Ariane Daniele Forster 


Punk singer

17th. January 1962
– 20th. October 2010

Ari Up has died at the tragically young age of 48 after what her foster father, John Lydon, describes as a serious illness.

Ari was the lead singer in the seminal, all female (all woman) punk band, The Slits. To be honest they were performance artists rather than musicians (even by punk standards). Standing through one of their gigs could be as "difficult" as sitting through a piece of Yoko Ono's performance art. But they were incredibly influential, especially on the women of the punk rock scene. Whilst Siouxie Sue and the Bromley Contingent played at rebellion, the Slits were the real thing. They didn't have to dress up as Nazis to be scary - they were actually, real life scary. They were women, not girls, and for a teenage lad from the East Midlands, quite overwhelming.

I danced with Ariane once. It was May 1977 and the Clash's White Riot tour had rolled up at the California Ballroom in Dunstable. I say we danced, but what actually happened was that we shook each other by the throats until Ari fell on the floor laughing. Heck, I know - very silly. But we were young.

Gregory Anthony Isaacs


15th. July 1951 – 25th. October 2010

Reggae musician Gregory Isaacs has died aged 59. The Jamaican singer passed away at his London home this morning (25 October) following a long illness.

Isaacs is best known for his 1982 album, Night Nurse, particularly the title track. A prolific artist, he released over 500 albums and collaborated with some of the biggest names in reggae and dancehall, including producer Sugar Minott, who also died this year.

"Gregory was well-loved by everyone, his fans and his family," said his wife Linda. "He worked really hard to make sure he delivered the music they loved and enjoyed." (THE GUARDIAN)

Here is a tribute to both artists. I have put the Isaacs' tracks up first as most of you wouldn't get through the Slits' tunes.

The Isaacs' songs kick off with the lovers' rock masterpiece, "Loving Pauper" which is followed by an extended version of his most famous hit, "Night Nurse." The third track is called "Crazy List" and is off the split album he released with Dennis Brown entitled "Judge Not."

The Slits' tracks start with "Typical Girls," which is my favourite by the group, probably because it almost has a tune. Next up is their version of "Heard It Through The Grapevine." Finally, we go out, full pelt, with the punk anthem, "Shopliftin'."


GOODBYE 1976 — 6 Comments

  1. [Uff da—she was one DAY older than me! She was touring Blightey at 15?! O_o (I think I saw my first “R” movie that year—sounds like was living NC-17!)]

    May they both rest in peace…

  2. May she rise in glory and play regularly at a venue close to wherever it is I’m destined to spend eternity. While Mrs. Caliban agrees totally with your comment about Ari being primarily a “performance artist” (an opinion that may result in us needing marriage counselling), for some of us the Slits’ recordings will always stand as some of that era’s most exciting music. Which was why I felt compelled to forward the slider and wait till her tracks downloaded to hear them first. Although I think she’d have probably seen it as a case of Isaacs playing as her support act 🙂

    (PS: You danced with Ari??????!!!!!!!
    I am in awe. Deeply envious, but in awe.)

  3. I saw them play live quite a few times. We were all in awe of them. Sometimes they were brilliant, but sometimes their gigs were train wrecks. At one concert I was at they just got bored and walked off stage half way through their set. And it wasn’t play acting with them. They were scary crazy.

  4. I guess that’s because they were scary – the values and message of Ari and the others of her movement challenged the very fabric of the conservative and complacent world into which they crashed. I often dream of what might have eventuated if so many of our generation who were inspired by their raucous energy and anarchy hadn’t been ensnared by the diversion of drugs – certainly Thatcher/Reagan might have been stopped before their evil spawn grew up into the present darkness we confront.

    Even so – the Slits paved the way for everyone from Boy George to P.J. Harvey. – as well as making a hell of an impression on a few kids on the other side of the world who didn’t have a clue who they were, but knew they’d never fit into the soul-crushing complacency that was mid-70’s northern-beaches Sydney.