Alice Bag's recently released book, Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story, deserves all the glowing praise it has received . . . and then some. The former frontwoman for first wave L.A. punk band, The Bags has delivered a captivating account that details her life in East Los Angeles, the inception of punk, the formation of The Bags, time in Nicaragua working on a literary campaign at the height of U.S. intrusion, and her experiences as an elementary schoolteacher in the LAUSD.
Violence Girl gives us a glimpse of the world through Alice Bag's eyes, which maintain a sort of double vision in narration where we are guided through Alice Bag's experiences with a wry humor making it clear that not much gets past her, while simultaneously maintaining a sense of wide eyed wonder at the endless possibilities life has to offer. Phrases like "trail-blazer" and "boundary-pusher" seem almost weak when applied to the magnificent Alice Bag . . . but yeah, she definitely did all that. Violence Girl is one of the few punk memoirs to place punk rock not only within the political/sociological context of the times, but also within the timeline of musical lineage. All told, this Feral House release is essential reading.
On November 27th 2011, Alice Bag accompanied by a small band made a stop at Rancho Cucamonga's own Dr. Strange Records as one of many appearances promoting her new book. The evening consisted of readings from Violence Girl, an Elton John cover, a wonderful Ranchero song, an epic rendering of The Bag's Babylonian Gorgon, along with a few songs from some of her many post Bags projects, including Castration Squad's Modern Day Virgin Sacrifice. After the performance, Alice was kind enough to answer a few questions. I hope you enjoy.