The Slits

Biography

Formed in 1976 by 14-year-old Ariana Forster, the Slits were one of the most unique bands of the British punk era, combining a DIY aesthetic with dub-reggae and a very confrontational stage presence. Today their music still seems out of place, but they represent one of the most important bands of the times. Forster (stage name Ari Up), had grown up in the punk-fostering home of her mother Nora, who had once dated Jimi Hendrix, eventually married Johnny Rotten and frequently gave shelter to penniless musicians. This environment, and a love for reggae, seems to have made Ari Up and the Slits particularly open to experimentation, always straying far from the somewhat confining styles of the late-seventies punk model. Eventually the Slits hooked up with another extremely adventurous band, the Pop Group, and released a split single. Both the Slits and the Pop Group had a major effect on the coming post-punk/No Wave scene that erupted in the U.S., and then again years later, in the early 2000s, when such bands as Seattle's Glass Candy and the Shattered Theater, San Francisco's Tussle, and about 5 zillion bands in NYC began aping their sound and commitment to the avant-garde.
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