INTERVIEW WITH EILEEN POLK OF HIS PUNK MEMORIES IN 2011
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Copyright 2011 -> for everything in this page by Dig Gallery's (UK) Helen Hall, Ben,
Eileen Polk, and Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.
Interview is released in Dig Gallery's
homepage in summer of 2011, when they were selling Eileen's punk
memorabilia. Dig Gallery's Helen E-mailed me.
Original source of interview text is
Interview is long and the most Ramones related stories are in blue
letters. I wanted to archive this interview, as after some
time or years this interview might disapper from
This interview is a real gem, really special, and reminds me of my interview with Jenny Lens, who hanged out a lot with the punks
and Ramones' in the West Coast of the USA. You can find Jenny's interview and lof of his Ramones
photos from Ramones:
Soundtrack Of Our Lives book.
Through Dig Gallery, has Eileen Polk put on sale some of his punk
memorabilia. For example few Ramones'
guitar picks, photographs taken by
Eileen and two T-shirts designed by Arturo Vega. Ramones' creative director Arturo designed all
Ramones merchandise in their
career 1974-1996 and still does best Ramones' products (buy products from his site RamonesWorld.
Eileen's friend Anya Phillips had introduced Eileen to Dee Dee Ramone one night at CBGB's club in
the spring of 1975. Here is description of Ramones 1976 T-shirt (price 3000 pounds):
"Dee Dee Ramone
gave this T-shirt
to Eileen Polk when they were dating in August 1976, before the Ramones left New York for their first
tour on the West Coast. According to Eileen, Dee Dee was to be away for her birthday so he gave her
his t-shirt as a memento."
Another Ramones related T-shirt is original vintage black and white T-shirt, designed by Ramones'
creative director Arturo Vega, for the
legendary Blitz Benefit gig at CBGBs, May, 1978, featuring Blondie, The Ramones, Richard Hell,
Suicide and others. The Blitz Benefit was a gig organised by friends and peers of Dead Boys drummer,
Johnny Blitz who was stabbed in New York's East Village. Being without medical insurance, fellow
punk musicians held a benefit gig to help pay for his medical bills. The Blitz Benefit has taken on
legendary status and has been referred to as Punk's Woodstock. T-shirt was given to Eileen
directly by Arturo Vega prior to the gig.
Photos Eileen is selling through Dig Gallery are Limited Edition Gelatin Silver Prints, edition 100,
signed by Eileen. Size 16 x 20 inches. Prices 660 pounds.
- First photo is of Dee Dee Ramone at Revenge Clothing shop, East Village, New York, 1978.
- Second photo is of Joey Ramone on a Harley Davidson outside CBGBs, The Bowery, New York, 1978.
Eileen Polk was there on the scene when punk arrived in New York. She
worked in punk hangout and clothing store, Revenge and became friends
with many of the musicians who have since become icons of the punk era.
Dig is offering for sale memorabilia from Eileen's collection and her
photographs of Sid Vicious, The Ramones and others. Dig caught up with
Eileen to talk about her memories and experiences of the punk scene in
New York in the 1970's.
Dig Gallery (Ben): How did you come to work at
Revenge Clothing in
the East Village?
Eileen: Revenge was entirely run by women and we considered ourselves
part of a pseudo-gang called "Revenge Girls." We were the first punks in
New York to have mohawks and other crazy colored and shaved hairstyles.
