Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Island of Misfit Noise: SKN KVR and Castle Numbskull

Island of Misfit Noise: SKN KVR and Castle Numbskull

Music: Castle Numbskull’s ceiling fans spin on overtime as Jacob of SKN KVR (pronounced skin carver) sets up the assorted junk, contact mics and distortion... By Matt Stieb 10/15/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Alice Bag (aka Alicia Armendáriz) presents 'Violence Girl' in SA

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Once upon a time there was no punk rock. No Clash. No Ramones. Sid had yet to meet Nancy. Punk rock had yet to be invented. Little-known to most, one of the inventors of punk rock spoke Spanish, grew up listening to rancheras, and watched lucha libre.

She was born Alicia Armendáriz, daughter of Mexican immigrants. She grew up in Boyle Heights, East L.A. in the mid-1960s. She didn't learn English until elementary school, mainly by reading Archie comic books. In second grade, her teacher changed her name from Alicia to Alice. 

As described in her new memoir, Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage/A Chicana Punk Story, music was always a part of her life growing up.

"You could always tell who was at home by what was playing on the radio," she wrote. Her mom loved her novelas. Her sister was into Motown, and her father's thing was Mexican music.

But it was not an all-idyllic childhood. Her home life was violent. Her father, she wrote, was "a monster." Kind and gentle one day — he would call her "La Reina" (the Queen) — on another day he would beat up Alice's mother and end up in jail overnight. 

The one refuge in Alice's life was music. Not only the Pedro Infante songs she heard watching Mexican movies at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown L.A., but the pop songs her older sister Yolanda would play. An eclectic playlist that included rock en español pioneers Los Teen Tops' "Popotitos" (an Enrique Guzmán Spanish-language cover of "Boney Maroney"), and the Beatles. The first 45 RPM Alice bought was Freda Payne's "Band of Gold." She loved the Supremes and Aretha Franklin.

Music was her escape. And it changed her life.

She discovered Elton John. Glam. Ziggy Stardust. It all made sense. Up until then, compared to Alice's more "normal" classmates in high school, she was always the odd one out. Exploring the Hollywood glitter rock scene, Alice found fellow travelers, kids from Orange County, the Valley, Montebello, all just like her.

"I was," she said, "in the process of redefining myself." 

After she saw Patti Smith play the Roxy in 1976, she and her friends formed an all-girl band, Femme Fatale, and after high school she moved to Hollywood. Glitter rock turned to punk. Only a few miles from Boyle Heights, Hollywood was a different world entirely. The once shy and chubby girl from East L.A. had found a home. She moved into the infamous Canterbury Apartments, where every run-down floor was filled with fellow punks, a place she fondly describes as an "island of misfit toys." Among her running buddies was a pre Go Go's Belinda Carlisle, and she was close friends with Germs' frontman Darby Crash. Within a few short years, Alice was fronting a band herself, the Bags, one of the most important bands of the first wave of L.A. punk. 

Recently in Music
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus