Ari Up

Punk Legend

Produced by Marc Santo & Scott Newman
Camera by Rainer Evans & Kevin Gillooly
Edited by Christie Brown

The Slits are probably the single most important all-girl punk band in the history of music. A bold statement, we know, but certainly not a controversial one.  As a 14 year old, Ari Up served as the band's flamboyant front woman and helped develop The Slits' pioneering punky reggae sound. She grew up in England surrounded by punk royalty. Her mother, who is married to John Lydon of the Sex Pistols, ran a punk boarding house, where it wasn't uncommon to see members of  The Clash or icons like Jimi Hendrix roll through.

After The Slits demise, Ari went on to form the New Age Steppers with Nenah Cherry and Mark Stewart of The Pop Group. She moved to Brooklyn in the eighties and later to Belize, where she lived naked in the jungles to escape the yuppie culture that the decade embraced.  Recently, Ari recreated The Slits to pick up the band's unfinished mission to fight for musical expression, women, and cultural freedom. She currently splits her time between Brooklyn and Jamaica.

Ari Up 's NYC


photo by Scott Newman
  • Brighton Beach - Source: www.flickr.com/photos/kristiana/2596241087/
    “When I first moved to New York I moved to Brighton Beach, which is a Russian neighborhood by the ocean in Brooklyn. The people there are not that friendly but the food is good.”
  • “I love Coney Island. When my boys were growing up we’d go there all the time. Now it’s going to be yuppyized with condos and the vibe will be destroyed. It will be ruined forever.”
  • “I live in Flatbush right near Brooklyn College. It’s my favorite neighborhood in the city. It has a Carribbean vibe that hasn’t been yuppied out yet. It’s certainly not Williamsburg. It’s still real Brooklyn.”
  • Bushwick - Source: www.flickr.com/photos/diegocupolo/
    “I used to hang in Bushwick during the 80’s. It was where the culture was, by that I mean Reggae. There were tons of musicians to hang with. It had its own thing going. It may still be going.”
  • “I love Prospect Park. It’s one of my favorite places in Brooklyn. There is so much to do there and it’s just a nice way to spend the day. “
  • Golden Krust - Source: businessclassnyc.wordpress.com
    "Golden Krust is a chain, but they make good Jamaican patties, especially their vegetarian and shrimp ones. If you're a guy they make these fruit drinks that we'll help your poom poom. Girls will like that."
  • "I've been a kung fu collector since The Slits days. I'm not talking about Bruce Lee. I'm talking about the real chinatown matinee shit. Of coarse, Wu Tang Clan made it trendy in the 90's by getting the word out to the Hip Hop nation, but back then people used to laugh at us. If you're looking for some obscure films that are ahead of their time visit the King of Kung Fu."

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