I can’t believe it, all these bands are coming back… Many times it’s not completely welcome, but sometimes it is. And I love seeing this clip of Poly Styrene and (some of) her band X-Ray Spex, apparently shot very recently (like just a few days ago):
Back in February, I posted a video of what X-Ray Spex were like doing this same exact song 30+ years ago (though not naming them, I merely referred to “Another Proper British Girl from a Long Time Ago).” But here’s another, even better clip from just about exactly 30 years ago:
Actually, what’s surprising is how little she’s changed. If some of the old-style feminist followers of this band will forgive me for saying this, I think she was a cutie, and still is. But it’s amazing that we’re seeing her again at all, because for a while she seemed to have completely disappeared. And the rumors spread quickly – confirmed, to our disbelief – that she had left X-Ray Spex to join the Hare Krishnas!
Though it may have not been completely like that… Many people assumed back then that you couldn’t join the Hare Krishnas and remain a punk rocker; you had to become a total hippie. But as it turns out, there was a whole Hare Krishna hardcore punk movement that built up, with Poly as a sort of godmother.
Looking into that strange phenomenon a little more, I found an article in Techgnosis, originally published more than a dozen years ago in Spin, detailing the growth of a Hare Krishna hardcore punk movement that seemed to have reached quite a peak by the 1990s. Personally, though I myself was once a punk rocker (back in the original days of X-Ray Spex), I don’t understand the idea of joining the Hare Krishnas and staying loyal to punk rock. If I joined the Hare Krishnas, that would provide me with a good excuse to delve even more into all the wonderful Indian devotional music that’s out there – not continue bashing away in some latter-day hardcore punk scene. But some of this Hare Krishna punk music isn’t that bad. There’s one band (or was – I think they’ve broken up in recent years) led by a Hare Krishna devotee singer named Sri, which even might be worth posting here… They’re called Baby Gopal, and this is their song “Shiva”:
P.S. Oh, yeah, I should mention, the Bollywood clip that I included is “Dum Maro Dum,” from the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna, which came out in 1971, starring Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman. The singer is Asha Bhosle.