Alice Bag (born Alicia Armendariz on November 7, 1958 in Los Angeles, California) is a punk rock singer, musician, author, educator and feminist archivist. Alice was lead singer and co-founder of The Bags, one of the first wave of punk bands to form in the mid-1970’s in Los Angeles, CA.
Her first book, Violence Girl, East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage is the story of her upbringing in East LA, her eventual migration to Hollywood and the euphoria and aftermath of the first punk wave. Violence Girl reveals how domestic abuse fueled her desire for female empowerment and sheds a new perspective on the origin of hardcore, a style most often associated with white suburban males.
An outspoken activist, feminist and a self-proclaimed troublemaker, Alice has remained active in music since the late 1970’s and published her second book, Pipe Bomb for the Soul in 2015. The ongoing influence of Alice’s style can be seen in the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, American Sabor. She has been profiled by PBS, AARP and has been an invited speaker at colleges including Stanford, Wellesley and USC. Her memoir, Violence Girl, is now required reading in gender and musicology courses throughout the country.
Pipe Bomb for the Soul
In 2011, Alice Bag’s memoir, Violence Girl – East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, A Chicana Punk Story provided a window into the critical events taking place in Los Angeles in the 1960’s and 70’s, as seen through the eyes of a young Chicana protagonist. Violence Girl ends in the mid-1980’s with the ascendancy of the neoconservative Reagan era, the evolution of punk into hardcore, and an educational expedition to Sandinista Nicaragua. In Pipe Bomb for the Soul, Alice Bag invites the reader to join her for one lifechanging month in post-revolutionary Nicaragua. From Managua to the small town of Esteli, Alice encounters people and situations that challenge her long-held beliefs and force her to evaluate the true costs and value of the American Dream. An excellent companion piece to Violence Girl, Pipe Bomb for the Soul builds on the antiauthoritarian spirit of punk that proposed self-empowerment as a way of life. In keeping with the spirit of the book, Bag made the decision to self-publish Pipe Bomb for the Soul in May 2015.