We are very saddened by the sudden death of Ari Up at the age of 48 (apparently from cancer). At 14, she formed the Slits, an all girl punk band that shook up the boys club of late 70’s England, and she continued to make music and fans with her kooky looks and her punky reggae style up until the very end. She influenced pretty much any and all that came after her and our sympathies go out to her family and friends.
Here’s a quote by Everett True that pretty much sums up the impact the Slits and Ari had on him (and probably many others) in 1979 when the album Cut came out:
“The Slits scared me, frankly. They were only about 16, for Chrissake! (Even younger than me.) Their singer, Ari Up, wore her underwear unerotically, yet very disturbingly, on the outside of her clothes. They couldn’t give a fuck about other people’s opinions. On the cover of their debut album, they covered themselves in mud, naked – London nature girls having a riot. That much was clear even to a politically corrected boy such as myself. Did the cover influence my decision to buy the record? No way. The cover of “Cut” may have been many things – provocative and smart not the least among them – but it certainly wasn’t sexy. Again, the girls had managed to subvert conventional sexual imagery through sheer cheek.”
To read more of Everetts writing go here
Obit from the Guardian
Check out this crazy video made last year in NYC by Revel in New York