The Revenge Girls were: Cheryl, Debbie, Eileen, Pam, Natasha, Barbara,
Ace, and Trixie. We played loud punk rock records and sound recordings
of wolves howling blaring out into the streets. We had an unlucky red
stepladder over the front entrance and pet tarantulas in a fish
The weekenders we New Yorkers liked to call "bridge and tunnel" folks
could stop by for a punk "makeover" before heading down the Bowery to
CBGBs. A used, ripped shirt with rude stuff scrawled upon it cost only 3
bucks, and for a mere 7 dollars more an unlicensed hairdresser would
ruin your hair - What a bargain! We rarely threw anyone out, so there
were always a few punks hanging out on the big zebra striped
A band called The Mad fronted by a Japanese artist named Screaming Mad
George rehearsed in the basement. One day a naked woman walked into
Revenge and asked directions to Rockefeller Center. Screaming Mad George
and I followed her outside and watched as hundreds of people stopped
traffic to walk behind her up 3rd Avenue. This made almost as much of a
stir as the day Sid and Nancy showed up in the late summer of 1978, just
after they had moved into their new digs at the Chelsea Hotel. They were
overdressed in black leather and studs and Nancy was acting like Sid's
manager, meeting and greeting while Sid gave a weak handshake. When they
left Revenge to head further into the East Village to buy drugs, the
crowd on the street parted wide to let them pass as if they were two of
our escaped tarantulas.
Dig: What was your first experience of the punk scene in
New York? Did you realize that something significant was happening at the
Eileen: The punk scene began for me in the summer of 1974 at a block
party for Bacchus rehearsal studio on 19th street in the Chelsea
neighborhood. The New York Dolls had recently joined forces with Malcolm
McLaren, and he was trying out his ideas with them. People were starting
to call the New York underground music scene by strange sounding names
like "switch blade rock" indicating it's tougher, back to roots stance.
The other name for the burgeoning scene, which thankfully stuck, was
punk rock. The Bacchus block party even showcased a band whose music was
less than memorable, but their name was "Street Punk." The ambiance was
more of a streetwise, hangout in the neighborhood, sensibility; thus,
avoiding the ego driven superstars, pushy music industry insiders and
complacent fans which characterized the stadium rock scene. We started
going to bars that were dives in bad neighborhoods and actually fun to
hang out in and dating guys who were abject failures, but perhaps had
Another scene which had been melded to the old glitter rock scene and
the remnants of Warhol's Factory was made up of a contingent of
outrageous drag queens. The New York Dolls were there at this party, so
were members of Television, Blondie, the Ramones, Patti Smith Band and
future Heartbreakers and Voidoids. The punk scene had a "sit on the
stoop and drink a beer" ambiance where everyone was welcome, rather than
VIP room exclusivity. Roller skates, hula hoops and left over platform
shoes from the glitter era were all welcome. No one had to be too cool.
There was a feeling of something new coming, but we weren't sure what it
was, which is a rare and good feeling!
By the summer of 1975 it had gotten big. CBGB's which had been a Hells
Angles hangout held a summer rock festival "battle of the bands."
Everyone started going down to the Bowery to get their kicks and the
street which had formerly been lined with homeless alcoholics sleeping
in the gutter, was all of a sudden filled with young people.
A reporter for the Aquarian magazine, Charlie Fricke wrote a cover story
entitled Punk Rock, in which he saw the potential for a Paris, May
1968 type of resistance developing out of this scene, which recognized
the anarchist strain in punk. But the early New York punk scene had such
a varied mix of people there was no fixed opinion on anything political.
It was a hodge-podge of anything goes, even if it was really silly, and
tongues were held firmly in cheeks. The fire-starter of a magazine;
Punk had a perfect environment for stirring up this new movement and
making everyone laugh at themselves. They took nothing seriously,
especially rock stars, which was very refreshing.
Dig: How did you first meet the Ramones and the New
Eileen: The New York Dolls were the first band that I truly loved
because they were my friends and they were the epitome of rowdy
outrageous fun! I met Jerry Nolan first, after the Dolls played at the
Academy of Music. That show was unforgettable because the band showed up
fashionably late to a packed house in a vintage Rolls Royce and walked
right through the front entrance in their big Platform boots, carrying
their instruments. It was the immediacy of the band mingling with the
audience and then taking the stage like that that drove the audience
into frenzy. The rock stars were one of us and we loved them for it!
