Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Women In L.A. Punk, Part XX - Tracy Lea



Tanya Hearst's violent death scene from Desperate Teenage Lovedolls, as performed by Tracy Lea.

I first met Tracy Lea while I was playing with Castration Squad back in the early 1980’s. Shannon Wilhelm introduced us. I remember being impressed by her beauty and youth. She had shorn her hair into an extreme “boy-cut” that contrasted nicely with her sweet looks. Around this same time, she was also playing rhythm guitar with the band Redd Kross and you can hear her riffage on the garage/bubblegum/punk classic “Born Innocent.” Tracy was one of those people who brought fun and enthusiasm to a project. She had and still has a great and rather dark sense of humor.

In 1984, Tracy was immortalized on Super 8 film by Dave Markey in the star-making role of gang leader Tanya Hearst in Desperate Teenage Lovedolls, which is now available on DVD from We Got Power Films.

I recently had the pleasure of playing with her again in preparation for the Castration Squad reunion last year. I discovered a new side of Tracy. I had no idea that Tracy had developed into a talented songwriter and had also written and produced her own short film based on the Castration Squad song, “Piece of Me.”

Her riffs are cool, her lyrics are clever and she’s one tough bitch. I give you Miss Tracy Lea-Marshak-Nash.

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


6 comments:

Paul Listro said...

Finally a great woman gets to put her two cents in. I know Tracy in her current life as a screenwriter and kick ass mom. (no, she doesn't beat the child, I just mean to say she's a good mother) I've always reveled in her tales of the early LA punk days (which I, sadly, showed up too late and too old to enjoy along with her) and in her endless knowlege of the music of the day. She makes me feel like I spent my youth scratching myself under a rock. Actually, I did. Loved reading all of this and love her too. Especially thrilled by the pics. She's still a gorgeous bitch!
Paul Listro - Troglodyte

Mr. E said...

Ah Tracy Lea - punk rock's supermodel terrorist teen dream gone wild. Great interview - really brings back the excitement and energy. I'm going to put on some Jayne County right now and turn it up LOUD!

jenn said...

I lived in a small town in Nebraska during the time Tracy was tearing it up on Guitar. My wild and crazy nights simply involved a keg at the river. If there was time travel I would love to go back and hang with Tracy (an absolute fave friend of mine) and hear her rock the house. I love that these interviews are here and we get a peek into these women's lives, times, and words.

Chuck H. said...

I knew Tracy Lea after the glory days, ripping down the boulevard in the road rocket like Audrey Hepburn driving with a James Dean death wish, scattering pedestrians like nine-pins, if there had been any on Pico. I had played Raji's/Wongs/China club but never like her in a band that mattered. I was new, she was/is great and when we meet again I want to play Rebel-Rebel and dance the Watusi.....Chuck H. Minneapolis.....

Anonymous said...

I never knew Tracy, or any of the women who you've interviewed, but I find their stories very interesting. Thank you for being a feminist punk historian.

jldoliner said...

I met Tracy when we were both 15 years old, in early 1979, outside the first Clash concert at the Santa Monica Civic. I had seen her many times around the Whiskey and the Masque with her short black hair and blue Dodgers jacket. She mistakenly thought that I was after her boyfriend - she loudly threatened to "kick my ass" and I quickly scrambled to explain that I wasn't after her man. We became fast friends and shared a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps (or was it Southern Comfort?). We waited behind the Civic for the Clash to come for the sound check and she she watched me make a fool out of myself, fawning over Mick Jones....we've been friends ever since. I feel lucky to know someone as talented, brilliant, and beautiful as Tracy and I was so happy to see her interview on this blog!