1978 Joan Jett. Sam Knee / Mike Murphy / Cicada / mediadrumworld.com

By Liana Jacob

HOW PUNK girl bands came to rise in the 1970’s has been revealed in a new picture book that exposes the truth about the controversial music genre.

The retro photographs bring to light the true presence of women during the post-punk era in the form of London-based girl bands; Dolly Mixture, The Bodysnatchers and Mo-dettes.

1980-Modettes. Sam Knee / Neil Anderson / Cicada / mediadrumworld.com

The vintage photographs show a member of the Mo-dettes channelling a David Bowie hair-cut and makeup while strumming on her electric guitar and a young Debsey Wykes from Dolly Mixture at the Hope and Anchor in London.

The images also include iconic American punk rockers from the likes of ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll’ hit-makers, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and The Bangles.

Further pictures depict the typical seventies-style of fashion and beauty during that time with one of the Bodysnatchers’ members conveying a Madonna hair-cut and image.

1982 Strawberry Switchblade. Sam Knee / Peter McArthur / Cicada / mediadrumworld.com

The photos are compiled into a book called Untypical Girls by author, Sam Knee, and has been published by Cicada on October 15, 2017.

Sam Knee is the ultimate music fan and his fascination with post-war fashion, music and youth culture has been clear in his blogs and articles for Levi’s and Mensfile.

“Girls have been involved in bands and music from the very inception of pop music, but it was only with the advent of punk that this involvement became more than a surface presence,” he said in the book.

Debsey-1979. Sam Knee / Rich Gunter / Cicada / mediadrumworld.com

“With a newfound sense of liberation, the untypical girls of the late ‘70s defiantly dictated the terms of participation, flaunting the deep-rooted chauvinism within the industry and society at large to speak out on equal terms and take control of their own musical destiny.”

Punk is a rock music genre that developed in the early to mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Originated in the 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as ‘proto-punk’ music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock.

1981 Altered Images. Sam Knee / Neil Anderson / Cicada / mediadrumworld.com

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emanated from the punk movement of the 1970s, when artists moved away from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities.

“Untypical Girls sets out to excavate the roots of what is now universally known as indie girl style, traversing the journey from its punk genesis through the myriad eighties and early nineties indie scenes; post-punk, paisley underground, C86, shoegaze, college rock and grunge; finally culminating in riot grrrl,” Sam said.

“I’ve chosen a pathway that follows a transatlantic parallel between the British indie scenes and those of the USA. This captures the back and forth artistic exchange across the continents and also my personal life journey.”

Raincoats- 1981. Sam Knee / Andy Birmingham / Cicada / mediadrumworld.com

Untypical Girls was published by Cicada on October 15, 2017.

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