Jerry gave me a drumstick from the show while we shared a taxi to an
after concert party and it was there that I first saw the Dolls bassist
Arthur "Killer" Kane, my future boyfriend, sitting on the couch. The
floor was covered with groupies and the band rested like royalty on the
only available seating. Some people were batting a balloon around and it
wafted slowly towards Arthur. The crowd began chanting "Killer,
Killer.." and with the most nonchalant and infinitesimal flick of his
wrist Arthur popped the balloon with his cigarette to cheers and
applause from the adoring crowd. I was smitten!
My roommate Anya Phillips had introduced me to Dee Dee
Ramone one night at CBGB's in the spring of 1975 and I became their
fan. I went to afternoon matinees at
CBGBs when there was nobody in the audience but Bowery bums and Hells
Angels. I traveled to tiny empty theaters in upstate New York and New
Jersey to see them play. I battled the Long Island Railroad in
ridiculous outfits to show support in towns that I hadn't visited since
High School. I loved the Ramones.
Their humor was deadpan; they would get into fights onstage. Dee Dee
was impossible as a boyfriend. But Dee Dee and I had a lot in common.
We loved the same weird stuff; like "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", and
horror movies (because we liked to scream). I was the one to first take
Dee Dee to the Todd Browning horror
film about circus side show performers called, Freaks which inspired
the Ramones song Pinhead.
Dee Dee and I both had beautiful platinum
blond mothers who were throwbacks to an older age of etiquette and
propriety. They were mothers who were always trying to rescue us from
our unsavory bad habits and the bad influence of our naughty friends. I
would go to dinner at Dee Dee's mother's home in Queens to get a lecture
from his mom and he would come to dinner at my mother's home for the
same lecture. When my mother first met Dee Dee she stood on his foot and
pulled him up out of his seat because she thought he should learn to
stand up when a lady enters a room.
But both Arthur and Dee Dee always had a home at my house and we were
friends for many years. Dee Dee wrote
a song for me called Locket Love, being true to his sardonic, sick
humor, he changed the last line from "Hang on, I'm getting stronger" to:
"You're a goner!", when we broke up. But I will never forget what fun we
had and I will always love him even though he drove me
Dig: Where was the real punk hangout? Was it CBGBs or
Max's or is there another bar where people on the punk scene would hang
Eileen: The great thing about the punk scene is that it didn't just
happen in bars or rock clubs, it was a neighborhood scene which happened
out in the streets and in the daytime too. The famous rock clubs of the
70's weren't even necessarily intended to be rock clubs at first. Some
of these places were just local dives and restaurants or out of the way
holes in the wall. Like Paris in the 1920's, the streets and cafes were
as important to artists as performance venues and museums.
The punk scene had clothing shops, and storefront lofts which became art
galleries. The lower east side was full of strip joints and gay clubs
where the skulking Wall Street crowd could find entertainment and drinks
by day, then after dark the rock scene would move in. But the pimps,
drag queens and exotic dancers and other inhabitants of the demimonde
would still be there to make the atmosphere more interesting. Then there
were the after hours clubs; the best one was Harold Black's 210 Fifth
Avenue, which was loved by both punks and rock stars. When things got
really crazy in '79, a whole slew of after hour's clubs opened up in
worse and worse neighborhoods and they stayed open until the sun crept
through the black painted plate glass windows.
In the end of the 70's
many clubs were trying to intentionally attract the drug scene. But in
the beginning it was more like a vaudeville atmosphere where anyone with
the guts to perform could find an audience. I saw people perform with
chainsaws and wearing nothing but plastic wrap. There was even a Magic
and Occult show at Madison Square Garden. All the magicians would come
down to Max's and get drunk and perform magic in the back room. It was a
circus side show atmosphere everywhere. And no one cared about asking
for proof of how old you were so there were people of all different ages
at these events. A lot of this was experimental and would probably be
killed off at birth with negative publicity today.
