Stevie D's Reviews > Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story

Violence Girl by Alice Bag
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's review
Mar 09, 2012

it was amazing

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 as of this moment.

Every chapter unfolded like a punk rock song to me, short, fast, pure impact, no muss, no fuss. Each one has an energy of it's own. Another aspect of her story that personally affected me, was I too, was raised with Violence in my home. A couple, few men passed thru our doors and I was the recipient along with my mother of their full on physical violence! So I can relate to say the least. Until I got old enough to stand up to the last one, it never stopped. Unlike Alice who's father would give her the mixed message of Love the day after his transgressions, mine never did. Her relationship with him wound down as his life was leaving him, she forgave him and told him as much on his death bed. WOW! Powerful stuff! Listen up!

I was inspired by her sheer and often times brutal honesty along with her forthrightness in the telling of her story, which is one of the best that I have read in many a great while. It started out with her being a little girl, raised poor and with the fucked up society that surrounded her, schools, kids, gangs,and the Catholicness as well. So, the punk rock of Hollywood, right down the freeway, the original burst of energy wasn't that big of a stretch I saw. From The Bags, Decline Of Western Civilization, Castration Squad and to the others that followed, the story is laid out now for our pleasure.

One of Punks first daughters, Alice contributed mightily to the California scene. After completing school she moved from her parents house in East L.A. to the Hollywood, eventually taking up residence at The Canterbury. These apartments were a magnet for many a young punk. The roll call of quite a few bands future members met there, rehearsed there and called it home. The self destruction of drugs, and some of the casualties that come along with the life, were hitting closer and closer to home. It was at this point that Alice made the decision to go back to her parents to live.

From her parents home, Alice still played in bands and participated in Punks bursting scene. The decision she made was out of self preservation. She continued with her education from their quarters as well as see her parents relations with each other change to softer and loving. So much for the saying that you can't go back home. Alice's experience proved otherwise.

Later down the line in her story, she went to Nicaragua to work with people of that war torn country who were seeking education, she was like a education fighter! I'm certain those who's lives she touched will always remember her.

Some of it was painful to read, but Alice isn't a solicitor of sympathy by far and away. Just the opposite, the fact that she gained a super power of sorts thru her many life experiences, and took her wisdom she gained and went back into the education system to help others that struggle as did she, once upon a time. The Children.

I had the good fortune to see Alice come thru Phoenix last month, and perform at a space right down the street from house, only a few blocks away! Between her performance and Violence Girl, my fuse has been lit once again.

Alice is quite active too on so many levels, and I can say, for this old punk I saw the original punk spirit alive and well in Alice!

Beg, borrow or steal this book by all means. Of course there's always a branch of the Public Library too.

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