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Crosscurrents

Punk rock pioneer: A conversation with Penelope Houston

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Colin Peden
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Artist and musician, Penelope Houston.

Punk rock started as a kind of music for people who didn’t fit in. San Francisco, a city that has long been a place for outsiders to make their own communities, was one of the centers of this movement.

San Francisco was also on the forefront when it came to women joining the punk scene.  Enter Penelope Houston. In 1976, she and some friends started one of the most influential San Francisco punk bands ever—The Avengers.

Houston was one of the first female lead singers of a punk band in the country. KALW’sAshleyanneKrigbaum sat down with her to talk about what it was like for her in the early days of punk.

HOUSTON: Then I was there by myself and I put on some records and started singing through the PA and I fell in love with amplification.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

Click here to listen to Penelope Houston and The Avengers’ "Teenage Rebel."

Colin was a 2014-2015 Audio Academy intern and is currently training as an as-needed board operator / announcer. He is a producer for Philosophy Talk, #FSFSF, and My Mixtape here at KALW. When not making radio, Colin plays in bands, some of which are louder than others.