Alice Bag interview. Doing a readings tour for her book Violence Girl atm. Another interview for any riot grrrl followers who’ve never heard of her…
She was Punk before you were Punk
Alice Bag busted up the punk-rock patriarchy in September 1977. At Hollywood’s Masque, she and three female bandmates walked onstage wearing brown paper grocery bags over their heads, with slashes for eyeholes. This was their first headlining show, and they played extremely loud. They called themselves The Bags.
Sure, other L.A. punk bands like The Alleycats and The Eyes had female bassists who occasionally sang a lick or two, but The Bags were the first with a frontwoman — and a bisexual Chicana frontwoman at that. Although the group never recorded a full studio LP — it broke up only a few years after the show — Bag herself retains a long list of admirers.
“[S]he was in one of the bands that got the whole thing started,” Henry Rollins wrote in his L.A. Weekly column last year. “She helped put a lot of females on the stage, where normally only men were allowed.”