Ari Up, former vocalist for the seminal punk band The Slits, died earlier this week from a "serious illness" (later reported as cancer by the Guardian). She was only 48-years-old.
The Sex Revolts, Simon Reynolds said, "The Slits initial focus was in demystifying the means of musical production, and their earliest recordings (released belatedly as an untitled 1980 album) offer an artless, atrocious racket." That racket when on to inspire a legion of women in the 80s and beyond, especially the riot grrrl scene of the early 90s. Their most well-known album, Cut, is sited as one of punk's best, and most underrated, records. It was also one of punk's most iconic album covers showing the three members of the band naked and caked with mud. Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein in a blog post for NPR detailing The Slits' influence:
wrote in The Guardian, "The Slits found it difficult to assimilate within a conservative, male-dominated music industry. The songs became clearer, and when you listened, they were tuneful, witty and extremely sharp." Ari Up herself downplayed her band's feminist connections. In the book Cinderella's Big Score, she said, "It was more a personal thing... we wanted to female without being what female was supposed to be. We just wanted to be us."
She is survived by her three sons and her mother, Nora, who is married to the Sex Pistols' John Lydon.
Previously Unpublished Q&A With Ari Up (Spin)
(Not A) Typical Girl (Bitch Blogs)