Thursday, June 07, 2007

Women In L.A. Punk - Part XXIV - Penelope Houston

Penelope Houston has remained active in music for over 30 years now. Without a doubt, Penelope is one of the most respected performers to come out of the early West Coast punk rock scene and is considered an icon and role model by many. I can't recall when I first saw her with the Avengers, but I do recall being struck by her cool, tough girl image, so neatly captured in the Bev Davies photo of her and Brad Kent.

Photo of Penelope Houston and Brad Kent (Avengers),
Vancouver 1979 by Bev Davies.

She had extremely short, blond hair, almost boyish, which contrasted with her pretty features. Back in 1977 and early 1978, she and her San Francisco based band were favorites with the L.A. punks, who adopted Penelope as an honorary Los Angeleno. To make matters more confusing, the Avengers recorded a classic single (We Are The One b/w Car Crash & I Believe In Me) on L.A. based Dangerhouse Records. According to the Wikipedia entry on Penelope, she was born in L.A., so that should settle any argument that she doesn't belong in this section!

The Avengers were always warm towards the Hollywood punks. Penelope was a gracious hostess and allowed me and Nickey Beat to use her place as a crash pad when we visited San Francisco. I had a chance to reconnect with her a few years ago when she played with the Avengers in L.A. Penelope still performs with strength and conviction and her shows are definitely worth checking out. And so without further ado, Ms. Penelope Houston.


godoggo said...

I love the Avengers.

"I was born is such foolish times, my guilt was guaranteed."

OK, I'm gonna skulk away now.

Adam Greenfield said...

Penelope's still all that and two bags of chips! She's unfailingly accessible and of my many punk-rock-era heroes who have turned out to be just as insipiring IRL as they were up on stage.

Thanks for this series, Alice. It stokes me to no end. Great to see you blogging, too.