Old School Music

dealing with punk rock, speed/thrash and other music styles of the 80ies and beyond, a webpage connected to Red, Black & Green

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rubella Ballet, vous connaissez?

Interview avec Zillah Minx, part 1 I've got a bunch of questions about RB and the documentary, I will print that and/or put it on my blog...1) Does "She's A Punk Rocker" documentary include people like Penelope Houston ( the Avengers), Lydia Lunch or Sharon Cheslow ( Chalk Circle, from Washington D.C.) for example? No, This film is called. “She’s a Punk Rocker U.K” This is because there is so many women I interviewed in UK and this documentary is about the women punks who experienced Punk whilst living in U.K. I decided during the making of my documentary to make Part 2 She’s a Punk Rocker Europe & U.S.A so that I can tell that story as a continuation of part 1. Also it is because there are a lot of European & American Punk women who have an important aspect of punk herstory to tell so I have already started to interview relevant women during my travels. I went to Los Angeles to make a start so far I have interviewed, Hellin killer, Keira, black flag, Monica Richards, Dinah Cancer 45 Grave and many more. I also have friends making contacts with American female punks on my behalf to interview for part 2. 2) Did you watch Don Letts' "Punk Attitude"? Your opinion about it? Yes I like it Donn Letts has a lot of his own great original punk footage & makes interesting documentaries using original 1976/77-film footage of punks. This gives his documentary authenticity as it shows punks at the time. But everyone has seen that archive footage now. I used my own punk archive & film footage I also used women interviewed own personal archives including film & photo footage. I wanted to tell the story of punk from our point of view from the women actually at the birth of punk creating the culture. Don is watching & filming punk at the time, which is really interesting and visually stunning as early punk style is so individual. In my film I am describing the experience of being a punk women, there at the time creating it all the fashion, politics, music etc. 3) Could you present Rubella Ballet for people who don't know about this? And (UK) anarcho punk scene & creeds? Rubella Ballet 1979 to present. New album to be released 2013,Planet Punk on Vinyl & CD along with a lyric book. At a Crass gig in early 1979 I met Sid eventually we formed Rubella Ballet. Sid became homeless & was invited to live at Poison Girls commune housing association house in Epping close to Crass. Poison Girls had a room in the house with musical equipment they used as a rehearsal room. Vi Subversa lead vocalist of Poison Girls is the mother of Pete Fender & Gem stone who had just released a record as Fatal Microbes with Honey bane. When Sid moved into the house Honey Bane was pursuing a solo career so Pete Fender & Gem Stone no longer had a band. After lots of jams in the rehearsal room, unorganised gigs and various line ups of musicians and vocalists, Annie Anxiety was also a vocalist. The band settled as Sid drums, Zillah Minx vox, Pete Fender guitar & Gem stone bass. Our first gig was unorganised with Crass and Poison Girls at Conway hall. Suddenly there was lots of punks all starting to form bands of their own, Many of the bands got together as friends to organise gigs of our own in old empty churches, community centres anywhere we could play we organised gigs & played gigs of our own. Bands like ourselves were forming and reforming with each other we played with Conflict, Epileptics, Flux of Pink Indians, Dirt, Hagar the Womb, Youth In Asia,Omega Tribe. Also Anarchy goth gigs with Uk decay, Southern Death Cult, Sex Gang Children, Specimen, Ausgang, Blood & Roses and many more. We were just punk friends being creative and forming bands lending each other equipment. When we wanted to play gigs we played a lot of squat venues & booked and promoted our own spaces. We would make our own posters, or flyers. Lots of people would turn up at gigs with their own home made photo copied fanzine. Fanzines were really good at introducing new bands to the punk scene as they would interview and review new and often local bands. Fanzine writers also travelled to gigs all over the country so would often find great new bands in far away parts of the U.K. We formed bands for the fun of it, there was no thought of money, bands rarely ever got paid. Most gigs we played were benefits for The Miners, anti Aparthied, no nukes, CND, ALF, single parents, homeless people, unemployed, anti war, Greenham Common women, Greenpeace etc. The Anarchy scene was another part of the punk scene so a lot of the bands on the Anarchy scene also played with what were now well established punk bands such as The UK Subs, The Damned. Rubella Ballet formed in 1979 by Sid Ation, Zillah Minx, Pete Fender & sister Gem Stone (Fatal Microbes) came from the famous Crass gig at Conway Hall where Crass invited the audience to use their equipment and finish off the evening doing their own thing as they wanted and left the crowd in charge, so Sid got up on Penny’s drum kit, Zillah grabbed Steve’s mic, Pete & Gem taking the bass and guitar, it probably sounded rough but it was the start of a very colourful part of what was and is the British anarcho punk scene. Sid was also asked by Colin to play drums for the Epileptics who then recorded on Crass records as Flux of pink Indians. Sid is the drummer for Flux of Pink Indians and played on the single Tube Disaster and writing the music for the b-side Sick Butchers