Dig: What is your fondest memory of those
Eileen: My fondest memory of the punk scene has to be playing at Max's
Kansas City in the Blessed with my friend Howie Pyro who always
instigated me to do crazy things. I was asked to join the band about a
week before their very first gig at Max's on Christmas Day 1977. The
guys in the band: Howie, Nick and Billy; were all 15 or 16 years old;
the youngest of the New York punk bands. They came into Revenge one day
and asked me to play and I thought; "On the same stage as the New York
Dolls, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper played upon? "You Betcha!"
those years of classical piano lessons; playing at church recitals and
family cocktail parties like a trained monkey; would pay off! If I could
play piano, I could play drums, right? So at the first rehearsal I had
to use wooden hangers from the clothing racks at Revenge because I'd
never played drums before and didn't have any sticks.
dug out Jerry Nolan's old drumstick he had given me after the Academy of
Music show, and brought it to Max's and told Jerry about my plans to
commemorate the Blessed event by using his old Ludwig drumstick from
1974 for my first gig. But it was so beaten up I was getting splinters
so Jerry showed me how to wrap one end with electrical tape and save my
fingers and told me that the best sound was made by using the wrong end
of the drumstick on the skins to make the sound even louder! He said he
played with the fat end of the sticks all the time. The other drumstick
I used for the gig, I had gotten when it came flying out at me while I
was photographing a Kansas concert and somehow I'd caught it in mid air
flight. That and a borrowed drum kit was the extent of my equipment.
Terry Ork, from Ork Records, was there for sound check and just rolled
his eyes. The night of the gig I thought, "People will recognize me and
think; She can't play drums!" and that will ruin everything, so I wore
a disguise inspired by the Unknown Comic, Steve Martin. I wore a paper
bag over my head. I came out onstage and tripped over all the electrical
cords because I couldn't see a thing in spite of the holes I'd cut out
of the bag for my eyes. We played so badly but were quite inspired into
mayhem by the large crowd who had come for the free buffet dinner that
Max's management kindly provided for all the musicians on
wore a plastic bag from a local pet shop, American Kennels, as a
shirt; because it had a silly picture of a sheepdog on it. I thought
people would think; "Their drummer is a real Dog!" I kept sticking my
tongue out of the hole I made to breathe through and the paper got stuck
to my mouth. By the last song the band and I were laughing so hard we
could hardly play, but we could hardly play anyway so it didn't matter!
Then the guys in the band did something I did not expect, they attacked
me and ripped the paper bag off my head and revealed who I was to the
audience. Finally I could see and immediately thought; "Oh No! Every
musician in New York is in the audience!" One of my all time idols, Alan
Vega, the astonishingly aggressive front man for Suicide, was sitting in
the front row looking very serious. I was mortified, and laughing
hysterically and crying too. As I left the stage and prepared to walk
the gauntlet through the audience to the bar as every musician does when
they finish a set at Max's, Alan Vega stood up from his seat and shook
my hand heartily. It was a complete surprise and a huge triumph for me.
I was vindicated in front of everyone - He must have thought we were
Dig: Who was your favorite Punk band of all
Eileen: There is no question that the greatest punk band of al time was
the Sex Pistols. For the madness and mayhem they created they take the
prize. The Sex Pistols songs were seditious rabble rousing fun; no one
was spared, they took no prisoners, all were fair game to be torn down,
destroyed and reconstructed in the punk bricolage. Not only were the
songs and music great, they could only have been pulled off in such a
spectacular way by the individuals involved. The people behind the
scenes, especially Jamie Reid and Vivienne Westwood, as well as Malcolm
McLaren made them more than just a band but a phenomenon that epitomized
the raucous 1970's.
Malcolm was a mad genius, a narcissistic
megalomaniac who was just crazy enough to pull off his insane ideas
without caring what anyone thought. Unfortunately he wasn't a great band
manager, which is why I never saw the band play live! I went to London
three times during the 70's and never saw the Sex Pistols because the
gigs were always canceled, or I couldn't see them in the USA because I
could not afford to follow the band to Texas (Texas?!) it made no sense
at all. But the Sex Pistols records speak for themselves, perfect punk
rock time capsules wrapped in fantastic original art. I thank the gods
they were captured on film a few times.
