I didn’t grow up listening to punk. I guess that they were punk rock enthusiasts in Birmingham, Alabama but I didn’t know them. For some reason, I didn’t hear about The Slits until I heard their cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It through the Grapevine”. Then I promptly bought and immediately fell in love with their album, “Cut“. Last weekend, I bought Typical Girls, a book about The Slits, and I am in love with it too. Author Zoe Street Howe chronicles the squatter beginnings to the fame of this all girl punk band who were proto feminists, proto-Madonna, proto-riot grrl. I didn’t do Women’s Studies in college, but the story of The Slits is one to study.
I especially like this quote which was their ethos:
The Slits weren’t’ particularly interested in Women’s Lib, and their approach was ultimately more successful and less eroding on themselves: don’t get angry, don’t think about chauvinists, get on with what you want to do and as long as you don’t think they have any power over you, they won’t.