My memories of Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliot-Said)

What struck me about her at the time was her look and attitude, her lyrics had slogans that screamed. at you.
She influenced so many young women, she was a feminist in natural, common sense and non political way.

She was a real believer in punk attitudes and self expression. and lived in St Leonards in East Sussex, which is a part of the world known and enjoyed by both Segs and I.

In 1977, I remember seeing her on on TV interviewed by Tony Wilson on ‘So It Goes’, she was quite child like but perfectly eloquent. No bile or hatred spoke her mind in a way that was very ‘matter of fact ‘ and although quite shy, was astonishingly natural for someone so young.

In April 1978 there was a huge Rock against Racism gig Victoria Park in London we Ruts played on the back of a truck along with Misty In Roots both on the march and in the park.

(here’s a pic taken on the March in Trafalgar square you can see the late Paul Fox behind my old Gretsch drums with Me and Bassie from Misty on the right)



later that day Poly played whith her band X-Ray specs along with Steel Pulse, Aswad, , Tom Robinson,Sham 69 and The Clash


It was a righteous day of solidarity I will always remember.
X-Ray Specs was quite short lived and I think Poly had more important things to do in her life and this has been well documented elsewhere , I do remember however meeting her in September 2007,


In July of that year The Ruts had got together with Henry Rollins to played a gig in London for Paul Fox who was suffering with lung cancer.
We were deemed newsworthy again and I was asked by New Yorks’ SPIN magazine to take part in a ‘punk’ special they were doing.

Poly was then a confident charming woman as eloquent as ever with a very positive outlook.

So I am most happy to come along to contribute to both her memory and Teenage Cancer Trust.


polyfest 2014








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Ruts Dc Perform PolyFest 2 Sunday 5 October 2014

Segs: RUTS DC will be playing 3 numbers tomorrow night ( Sunday) at PolyFest .This is yearly festival held to celebrate the life of Polystyrene – singer/ songwriter for X-Ray Spex and solo performer in her own right .
Poly sadly passed away in 2011?? but her legacy lives on through her work and indeed this festival .
I still have a 12inch single of Oh Bondage up yours b/w I’m a Cliché . These were both big tunes for Ruffy and I .We played them a lot in amongst the other great records of the time . The message of ” Oh Bondage was ground breaking , inspiring many of our female friends to allow themselves to be themselves while at the same time encouraging us males to shake off some of the restrictions that had been imposed by a pre- punk society .
That record epitomised the punk message and she continued to change attitudes throughout her whole life .
Come and set yourself free for an evening .
She’d like that .

polyfest 2014

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Oslo Norway Tour Day 10 – Segs

We are always sad to leave Mutti and Katja .This parting is no different. Mutti is just an amazing force .He books the tour, he hires the backline, he drives the van with us in it .He unloads the gear, he sets it up. He never lets the spirit drop .Without him, there would have been no tour but also, without him, we would not have survived.

Katja is his assistant now .She came as a young work experience girl last year ( I think) She has become indispensible to his operation -She proves it every day on the road .Thank you both of you .Strange to arrive in Oslo without you.

So, we leave the safe hands of Muttis Booking and land in Oslo to be greeted by the Dogtown street punk team. We meet up with The Cockney Rejects at the airport. We haven’t seen them since 1979! Lots of hand shaking and general catching up – its good see them…off to the gig.

The festival takes place in a proper old skate park under a flyover. Graffiti everywhere -it’s like being underneath The West way in London back a while.


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Oslo Norway Tour Day 10 – Ruffy

Awakening at 07:00 it’s shower, breakfast, Back upstairs to pack, then a quick business meeting with Mutti and Katja, then downstairs for our last trip in our bus to Frankfurt airport.

Trolleys obtained its hugs to our Berliner friends and into the Terminal to the SAS desk bags checked we make our way through security, it has to be the slowest queue I’ve ever been in, the UK airports are a walk in the park by comparison.

Eventually we get through and before long we are on board and on our way to Oslo.

We land safely at Oslo and are met by Terje (our coordinator) with another driver as well as Jeff, Mick, Andrew and Tony from The Cockney Rejects, who are also playing the Festival, They are all very friendly and we throw bags in the two motors and soon are making our way to our hotel in the old part of town.

It’s a Best Western apartment hotel which is a huge complex with rooms set up like flats in buildings that stretch up to 200 meters from the main building but after dragging my luggage through car parks and up several flights of stairs I decide enough is enough

(Mutti! Where are you?)


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