and Background to malfunction. He left to play fulltime for Rubella Ballet much to the dismay of many people. Sid and Zillah synonymous for the shock value of wearing home made ultraviolet hand painted day-glo clothes along with their multi coloured day-glo Mohican hair cuts through the east end of London's, dark, violent, poor, ghettoized, shithole, (a direct result of Thatcher’s Government) everywhere they went people smiled and laughed at them instead of hurling abuse or wanting to beat them up or kill them for being different. Rubella ballet is well known for their psychedelic stage show and the use of nothing more than a UV lights, strobes and a bit of smoke to illuminate the band, the music has the same innovative psychedelic qualities fusing punk, politics, tribal, dance and absolute weirdness into a myriad of music styles. Rubella Ballet fronted and managed by Zillah Minx has, with all her friends around the world created a whole Day-glo Death Rock punk scene. Rb Further history http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/rubella-ballet-xntrix-records-1982-3/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rubella-Ballet/138491775101?fref=ts Rubella ballet video Money Talks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyiIJ3UrVQk&feature=share%27%2C%29 Rubella Ballet False Promises. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LbA6wQ3PVA&feature=share%27%2C%29 http://www.reverbnation.com/rubellaballet FREE full length live gig 1984 @ Heaven London. https://store.payloadz.com/details/899433-movies-and-videos-music-video-freak-box.html 4) What made you decide to achieve this documentary about women involved in punk realm(s)? Do you know that George Hurchalla ( "Going Underground") wanted to write a book dealing with this topic? Zillah Minx Director I was born in Birkenhead my family moved to East London when I was four. I became a punk in 1976 when I was fifteen, before the Sex Pistols went on TV and everyone knew what a punk was! This means individually I was part of a group of people who started to design and make their own clothes, design hairstyles and make up, create new tattoo designs, graphic design, piercing, politics against racism, sexism, animal abuse, etc to become what was later known as punk subculture. I became the lead singer for punk band Rubella Ballet in 1979. This has meant I have been able to film my own archive of punk as I lived it along with all my punk friends. I have also spent the last fifteen years interviewing punks in the punk scene as I play gigs with them or just know them from being a punk for so long. I made this film because there was a need for a Documentary about punk women from within the scene to tell the real history of punk, not someone outside the culture promoting their theories. I wanted to make a documentary about what it means to be punk. I decided that as I had been a punk since 1976 and had been in a band for so long that I knew so many punks I would be able to do the story justice. I wanted to tell the story of punk from our point of view and I wanted to tell the original story of how we created punk, not Malcolm Mc Claren. 5) Are there women not only having/sharing artistic duties (i mean playing in a band) but also handling record labels, gig promoters, fanzine or magazine editors, radio broadcasters (all this within punk realm, i don't talk about mainstream music), and in charge since 1976-77? Yes there are women in my documentary who are Teachers, managers, writers, journalists, photographers, Mothers,. Some are in or have previously been in a band but all are original punks. List of women interviewed in She’s A Punk Rocker U.K Poly Styrene: Lead vocalist, X-ray Spex. Gee Vaucher: Art Work, Crass ( Graphic designer) Eve Libertine: Vocals, Crass Gay Advert: Bass Player, The Adverts. ( Local Authority Manager) Helen Of Troy: Actress and Vocalist, FU2 Julie Burchill. Journalist. Author. Vi Subversa: Lead Vocalist & guitarist, Poison Girls. Lulu Moon: Lead Vocalist, Evil I ( Manager) Caroline Coon: Journalist/Artist Photographer, Clash Manager. Zillah Minx: Lead Vocalist, Rubella Ballet , Film Director ( Charity Manager) Michelle: Lead Vocalist, Brigandage Justine: Violinist, Grechen Hoffner, (Music Teacher) Olga Orbit: Keyboards, Youth in Asia ( Teacher) Nettie Baker: Journalist / Poet, Author Ruth & Janet: Vocalist & Guitarist, Hagar The Womb Rachel Minx: Bass player, Rubella Ballet ( Health Authority Manager) Kara: Child ballet dancer, Rubella ballet (Nurse) Mary: Bodyguard to Poly-Styrene When it came to me explaining to people what my film was about and trying to sell the idea to venues to play it. They wanted to know who was in the film to advertise it? The best way to draw attention to the film was by using the names of the well known punks such as Poly Styrene who was in a well known band X-ray Spex. Even though I did this my main objective was to show original punk women who had experience and history within the culture, So I also used women who where not in known bands but where original punks such as Mary who was friends with Poly and they hung out together with the Sex Pistols. Mary later becomes a bodyguard to Poly at Ray Spex gigs. Caroline Coon – author of the book 1988 the New Wave, Punk Rock Explosion. Artist, journalist, photographer founder of charity Release,– became a journalist for Melody Maker & hung out with the Sex Pistols, Slits, Clash and all the British Punk bands of 1976. A Women who knew about and was part of punk herstory and wrote about punk before any other journalist.

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