But, before the Sex Pistols won my heart and soul,
there were the Ramones; My favorite American band and the one I have
times since their first gigs at CBGB's, when they were still learning
how to play their instruments. The Ramones were the original blueprint
for punk, four sullen boys with a bad attitude and penchant for
troublemaking. The songs were sardonically funny and reflected the
distinct personalities of the band members. Plus, they hated each other!
- which added even more fun to their live performances; the glaring in
contempt and occasional fights breaking out.
Dee Dee was like an
overgrown toddler with ADD. Joey was the oddest creature, but sweet and
intelligent. Tommy was a musician and one wondered how he got mixed up
with these guys. And Johnny,.. what an asshole! He was always in a bad
mood and barking at everyone to straighten up and fly right (and I was
often blamed for whatever Dee Dee had done wrong - like missing
rehearsal because we were up all night fighting off stalking groupies!).
However, one night while I was photographing the Ramones at a big venue
the metal barrier which separated the photo pit from the audience was
destroyed by a stampeding hoard of ecstatic fans. If Johnny hadn't
reached out in the middle of a song, and pulled me up on stage, I would
have been crushed to death. Whatever differences we may have had were
canceled out immediately by this totally chivalrous act of kindness. I
always respected Johnny after that because I realized that he had his
own personal ethics which he did not shun when the pressure was on. The
Ramones were my knights in tarnished armor and of all the Punk bands, I
loved them the most.
Dig: Which band was the best live act? What was the best
gig you ever saw?
Eileen: One of the best live punk acts was the Dead Boys. They were one
of the more musical, (if not politically correct!) of the punk bands,
but they were hard edged and full of fun and spunk. Stiv Bators, the
lead singer, would go into original impromptu pantomimes that recalled
the great performances of Iggy Pop. He could do back flips while making
obscene gestures and strangling himself with a microphone cord, then
climb the Marshal stacks like a mountaineer and hurl himself into the
audience without a care whether he would be caught, or impaled on a beer
bottle. Stiv was the original inspiration for punk stage diving the way
Sid was the catalyst for the pogo. The Dead Boys music was pure driving
rock and roll without some of the repetitiousness of punk rock. They
always had a phalanx of groupies throbbing to the bass guitar in front
of the stage. They were wild!
The best gig I ever saw was the Slits and the Clash at the Lyceum in
London in 1978. I loved the Slits, with their quirky songs and amateur
behavior - they had fun. They were the first real all girl band I'd ever
seen and it gave me new confidence in being a woman just to see them
doing what they felt like doing in such a blissful way. The Slits were
not afraid of challenging the boys for the spotlight. Then the Slits
were followed up by the Clash, who played so well and had no problem
filling up a large stage with their high jumps and guitar
But the best part of that show was the audience. I was used to the
detached attitude of the New York scene where audiences were more laid
back and prone to want to be passively entertained. But the London scene
represented punk solidarity. The audience was pogoing so hard and fast,
and it wasn't just a few fans in the front row! It was exhilarating,
like group flying, but a bit scary like being caught in a rip tide.
Everyone was charged up and spitting at the band - a grotesque way of
showing approval - which filled the atmosphere with danger. I got the
feeling that I was missing something back in New York with it's "too
cool to care" indifference.
Dig: Nancy had a certain reputation amongst other
groupies and musicians
on the punk scene in New York. What kind of person was she really like
underneath the surface?
