Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story

The proximity of the East L.A barrio to Hollywood is as close as a short drive on the 101 freeway, but the cultural divide is enormous Born to Mexican born and American naturalized parents, Alicia Armendariz migrated a few miles west to participate in the free range birth of the 1970s punk movement Alicia adopted the punk name Alice Bag, and became lead singer for The BThe proximity of the East L.A barrio to Hollywood is as close as a short drive on the 101 freeway, but the cultural divide is enormous Born to Mexican born and American naturalized parents, Alicia Armendariz migrated a few miles west to participate in the free range birth of the 1970s punk movement Alicia adopted the punk name Alice Bag, and became lead singer for The Bags, early punk visionaries who starred in Penelope Spheeris documentary The Decline of Western Civilization.Here is a life of many crossed boundaries, from East L.A s musica ranchera to Hollywood s punk rock from a violent male dominated family to female dominated transgressive rock bands Alice s feminist sympathies can be understood by the name of her satiric all girl early Goth band Castration Squad.Violence Girl takes us from a violent upbringing to an aggressive punk sensibility this time a difficult coming of age memoir culminates with a satisfying conclusion, complete with a happy marriage and children Nearly a hundred excellent photographs energize the text in remarkable ways.Alice Bag s work and influence can be seen this year in the traveling Smithsonian exhibition American Sabor Latinos in U.S Popular Music.
Violence Girl East L A Rage to Hollywood Stage a Chicana Punk Story The proximity of the East L A barrio to Hollywood is as close as a short drive on the freeway but the cultural divide is enormous Born to Mexican born and American naturalized parents Alicia Arm

  • Title: Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story
  • Author: Alice Bag
  • ISBN: 9781936239122
  • Page: 302
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story”

    1. With Violence Girl, I'm completely biased: Alice Bag is my hero. I will say that this book is written with nothing but heart. Each entry is like a short blog (one to two pages), and each chapter builds to show a transformation from Alice Bag's abusive childhood to Punk Rock Queen to educator. A lot of ground is covered very quickly, and that would be my only criticism. But even so, every important part of Alice's life is there for readers to observe and take whatever they want from it. Alice is [...]

    2. The title of this book might give you the wrong impression. Yes, it is a memoir of a violent girlhood in a tough environment, but it's also deeply generous and humanistic and political. it's the story of a transition from raging and fighting and struggling to building up others and helping them to grow. I read Alice Bag's other book as a serial on her blog and was moved by the way she created a politics based on love of children and caring for them. Then, I got to see her perform and to meet her [...]

    3. Violence Girl. Run out and buy, steal or get it at your local library! I just finished this powerful book, it kick-starts my summer reading fodder off on the right foot! Alice tells us the no holds barred story of her life, from her upbringing in an East L.A. barrio, thru the Hollywood Punk ranks, and is a glam refugee as am I. The story of her life is an open book for all! Pun intended! I was amazed at just how in touch she was, and is with herself, and her life story that is far, far from over [...]

    4. Alice Bag wrote her memoir Violence Girl as a series of blog posts. She doesn't consider herself a writer. In that sense, this is a DIY punk book!Growing up in the 80's hardcore era, The Bags were not well known to me for some reason. I don't know if their records were out of print or what but I don't remember hearing them until after Bikini Kill started. At the time, the NW was extremely isolated and there were huge gaps in my knowledge of punk history, which was not yet well documented and lar [...]

    5. Alice Bag's memoir is less about the first-wave LA punk scene that she was such an integral part of and more about family, growing up, finding yourself, and testing your limits. A discursive book written in short chapters, "Violence Girl" is a quick read, even though it's more than 300 pages long. Alice's voice shines through -- a thoughtful, confrontational, sometimes confused but rarely cowed woman, Alice goes from being an awkward, overweight teenager with an Elton John obsession and crooked [...]

