Another deleted scene from Violence Girl. Enjoy!
It seems like the whole time I was growing up, the world was teaching me the role of women. From the first time I saw my mother cowering at my father’s feet to the current state of insidious inequality, I’ve been confronted with the message that females are somehow weaker, less capable than men. I began questioning the validity of these messages early on, inspired by the women around me. My mother, my sisters, my friends, aunts and cousins - each one constantly refining the definitions of femininity, androgyny and the true nature of equality in small ways through their daily routines. Sometimes these women discarded antiquated cliches of lady-like behavior in favor an assertive, can-do attitude. At other times they tried to squeeze themselves into someone else’s idea of womanhood. Either way, they helped me figure out that the tidy stereotype that was labeled “femininity” had to stretch to catch up with an evolving female consciousness.
My mother had found herself by stepping up to help my father in the male-dominated construction business; my girlfriends were pushing the boundaries too. The L.A. punk scene was densely populated by female musicians, artists, writers, photographers, roadies and more. These were the modern suffragettes in my life who, without banners or demonstrations, quietly led by example. Not that I oppose banners and demonstrations; I’ve participated in my share of marches, but it was the tiny changes that the women around me made in their personal lives
that spoke the loudest.
Patricia and I learned early on from auditioning male musicians that every one of them thought they were the next Jimi Hendrix or another Keith Moon. While most of the women we auditioned apologized in advance for not being very good, all the males wielded their axes with a bravado that seemed like second nature to them. Even the lamest male guitarist would talk up his skills, acting cocky and confident while the women underplayed their experience. After a bit of this, Patricia and I learned to adapt. We figured that when people wrote reviews about the band, they mentioned the two of us more often than they mentioned the guys. This gave us confidence and after awhile, we learned to do away with the modesty. It felt great to be able to say, “I’m a musician” without feeling the need to tack on an apology.
Changing the way we spoke about ourselves as musicians and artists was like tossing tiny pebbles into a sea of conformity, making ripples, making waves, bringing about change that starts from within and spills out into the lives of those around us. The words were so powerful that the more often we said them, the truer they became. Now, when we stepped on the stage we weren’t asking for approval, we were flaunting our talent.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Five Star Amazon review of Violence Girl!
"Read this book, it will open your eyes."
"This is an autobiography unlike any other..not selectively choosing only the flattering memories to tell the reader, but rather openly, willingly, painfully at times & with great humility Alice's recollections are conveyed. As a woman who was part of the same music scene a few years already into her genesis as a frontwoman for the Bags, I am humbled to have shared the intimate details of just how this woman put HERSELF up front. There is a constant thread throughout this book...it is one of hopefulness & truth. The lessons in futility become the fuel for this formidable female who realized her value emanated from within not from the external view..there is great beauty in this book, even within the violent times painful as they must have been. This is a story for everyone..about growing up, rising up, surviving, finding your voice & healing your heart through your own actions. Inspiring, interesting, funny & powerful define this book....these same traits describe the Author. Get this, share it with your daughters. Empowering." - Nancy Sheets, 10/2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Music video trailer for Violence Girl, From East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage - A Chicana Punk Story by Alice Bag. Published by Feral House. This video features elements, themes and images from Alice Bag's memoir
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Geza X joins the Bags and Joe Nanini parades down Hollywood Blvd wearing nothing but a jockstrap and a shopping bag. Read excerpts from my soon to be released book, Violence Girl here.
Order your advance copy at a great discounted price here:
PRE-ORDER VIOLENCE GIRL
Saturday, August 6, 2011
"Musically in keeping with the fundamentalist pick-up-guitar-and-go punk aesthetic, the Bags frequently trumped "melody" with raw, enraged emotion, speed and overall sound, more hallmarks of hardcore speed thrash; hence they anticipated and set the tone for hardcore extremis to follow." - Brendan Mullen, an excerpt from On Surviving the Manimal and the Origins of US Hardcore.Here we have a bootleg recording of the Bags playing live in 1978, circulated for years by tape traders despite the nearly unlistenable sound quality. Intro, instrumental and Violence Girl. We've tried to clean it up as much as we could and present it here for your enjoyment.
