Mari Elliott, who became punk singer Poly Styrene in 1976, lived at such an important time in history. And her life, music and iconic fashions have all increased in significance over the nearly ten years since Poly passed away aged 53 in 2011. As punk girls, we were inspired by and fascinated by her appearances…‘I Am A Cliche’ – review of new Poly Styrene film — Punk Girl Diaries
It’s Friday the night before RSD. My knees have had injuries for a few weeks. There’s no way I could camp out for two sought after records. After looking at the huge list for weeks, I narrowed it down to two records I could really justify getting. Can I just go in the morning and have working knees for the week? Argh.
Japan, that band from the late 70’s and early 80s, that finally morphed from boy hair band to New Romantic. Yeah, that’s the one. Foppy boy toys in makeup fun. Their iconic first hit release, “Life in Tokyo”, was being released as a B Side to “Quiet Life”. And cooler still, in the UK there were a limited 500 copies of Red Hansa label copies. Of course that would get wiped out. But in the US, the copies would be black. Maybe not so limited?
The other LP I sought was a compilation of singles by the classic UK punk band X-Ray Spex, with a great classic photo of Poly Styrene on the cover in her military helmet. Of course it was in day-glo vinyl.
I had my very short list. However even though I kept telling myself no one in Portland was that interested in these two bands, what little came in was gone by the time I reached the store. I spent an hour trying to get through the store, check put backs and odd places. Gone. The next shop I checked, gone too.
But wait, the UK online shops said that after the 20th at midnight UK time, whatever stock remained would be put up online. I waited all week, poised for what was midnight in the UK in our time zone. I struck out again. It was not meant to be. I put in my request to be notified if anything turned up.
So now I am poised to really get annoyed. I know for a fact that most of the people who bought them in this town didn’t do it because they were fans. They did it on speculation. What happens is that groups of young kids camp out all night, get in line, and buy up the limiteds. They aren’t doing so for anything other than resale. Yes, let’s go look. Sure enough, two copies of RSD Red Quiet Life by Japan for 200% what they were selling them for. And X-Ray Spex, “I am a Cliché”, at 300%.
Is there a seventh place in purgatory for people who grabbed the last copy on speculation? Some way to ask the vinyl record fairy to pay them a hellacious visit and scream righteous rants at them? I am poised and so want to send them a message about how rude they are, but I don’t want my eBay account to get a bad rating if I do. Wait, someone has the reissued collectors edition of “Germ Free Adolescents” for less than $30.00. Hmmmm. Maybe I should just get the classic on retro. Hovering above the click…