Jon: Bikini Kill Archive…


Earlier this month former Bikini Kill members created a fan content driven archive website. It is made up entirely of remembered stories, videos, and pictures from fans about their experience of the band. My favorite so far is republished below, but there are at least a hundred more stories at the site to read, including one that will make you swear off Sub-Pop Records for life! Check out the site!

I first started listening to Bikini Kill in 1992. or maybe it was 93. I grew up in an super-strict, conservative Vietnamese household. My mother told me I was not allowed to play the Bikini Kill LP in the house because they said the word “fuck” a lot, and she didn’t want my younger sister and brother to be exposed to that kind of language. So naturally, i took my 12 year old sister to see Bikini Kill play at La Luna in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t have anyone else to go with at the time, much less know any punk rockers, and didn’t want to go by myself. We told our parents we were going to see a movie. My sister wore a t-shirt with cat pictures all over it, but in a non-ironic kind of way. It took us an hour to drive to Portland. Neither of us had been to a punk rock show before and didn’t know what to expect.

when we got there, i was really surprised to see other people of color in the audience. That was super-important, as skinheads were a problem back then. My hometown was rural-ish, we had a racist skinhead contingent in town, and not a lot people of color lived there; I’d get harassed a lot, and that kinda kept me away from shows and stuff. Before then, I wasn’t aware of other people of color in the punk scene. This was before internet access became ubiquitous and before I started networking or reading zines. It definitely felt like being the last and only unicorn left on earth, but then stumbling upon a secret field full of frolicking unicorns. Maybe i was just small town at the time, but I think riot grrrl kinda sent the message or beacon to other marginalized groups that it was safe to go to punk shows or be part of the punk scene and refuse to be made to feel like you aren’t “supposed” to be there.

The opening band was awesome; but i can’t remember their name. Some guy in the audience started to scream sexist shit at them, and the singer-lady responded, “is there a problem?” and then she demanded that he come forward on stage, or they would end the set. When the guy refused, they immediately ended their set, and walked off the stage. People got super pissed and they cussed him out, and then the guy left. it was so cool, I made a mental note to use that tactic at some point in the future. Bikini Kill was awesome. my sister loved it. Kathleen wore a shirt that said, “marry me, fly free.” At that moment, I remember feeling like I was part of something big, urgent, and powerful, and that if you wanted, you could claim that power for yourself and share it with others, and maybe try to change the world with it. On the way back from Portland, i was so amped up I almost crashed the car on the offramp to I-5. When we got home, our parents were watching Chinese soap operas and didn’t notice that we were gone for 6 hours


1 Response to “Jon: Bikini Kill Archive…”

  1. 1 EM
    February 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    i smell a reunion…

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