    6. For about the first third of Violence Girl I was in love with this book. First of all, I am a sucker for the format of the vignette memoir. Secondly, I appreciated the conversational and qualified tone wherein Bag admits that her memory may be faulty. This is how she remembers things and that means there are holes and occasional contradictions - and that's alright. Thirdly (and most importantly), I was enamored of the story of a Chicana girl's experience in the nascent L.A. punk scene in the 197 [...]

    7. This book is a fantastic narrative history of Alice Bag. It is self penned, and starts with the beginning of her life and takes the reader through to her time in her punk band the Bags that most of us know through Decline of Western Civilization. The last chapters of the book cover aspects of her life now, and also stories of some of her post-punk/goth musical ventures that came after the Bags.Her story is one that most of us can relate to, but anyone who has spent anytime in the LA punk scene w [...]

    8. I did not set out to read this book. I walked into the library and the librarian aid was so happy to let me know they had a copy in stock of Violent Girl. I like the bands Alice Bags had played in (especially Cholita) but I am not one to read punk (or any type of music) auto biographies. But the librarian aid was acting like she saved the book just for me and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I check it out. Well after the first few (very short) chapters I was hooked! Alice did not start o [...]

    9. Being a fan of the late seventies west coast punk scene, I ordered this book based on the author's history in the Bags, a band I had only heard of in relation to other bands of the time. I have to admit that I expected this book to be similar to other punk tomes I have read: either a sloppily written oral history or a breathless tell-all about the crazy punk days. What I got was so much more. Violence Girl is a universal coming of age story of a bright young artist who is struggling to come to t [...]

    10. I love Alice Bag! She is so cool. Now that I'm done with gawking, I'll just say that I loved this book. I love that it's an autobiography. Her writing is really honest and welcoming. It's both smart and accessible. The chapters are short, so reading it is like meeting someone and getting to know all about their life through their stories and, at times, weaving their stories together to get a sense of who they are.So many punk books are written by fanboys who are trying to prove what *they* know [...]

    11. An incredible journey through the early days of the LA punk scene and the life of the incomparable Alice Bag. Alice (Alicia Armendariz) recounts her life growing up in East L.A. in a monolingual spanish home, her abusive but loving household, difficulty with the education system, and lead singer (and founder) for the seminal punk band The Bags. It's an amazing story that gives a glimpse in the early Chicano civil rights movement, feminism (and misogyny) in L.A. and punk music, and the lives of p [...]

    12. I love punk rock and a woman writing about it. I grew up in Southern California and saw a lot of these bands back in the day. I guess I would have been considered a punk 'tourist' by Alice Bag because I was younger and got into punk in the early 80's. Being from a small town north of LA there weren't many other kids interested in less mainstream music so my source for music information was Rolling Stone Magazine. They mentioned Rodney on the Roc which was hard to get since my town had bad radio [...]

    13. A great personal and momentum filled memoir spanning Alicia's early childhood years from East L.A. to the tumultuous stages of the L.A. punk scene, this book took a glaring look at an individual who never compromised or gave up on her dreams of playing music or following her deep philosophical path towards self fullfillment. A great and inspiring read for musicians and fans of music everywhere! I give it a 5 out of 5 cowbell beaters on my list!

    14. Gritty and honest look at the emerging punk scene through the lens of an East LA native and Hollywood outsider who became one of LA punk's defining voices. I could have done with less about Bag's background (it takes about 140 pages to get to band stuff) but lots of chisme about the sex and drug habits of participants in the early punk scene that I won't spoil here.

    15. It is good that this book exists. Alice Bag was one of the founders of SoCal punk. She was there from the beginning, graduating from Glitter (Bowie and Elton John) to punk at a time when there was precious little punk to speak of. So what's a punk to do? Form their own band, of course. Alice and her crew formed the Bags. One of the first punk bands on the L.A. scene. In other words, she's harder core than you (and me).But this book is about more than just punk rock. Alice grew up in East L.A. wi [...]

    16. This was fluffy until it wasn't, and the longer it went on, the more it broke my heart. I appreciated her self-awareness, the guilt she seems to have in hindsight at how much her parents gave her and how much perspective she gained by taking a break from her lifestyle to teach and visit Nicaragua. Was also glad to read how much she was shaped by domestic violence in her parents' home, as I think it would have been irresponsible to not acknowledge. It seems silly to pick up a book that looks to b [...]