Eileen: Nancy Spungen was an interesting combination of nihilism and
materialism, low self esteem and dogged determination. She really didn't
think she had much to offer people except sex and drugs, so she did this
with a vengeance in order to be popular, and in the hope of getting a
rock star boyfriend. But she could also be nice, and cook people
breakfast and listen like a true friend sometimes. She had intelligence
and ambition and wanted to work in the music business, but she went
about it the wrong way! I actually liked Nancy when I first met her
because I found her brutal honesty refreshing. Instead of telling people
she was a "dancer" or "model", she said quite bluntly that she was a
prostitute and a drug addict. I'm not saying that I had good taste in
friends back then! But, I tended to like the underdog, and Nancy was
She had been hardened by growing up in a bourgeois
suburban community where most of what she found thrilling and exciting
she was mocked for. Nancy loved rock and roll and wearing tight flashy
clothes and proudly claimed to have had sex with entire bands. She loved
the negative attention this kind of bragging got her. This was not
acceptable behavior in suburban Philadelphia, so she moved to New York
City where the worst behaved individuals can always find a niche.
She also had been hardened by prostitution and her experience with
When I met her she was proud to be working independently and no longer
had a pimp to control her. This was dangerous behavior for a 17 year old
and whatever people think of Nancy, she was tough, and had no fear.
However, she was using the same technique pimps use to create
dependencies. She gave drugs to musicians so that they would hang out
with her, something that had been done by many drug dealers on the rock
scene, but it was unusual for such a young woman to behave this
Nancy moved to London when the punk scene was just getting hot and the
Sex Pistols were rumored to be Malcolm McLaren's new band, after the New
York Dolls had their demise; due in part to drug supplying groupies and
dealers. Nancy died her hair platinum blonde and became a super-slut in
Fredrick's of Hollywood spandex. Her strategy worked so well that she
became the new owner of a Sex Pistol, Sid Vicious. I'm sure she was a
terrible influence on him. I didn't see Nancy for about two years, but
when she returned to New York with Sid Vicious on her arm it was about a
triumphant a coup as Cleopatra showing up in Rome with Julius
All the groupies who had been mean to her and gossiped behind her back
now had to deal with the new Nancy barring them from any contact with
Sid. This was quite amusing to behold! Nancy remembered that I had been
nice to her and she graciously allowed me to take some intimate
portraits of them.
I was sorry when I heard she was dead, but not
surprised. I also suspected that she had many enemies, and I was not in
any way afraid of Sid, except when he was drunk and throwing things;
that was always the time to leave him alone. I think Nancy would have
been proud of finally becoming famous and the permanent legacy of having
the bad reputation to beat all other bad reputations. Since Sid enjoyed
offending people as much as possible, what better way than to choose
Nancy as his girlfriend? But I think he truly loved her. She was
relentless in her pursuit of what she wanted, and the most determined
girl I ever met.
Dig: If Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen had been around
today, do you think their story would have had a happy
Eileen: In a word: No. Sid and Nancy were the most self destructive
people I ever met. I think that they actually believed that they were
supposed to act the way they did; to play some kind of role as "punks."
They thought that they were supposed to get totally inebriated and get
into fights and smash things up. They played the roles of disintegrating
rock star criminal and moll to perfection. I don't think under these
conditions they were meant to live very long.
Even if the so called
"cures" of mental ward, drug detox and medication had worked
temporarily, people didn't really understand that the real challenge is
not just getting the stuff out of your system, but in changing the
patterns of thinking and behaving that got them into the mess they
created. Sid should never been released from Bellevue Hospital into the
bowels of New York City after Nancy's death without ongoing
Nancy had never gotten help for her problems which
stemmed from childhood. In the 1970's, doctors realized that they could
make much more money in a shorter time by giving people the new
antidepressant and antipsychotic medications and the old ways of talking
to patients were left to only the wealthy. Drug addicts were given meds,
methadone (which is its own addiction) and if you wanted to talk there
were 12 step meetings. I know a lot of people would like to hear that
this would have worked if only Sid and Nancy had rid themselves of their
victim mentality and gotten serious about their health. But I think
without long term psychotherapy; especially in the absence of friends
and family who cared or knew what to do; they were doomed from the
And believe me, their friends and family did not know what to do,
not many people had the answers back then. Sid needed to be in a healthy
environment, not living with his mother in cheap hotel rooms and going
to bars, or running around making rock videos for record companies and
contemplating playing Las Vegas! He would have been better off in an
ashram. If Sid and Nancy had lived they would probably have gone on to
die another day. Without all the money made from their spectacular
deaths, I doubt they would have saved up enough cash to eventually buy
new livers. Sid and Nancy were like a nuclear reaction; two potentially
dangerous things colliding in a void to create a weapon of mass
destruction. They were both suicidal and should have gotten more help
from people who cared.
