Viv Albertine

British guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Her new memoir is “Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys.”

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Viv Albertine. Born Sydney, Australia. French/Corsican father, Swiss mother. Brought up in North London (Muswell Hill). Quite poor. Comprehensive school. Favourite subjects, buying records; clothes, boys, art, English. Age17 went to art school. Dropped out and worked at Dingwalls, music venue Camden Town. Went to another art school met Mick Jones, saw The Sex Pistols first show. Bought Horses, Patti Smith. Dropped out. Bought Les Paul Junior with £200 my grandmother left me. Formed a band with Sid Vicious, Sarah and Palmolive called The Flowers of Romance (named by John Lydon). Started to learn to play guitar. Taught by Keith Levene who I have known since we were kids. He taught me that any sounds can go together, he really developed my ear and loads of other stuff. Johnny Thunders taught me how to do screamers (his name) and Joe Strummer, to tap my foot and play at the same time. I didn't have sex with any of them. Saw The Slits play their first show, called them the next day. We got together I back-combed their hair like The New York Dolls. We looked like a band. After The Slits I went to film school. Didn't drop out. Directed stuff for about ten years. Made some money not art. Now making sculpture and writing / recording / performing my own songs.

Viv Albertine on KCRW

The all-female (or mostly female) British punk band The Slits formed in London in the late 1970s.

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The all-female (or mostly female) British punk band The Slits formed in London in the late 1970s.

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