Normal History Vol. 675: The Art Of David Lester

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.

Our most recent show was at a Vancouver field house in a park just before the pandemic hit. We were warming up for four shows opening for Bikini Kill, who have been very good about saying that Mecca Normal inspired them in their riot grrrl beginnings. By good, I mean it’s helpful to us as a much smaller band, but it’s also good for women especially to hear how feminist bands came to be, who inspired them and in what context. It demystifies the origin story. Similarly, I have frequently said that our original inspiration came in part from the women-fronted punk bands in the U.K. 10 years prior. It was a total thrill to meet the the Raincoats’ Gina and Ana at our show in London in the ‘90s. Years later, in 2019, Gina bought five of my paintings on Facebook, including one of her!

Days” from Jarred Up (K, 1995) (download):