Bags Intro and Violence Girl Live by alicebag
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
An excerpt from Violence Girl - scheduled to be released in Fall 2011 on Feral House. Enjoy...
The Dilaudid tablets simmered and dissolved into a couple drops of water in the spoon. The flame had to be moved around under it to distribute the heat evenly. Sheila and Shannon watched hungrily, like ravenous vampires waiting to feed. I had never seen the process so I was curious, but I wasn’t a fan of needles and wondered why anyone would want to stick something in a syringe and poke themselves when they could just as easily swallow a little tablet. The girls tied off their arms, filled the syringe and, pausing only to wipe the needle with another ball of cotton, shared the mixture.
“Do you want some, Alice?” asked Shannon in her deep Garbo voice. She seemed to be having an orgasm; her head rolled back, eyes semi-closed. She reclined on the toilet seat and let the wall hold her up. Sheila sat on the edge of the bathtub. She smiled like a satisfied cat, her head tilted downward, looking up at me with seductive eyes:
“Try it Alice. It’s sooooo gooood.”
“No thanks,” I said, offering a pained smile. “More for you, right?”
Sheila finished off the contents of the syringe. “Riiiight,” she purred.
I have to admit that I was afraid of intravenous drugs. It was a time before we knew about HIV/AIDS, but images of Diana Ross as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues came to mind. I remembered the feeling of disgust when I’d seen the part of the movie where she’s fixing heroin, and I thought, So much talent… what a waste.I guess I imagined that because my choice of drug was legal, it must be less destructive. I took a sip from the can of Dr Pepper that I had spiked with rum and walked out of the bathroom, leaving my two friends together with their new lover.
Dilaudid and Percodan were the new heartthrobs in town, seducing many of my friends. The stray Quaalude still found its way into the Canterbury from time to time, but, like last month’s boyfriend, nobody else was that interested so I sometimes got them. I didn’t mind taking an occasional pill or tablet. I never paid for drugs — booze, sometimes; drugs, never. I was in a band, after all, and we were playing again. Fans offered me drugs as gifts, but I was never a big fan of drugs. I had been a sickly kid and had hated swallowing medicine or getting shots at the doctor’s office. It was also easier to drink than to go through the whole circus of buying drugs. The clubs gave band members drink tickets or drink tabs, and the Whisky had a punk soft-drink menu designed for the teens who usually made up the bulk of our audiences. The punk menu included a drink named after me. The bartenders there always comped me the pineapple juice and lime concoction whether I was playing or not, adding a splash of rum to create what they called the Real Alice Bag cocktail. And if my favorite bartenders (who served up the Real Alice Bag) weren’t working, I could usually convince someone to buy me a pint of rum at the liquor store across the street.
I was underage, so I still had to talk someone into actually buying the stuff. I had once tried to buy a pint of Bacardi Light at the liquor store nearest the Whisky, a place next door to a club called Filthy McNasty’s. When I asked for the bottle, a young man working at the register looked me over before grabbing the bottle and putting it on the counter. He was about to ring me up when an older man walked up behind him. “She’s not 21.” His eyes bore into me, and as he denounced me I felt myself getting jittery. “What year were you born?”
No mister, please don’t make me do math! I thought to myself. I wanted to add two years to my age, so I quickly added two years to my real birth year. “1960,” I replied. The man laughed.
“Go back to high school, kid,” he said, picking up the bottle and putting it back on the shelf. I stared at him, feeling stupid. “Go take some math classes!” he cackled. I don’t think I ever lied about my age again after that, not because I was opposed to being dishonest, it was just too difficult to keep the numbers straight.
An excerpt from Violence Girl – a book by Alice Bag, to be published Fall 2011 on Feral House. Copyright 2010, Alice Bag. All rights reserved – excerpt provided for promotional/editorial purposes only and may not be reproduced in print without the express written consent of the author