Frederick Breedon IV, Getty Images Hank Williams Jr. has revealed his summer…
- Posted on Nov 3rd 2009 1:30PM by David Chiu
But after 25 years, Albertine took up her guitar again, which happened when she was invited to play some shows with the reunited Slits in 2008. In October, Albertine embarked on an American solo tour and is presently working on material for a new album next year.
"The strangest thing happened when I picked up the guitar. All these songs came rushing out," says Albertine. "I just can't stop playing now. It's a huge release for me. It almost means more than it did the first time around."
She has already recorded four songs, including 'The False Heart' and 'Never Come,' for an EP. "I think of it as someone sitting in my bedroom with me," Albertine says, "and we're on the edge of the bed and I am just talking about stuff. It's a bit like a diary and slightly confessional and intimate."
Although Albertine is now performing again, she opted not to join the Slits full-time. "I played with the Slits a couple of times last year and I felt really embarrassed singing 'Shoplifting.' I don't want to really rehash the old songs. I think it's a wonderful thing we did, and it stands as that. I'm happy for the girls to do it, if that's what they want to do. But it's utterly not for me to do that."
Before becoming a Slit in the mid-'70s, Albertine was once in a group called the Flowers of Romance, which included future Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious. "When I first met him, he was this very bashful, sort of sexually-unaware innocent guy in a way," she says. "He was very open-minded and smart really, but [had] an incredibly shy, gawky side to him. Until Nancy [Spungen, Sid's girlfriend] came along ... he was not into drugs."
Albertine was also friendly with the Clash, especially the band's guitarist, Mick Jones, who she knew in art school. "We were each other's first loves and we're still pretty close now as people," says Albertine. "He looked like one of the New York Dolls when I first met him [with] long black hair. In art school, he was always on the pay phone in the lobby arranging rehearsals. We got on great."
After the Flowers of Romance, Albertine became the guitarist for the Slits, one of the first female punk bands. "It wasn't about technical ability in those days," she says. "It was about, 'Can you transcend your gender and stand out, even though you can't play, you're a girl, you're poor?' Can you transcend all that and just say 'F--- it! I'm gonna be something anyway?'"
One memory that stands out for her was when the Slits opened for the Clash on the latter's 'White Riot' tour. "It was the best, best fun, going around in England to places that I've never been," she says. "Each hotel had to be bribed to let the Slits in because we looked so wild and they were terrified of us, not the guy bands. Plus me and Mick were together, so it was all very passionate -- breaking up and getting together. That was really wild."
As for the present, Albertine is hoping to return to America in 2010 with her band and possibly playing SXSW. "The great thing about music when I started to play again," she says, "was all you need is yourself, a guitar and maybe a broken heart. It just took me over."