Friday, October 22, 2010


Just minutes ago, I opened an email from my friend Mikel, who I've known since our fanzine days back in the early punk scene. Reading the email, my heart sunk. It was just a forwarded press release, saying that Ari Up, lead singer of the Slits, had passed away at the age of 48:

"Ari Up (born Ariane Forester), the German-born lead vocalist for seminal British punk band The Slits has died at the age of 48 after a long battle with illness. Her immediate family has asked for privacy at this time and no public service is planned. She is survived by three sons, her mother Nora, and stepfather Johnny Lydon (also known as Johnny Rotten)."

Video of "Lazy Slam", just released today

Regulars here (all four of you) will know that know that she held a special place in the Trastos heart (uh, punk crush #17). I wrote about her a little over a year ago, when the revamped Slits had just released a new album, their first in years (that post can be found here). A certain amount of innocent exuberance has been lost, but photos of that smile will be be around to remind us of the joy inherent in following one's own path. And something tells me that she's not one to rest in peace, more like run amok in peace.

The Slits - Ask Ma mp3 at Limewire
The Slits - Live set from the Primavera Sound Festival (2010) at the Free Music Archive (Once there, click on arrow to the right to download)
The Slits - The World of Grown-Ups (live 2008) mp3 at Pitchfork
The Slits - I Heard It Through the Grapevine mp3 at One Sweet Song
Ari Up's bio, in her own words at Pitchfork
The Slits at MySpace

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