to focus on my daily life and let others worry about the big picture.

I've always believed that truth is compelling. The question is, how much more do we need to see before we decide to act? Let's get that greedy, murderous S.O.B. out of office now! Let's hope there's still someone down in New Orleans who can speed his retirement.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Thank You - A Night To Remember

Castration Squad reunited for the first time in 25 years last night and it was quite an evening. Thank you to Lisafer for sitting in on drums. Thanks also to Tracy, Tiffany and of course, Dinah for making it happen. Major thanks go out to Joseph Brooks, who organized and promoted the show and gave us the push we needed. Last but not least, thanks to Billy at Sound Arena rehearsal studios in Hollywood for being so flexible with us. He worked around our schedules, which, unlike most rock bands, include full-time jobs, child care and spouses to consider. He made it easy for us to squeeze in the few rehearsals we actually managed to have before the show! Just like the old Castration Squad, we did it on a wing and a prayer.

Tracy and Mary Bat-Thing. Photo by Greg & Kim McWhorter.

And thanks to all of the punk fans who bought merch at our table before and after the show, we were able to raise hundreds of dollars for the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund.

I'd been putting off a visit to the dentist up until this show, knowing what was in store for me. The pain in my mouth had gone from annoying to excruciating and finally became unbearable. I had a fractured molar, all the way down to the root! Oh, and a little abscess too. I got it all cut out this afternoon and now I have a nice, bloody gap when I smile real wide...just in time for the "old-timers" photo shoot tomorrow.