There's something wonderfully offbeat about a blog hosted by a plastics trade publication noting the passing of a punk rock icon. But given that the rocker is singer Poly Styrene, the post is appropriate. Styrene died yesterday at age 53, from breast cancer. Styrene -- born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said -- was lead singer of X-Ray Spex. She formed the band in 1976 after seeing the Sex Pistols perform live -- Styrene famously placed an advertisement for 'YOUNG PUNX WHO WANT TO STICK IT TOGETHER.' The band is best known for its single "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!", so I'll share that video below. But if you enjoy punk rock at its best, with energy, a powerful lead singer and real musicianship, check out their work. Where does the name "Poly Styrene" come from? Well, as is typical of plastics references in pop culture, it's not exactly a homage. The band had an anti-consumerist, anti-capitalist message, so having a lead singer named after a polymer used in food packaging was meant to be taken ironically. Plastics have a long association with rock music -- from the audiophile's love affair with vinyl, back to the lyrics from The Who's "Substitute," or the protest music of The Plastic People of the Universe. Enjoy it for what it is -- a plastics reference intended to evoke shared feelings between musicians and fans.
Punk and Poly Styrene in the news
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