Revenge of the She-Punks (Kobo eBook)
A dazzling survey of women in punk, from the genre’s inception in 1970s London to the current voices making waves around the globe.
As an industry insider and pioneering post-punk musician, Vivien Goldman has an unusually well-rounded perspective on music journalism. In Revenge of the She-Punks, she probes four themes—identity, money, love, and protest—to explore what makes punk such a liberating art form for women.
With her visceral style, Goldman blends interviews, history, and her personal experience as one of Britain’s first female music writers in a book that reads like a vivid documentary of a genre defined by dismantling boundaries. A discussion of the Patti Smith song “Free Money,” for example, opens with Goldman on a shopping spree with Smith. Tamar-Kali, whose name pays homage to a Hindu goddess, describes the influence of her Gullah ancestors on her music, while the late Poly Styrene's daughter reflects on why her Somali-Scots-Irish mother wrote the 1978 punk anthem “Identity,” with the refrain “Identity is the crisis you can't see.” Other strands feature artists from farther afield (including in Colombia and Indonesia) and genre-busting revolutionaries such as Grace Jones, who wasn't exclusively punk but clearly influenced the movement while absorbing its liberating audacity. From punk's Euro origins to its international reach, this is an exhilarating world tour.
“In this witty, must-read introduction to punk music, Vivien Goldman sifts through decades of firsthand encounters with feminist musicians to identify how and where these colorful she-punks have arrived—and where they might be headed.”—Tin Weymouth, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club
“Revelatory . . . [Revenge of the She-Punks] feels like an exhilarating conversation with the coolest aunt you never had, as she leaps from one passion to the next.” —Rolling Stone
“This book should restore Goldman’s place in the rock-crit firmament just as she sets out to give punk’s women their long-denied dues.” —The Guardian
“[Revenge of the She-Punks] doesn’t just retell the story of punk with an added woman or two; it centers the relationships between gender and the genre, showing how, through the right lens, the story of punk is a story about women’s ingenuity and power.” —NPR
“An engaging and politically charged exploration of women in music looking to the past, present, and future.” —Bust Magazine
“Riotously entertaining . . . A vibrant and inspiring introduction to feminist music history that invites more scholarship and music making.” —Foreword Reviews