This morning i heard the very sad news of the death, from cancer, of Marian Joan Elliott-Said aka Poly Styrene.
As is so often the case these days, i heard the news via Twitter.
Poly Styrene was the lead singer in the influential Punk band X-Ray Spex. Their first single "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" created quite a stir when it came out back in 1977, as i well remember.
The sight of a young girl, with braces on her teeth, singing those words with such feeling, both upset and inspired people in equal numbers.
Poly Styrene subsequently became a role model for many young women throughout the years, even up to the present day. But especially back in those heady days of the late 1970's.
I still have my copy of their big hit single "The Day The World Turned Dayglo' by the way. In orange vinyl no less. It sits in it's rightful place amongst all the classic Punk 45's from that time and it still packs a punch now.
Unfortunately, i never got to see X-Ray Spex live. I did get close though. I went to see them in Liverpool, at the famous 'Erics' club in Matthew St. But, the gig was cancelled for some long forgotten reason.
Poly Styrene had only recently released a brand new album 'Generation Indigo'. It's a good album and one i can thoroughly recommend. She had even been promoting the album as much as her illness permitted. Even to the extent of giving interviews from her local Hospice.
Through Tweets, Facebook updates and interviews, she said she had been looking forward to getting out there to promote the album even more and to get back singing again.
Sadly, that will no longer happen.
But, what makes Poly Styrene's death all the more poignant for me, is the local aspect.
As has often been reported. Marian got into Punk music & effectively became Poly Styrene, after seeing the Sex Pistols play on Hastings Pier, way back in 1976. Supporting Budgie would you believe?
In recent years she made had her home in St Leonards On Sea, my own home town.
I pass her house most days and used to see her about on the street quite often. Although i never actually plucked up the courage to speak to her. Weird isn't it?
Because of my involvement with Hastings Rock radio station, i have been listening to Poly Styrene's new 'Generation Indigo' album quite a lot recently and picking out tracks to play on my Local Music Show, on the station.
Only the other day, i sent off the track "Thrash City" to be placed onto the stations 'A' List, for when Hastings Rock comes back on the air this Saturday.
Now, unfortunately, those songs will be played as a tribute.
As i mentioned earlier. Poly Styrene had been in St Michael's Hospice, not far from her home.
It is no co-incidence that the charity Hastings Rock radio station now supports during it's broadcasts is, St Michael's Hospice.
We support St Michael's Hospice because of the wonderful work that they do, because they are local and also because we all know somebody who has been affected by cancer.
Unfortunately, that has been brought home to all of us in the Hastings musical community, with the sad passing of Poly Styrene.
At least we will always have her music to remember her by.
R.I.P Marian Joan Elliott-Said (Poly Styrene) 1957-2011.
Oh Cancer, Up Yours!