Every week, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 39-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
We’ve always had an awareness of how we fit on a bill in terms of how much the audience knows about us. In presenting feminist ideas, am I addressing people who are already tuned in or am I bringing in material that’s going to be problematic? This reminds me of opening for Fugazi about five times in the mid-‘90s, including Seattle and New York, when Fugazi members wanted to show their audiences of mostly rowdy young guys that there were other things worth listening to. There was definitely tension during our sets—someone threw a shoe at David at the Vancouver show. Over the years, I’ve had a few of those young guys contact me to apologize for giving us grief, saying that they went on to be more open about what they listen to after those shows.
When I type “mecca normal fugazi” into a YouTube search, I wind up at X-Ray Spex’s last show (2008). Sounds right.
“You Heard It All” from Jarred Up (K, 1995) (download):