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Iconic Hispanic Angelenos in History: Alice Bag

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In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15, join us as we celebrate the Hispanic individuals that have influenced culture, social justice, and progress in Los Angeles and, in some instances, the nation. Check back often as we highlight a new iconic Hispanic Angeleno throughout the month.

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Today we celebrate Alice Bag:

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Alice Bag (born Alicia Armendariz) became an integral part of the L.A. punk scene in the late 70s and early 80s. The Bags, formed in 1977 with fellow frontwoman Patricia Morrison (later of The Gun Club), stormed through Hollywood clubs with aggressiveness, holding their own in the male-dominated punk scene. Identifying herself as a Chicana feminist, Alice didn't see herself as an outsider in the circle she ran in, viewing her Chicana identity as congruous with the rebellious and anti-establishment sentiments of punk.Alice continued her education while fronting Cholita!, The Tres and other bands in the 80s, graduating from Cal State L.A. with a degree in Philosophy. Alice pursued a career as a bilingual instructor in inner city schools, helping students who like herself came into the school system with little knowledge of English.

Alice continues to teach and perform. She recently authored the book "Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, A Chicana Punk Story," a memoir of her childhood and involvement in the Hollywood and East L.A. scenes, and writes for her personal blog Diary of a Bad Housewife, in which she questions stereotypical gender roles, highlight feminists, and keeps an archive of various documents of the L.A. punk scene.

 

  • Raised in a home where speaking a language other than Spanish was forbidden
  • The name of her band The Bags came from their stage show in which the members performed with grocery bags over their heads
  • Chronicles women in L.A. punk with a series of interviews, which can be found on her site
  • Students address her as "Mrs. Velasquez" or "Miss" since they are not aware of her involvement with the punk scene
  • Her all-time favorite band is The Weirdos
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