‘I’m never against the individual, I’m against systems that oppress individuals. I’m defending the shy boys against the bullies. I deal with very negative things in an aggressive way because I’m using the language of the enemy, but at the end of my dark tunnel is light forever.’ Lydia Lunch
‘All of the themes that I’ve been unravelling these forty years: abuse, the cycle of violence in our culture, sexuality, giving voice to the unheard, knocking down the patriarchy, dominance, submission, trauma, recovery … it’s all here.’ Beth B
‘Lydia’s greatest work of art is herself. She had this aggressiveness and power, like no other women or artists around at the time, and here we are all these years later and she’s exactly the same.’ Bob Bert
Before #MeToo, before Riot Grrl, there was Lydia Lunch. A central figure in the no-wave scene of the 70s—as founder of the seminal Teenage Jesus & The Jerks—Lunch has spent the decades since turning the substance of her life into unapologetic, stark, and beautiful art.
From the eighties onward, Lunch became a lone voice publicly calling out the patriarchal aggression and day-to-day violence enacted by the powerful—and never gave a good goddamn whether you wanted to hear it or not. Refusing to be silenced, she took to stages the world over, fearlessly speaking the truth, whether of her own life with its legacy of parental abuse, her wild times owning the streets of New York City, or the world she saw around her.
Seeing no boundaries between creative mediums, Lydia has enacted her vision through music, spoken word, film, theatre, and more. Released as an accompaniment to Beth B’s new documentary The War Is Never Over, this book is the first comprehensive overview of Lunch’s creative campaign of resistance, a celebration of pleasure as the ultimate act of rebellion.
Across these pages, Lunch and her numerous collaborators—including Thurston Moore, Jim Sclavunos, Kid Congo Powers, Bob Bert, and Richard Kern—recount life at the front line of the musical extremes of the seventies and eighties underground, the wild times, the disciplined productivity, life lived as a defender of the voiceless, and an unapologetic force of righteous fury.