    17. a really wonderful biography! Alice Bag takes you back and makes you feel like you are there, thru all the bullshit and drama, as well as the fun times. Highly recommended for anyone interested in punk rock history.

    18. A fascinating look into that period, particularly from a women's point of view. The story and the excitement and enthusiasm of Alice Bag for that time in her life is infectious which helps the book to overcome the slightly less polished writing style.

    19. Terrific memoir of the LA punk scene: youth, music, art, anger, immigration, racism, violence, feminism, philosophy, education & a most compelling & inspiring heroine

    20. I read mainly pop culture auto/biographies these days, and this is one of the few I've encountered that I would describe as thoughtful.The reader first meets Alicia Armendariz, a chubby misfit trying to escape a childhood encompassing financial poverty, domestic abuse, bullying, gangs, and racial discrimination. Black and white photos in the margins, in which she's always smiling, underscore that the truth is grey -- few people or circumstances are entirely good or bad, but usually a combination [...]

    21. This book was really great. I know very little about the LA punk scene and this was an interesting first hand account of what happened. The book is an autobiography told in snippets. It chronicles the life of a Mexican girl growing up in East L.A. as here neighbourhood deterioates around her. One of the things that catagories the early chapters of the book is the incredible domestic violence that took place between her father and mother for most of her childhood. Incidents of horrid violence are [...]

    22. A really great read. I admit that I read this because I am a big fan of the early punk scene and knew a little about the Bags. I never did see the Bags (or any of her other musical collaborations), but I certainly was interested in what she had to say. This book is much more than about Alice, the punk rock singer - it's much more about Alicia and her journey through life. There is certainly a lot about the Bags and other early LA punk bands, but it is just part of the story and mot the focal poi [...]

    23. This book, being quick, visual, and overall well written, is a great read. Alice Bag's story is entertaining, for both good and bad reasons. Reading about LA punk's very first trials from an honest, crucial female figure was almost endearing (even with all of the unfortunate elements), and despite other reviews' claims on this, the punk scene gets a heavy number of pages. One short coming of the book, though, is that the subtitle is fairly misleading. "A chicana punk story", I was expecting to r [...]

    24. I received this book through Good Reads’ First Reads program…Violence Girl is an AWESOME read! Once I started, I had a very hard time putting the book down. Violence Girl is a memoir written by Alice Bag encompassing her upbringing in East L.A. and her involvement in the early punk scene in Hollywood. Her writing style is engaging, honest, and powerful.The book explores her childhood and how ethnicity, language, religion, and violence in the home helped to shape her world view and to challen [...]

    25. My expectations for this were gauged towards the hope of something special because that time and place was very special, and Alicia was right smack in the middle of it all. You couldn't miss her if your own feet were on fire. She had a way about her. What I loved about her book is that the trip she takes you on doesn't end there. You start the book for your own reasons but by the close you will find yourself seeking out what is an impressive archive of memorabilia that she has kept. She could ve [...]

    26. True that I've never been a fan of the LA scene, but I do enjoy punk memoirs and personal writing so I was happy to receive this from Jesse. Oh, but it is nearly 200 pages before we even get to the punk stuff. Okay, fine, still an interesting time period, place, and all that, but, darn it, it is clear Ms. Bag is not a fine writer. What she does do well is produce snapshots of her life--the moments some omnipresent photographer would capture as the definitive scenes that make her the person she w [...]

    27. Really great background to the early LA punk scene, along with a strong history of the invaluable contributions of women and Latino folks to the emergence of punk on the West Coast. Not exceptionally well-written, but Bag makes up for the lack of writing finesse with tonnes of heart and great stories to tell. If anything, I'd like to have heard even more about the Latino background of LA punk-- she mentions all kind of people in passing who were Latino/Latina and it'd be great to piece together [...]

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