Last month it was with a heavy heart and mournful smile that we celebrated the life of Joey Ramone, ten years after his tragic death. After battling cancer for seven years, on the 15th April 2001, the music world lost one of its true greats and true gents. Underappreciated and undervalued, The Ramones were and still are one of the greatest punk bands of all time and without Joey’s unique voice, this is an accolade that they would never have achieved.
He was a remarkable man who suffered from severe OCD in his lifetime, but it never stopped his singing or stifled his amazing talent. Unfortunately Joey had already passed when the music world finally caught up and recognised The Ramones as some of the greatest musicians of all time, a feat that was highlighted by their 2002 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
The punk world has never been the same since Joey’s death and just as we were getting over mourning that sad day for the tenth year in a row, we were slammed on our backsides once again, as the big man in the sky decided to take yet another punk legend from us. On the 25th April 2011, X-Rey Spex lead singer Poly Styrene died of the same evil disease that took our Joey; cancer.
A living legend in her own right, Poly Styrene or Marian Joan Elliot-Said as she was born, decided to become a singer after seeing a Sex Pistols gig and from then on she never looked back. She founded the band X-Ray Spex and whilst their career may have been short lived (they only released one album), they still remain one of punk’s most influential bands.
Marian went on to carve out a solo career for herself, after the demise of X-Ray Spex and fortunately her latest work, ‘Generation Indigo” managed to get finished and reach our ears before her untimely death. She will be remembered as a remarkable woman, who stood up for her beliefs and inspired a whole generation of woman to do what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted. Goodbye Miss Styrene, I hope there’s enough bondage for you in the sky.
So there we have it yet another legend has fallen and yet another giant hole has appeared in the punk world. May they both rest in peace and cause as much havoc up there as they did down here.