Dig: In your article for Punk Magazine in 2007 and your
subsequent book Punk is Dead , you put the record straight about a
number of myths about the punk era, including the death of Sid Vicious.
What made you speak out after decades of silence?
Eileen: The death of Sid Vicious was very traumatic for me and I have
been thinking and writing about it for over 30 years, because I can't
forget what happened to my friends. The events surrounding their deaths
and the tabloid press stories made me realize for the first time how a
lot of the news is just made up. I have become much more skeptical of
The News since then. When I read a news story that says;
"Reportedly."; I always ask; "By whom? Who was the actual witness?"
stories about Sid and Nancy, and Sid's mother Anne Beverly are just
hearsay, printed as fact by reporters desperate to get some mileage out
of a hot story and scoop the other tabloids, but without true
information. Sometimes it is just hack writing where the author of a
story wants to say something shocking and has no qualms about writing
anything at all about people who are dead, or whose reputations are so
ruined that they can't sue.
Sometimes they just make incorrect
assumptions or mistakes; everyone makes mistakes. I heard so many
conflicting and fabricated tales that I wanted to set the record
straight about what I had witnessed. I am actually torn between telling
the whole truth and keeping the mystery alive with the legends, because
at least a legend is better than a tabloid story.
Sid and Nancy are so
identified with the archetypes of Love and Death which are totally
ingrained in our subconscious minds. Their story has parallels to other
myths we grew up with. Wasn't Jesus a poor boy whose family had fallen
on hard times? Didn't he have a prostitute friend, Mary Magdalene, or
was this just the bad rep that the Roman Empire gave him when they
accused him of being a common criminal? This is how myths are created;
they attach themselves to the archetypes already hidden deep within our
Other writers have compared Sid to Prometheus, the suffering
hero or his spin off, Dr. Frankenstein's monster. I was especially
fascinated at how the women in Sid's life were demonized. Was Nancy a
succubus feeding off someone else's fame and fortune? Or is she Pandora
releasing the ills of the world to destroy mankind? Why were people who
were obviously mentally ill and in crisis so easy to hate?
In real life
they were just human beings who made terrible mistakes like everyone
else. They were drawn into a vortex of fate that happens to countless
families every day. But the media made them out to be the worst people
in the world! This is because they dared to be celebrities and had the
effrontery to not be perfect little role models of health, wealth and
consumption of commodities and the dominant ideology that everything is
"fine" with the world on TV.
They were anti- famous; they played their roles for themselves and in
the end, not very well. The spectacular rise of the Sex Pistols had to
have a scapegoat and Sid was the perfect patsy. Nancy and Anne Beverly
were spin-off monsters like Frankensteins from Prometheus. So I tell my
story because I want people to know something about the real human
beings and how easy it is to destroy a family. I realize that I'm just a
little squeaky voice shouting at the windmills of mendacity, but it is
how I'm working through my feelings about the traumatic events of the
As I wrote in a beginning of this page, this Eileen Polk's interview by Ben is
released in Dig Gallery's
homepage in summer 2011, when they were selling Eileen's punk
Dig Gallery's Helen Hall wrote about it to me.
Original source of interview is
I wanted to archive this interview, as after some
time or years this interview might disapper from
Thanks Eileen, Ben and Helen.
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