Alice Bag Reading And Performance - La Luz De Jesus Gallery - October 15, 2011
But Armendariz has another story to tell, and her new book Violence Girl- East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage- A Chicana Punk Story (Feral House), compiles her recollections from throughout her life. It's a bold and engaging memoir that offers not only a glimpse into Los Angeles' early hardcore scene, but also tells a tale of growing up in a close-knit Latino family in East L.A. in the '60s and '70s.
At her Saturday book signing party at La De Jesus Gallery at Soap Plant/Wacko, Bag offered both, reading excerpts from the book and performing songs reflecting them.
Accompanied by Lisa Flores and Lee Joseph, Bag started off with a ranchera classic, "Monedita de Oro," and told a childhood tale about using Barbie dolls to do "coochie-coochie" to herself, "down there."
Then she read about a legendary Orpheum punk show where The Germs, The Zeros and The Weirdos took the stage for the first time. (Her boyfriend at the time, Nickey Beat, was The Weirdos' drummer.) She followed that up with a classic Bags tune, "Babylonian Gorgon." A bit about the formation of The Bags was followed by a wild ditty from one of her post-Bags projects (with famed performance artist Vaginal Creme Davis) called Cholita. The song: "Beans Are Not Enough," inspired a sing-along.
Clearly, Bag's influence on new punkettes endures. Decline is pretty much standard viewing for disenfranchised youth and Penelope Spheeris' choice to spotlight Bag and Exene Cervenka surely encouraged future generations of girl punks to give music a go. It also set the stage for the scene's biggest band -- The Go-Go's -- to break through. (Belinda Carlisle, in fact, makes an appearance in Violence Girl.)