The runaway, singer and counter-culture icon is hitting 60 and is as incendiary as ever, touring and feelings against polluters and politicians in a rip-roaring book
Lydia Lunch turned 60 this year, but senility has done little to dim this counterculture icon’s lust for life. Decades after her start as the nihilist 16 -year-old frontwoman of 1970 s no-wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the New York-born ” apocalyptician ” is a idolized veteran of the US underground: a novelist, spoken-word performer, musician, performer and artist. Lunch’s form is raw and incendiary, all gender and demise and taboo-busting feminist rage. And in 2019, the sexagenarian is as unapologetic and active as ever- still writing, touring, collaborating and performing.
Lunch is in Colchester when we speak, revelling in a” phenomenal cottage-type hotel” conveniently situated near the artistic centre where she’s set to play that night with her ensemble, Big Sexy Noise. On the stage and the sheet, she’s a formidable spirit- persuasion, exhorting and tongue-lashing her public. In conversation, via Skype, she’s surprisingly cordial: affable, altering, disarmingly humorous, a potty-mouthed doyenne grapple out double-entendres. Is she misjudged?” Oh, chronically! But I get off on it. I’m not a disgraceful being, I just handled in dreary subjects .”
The last time the Guardian “ve spoken to” Lunch, in 2015, she was scouting around for a residence for her archive, an honour that’s since gone to New York University.” They’re opening a brand-new showcase cavity next year and I think they’re gonna propel it with my repositories, which is great .” It’s a fitting location: although she left for good in 1990, and doesn’t consider it home (” even when I lived there “), New York informed much of who Lunch became, and the artwork she’s made since.