78 Quotes of Viv Albertine

” I’ve had to fight for everything. “
” People say you mellow as you get older, and I really haven’t. “
” There was an angry wave in the ’70s, a strong feminist angry wave. I remember thinking – oh my God – I thought it was the beginning of something, and it all went quiet. “
” I hate to say it, but one of the worst things you could be called when I was younger was unfeminine. “
” We used to have massively long discussions about how we should stand on stage. Should we stand with our legs apart? No, all the guys with guitars in skinny jeans stand with their legs apart, and you’d think, ‘We can’t stand like that.’ We’d spend hours and hours, days and days, discussing how to stand. “
” Look at Kate Bush, Patti Smith, Yoko Ono – three really private people, but when they’re on stage or when they’re singing, they let go like no one else. “
” I think sometimes men find it easier to be a carer than an accessory. I mean, most women I know in bands are pretty lonely. Guys don’t want to travel around with you. I know loads of women who do it, but guys don’t do it. They’re not brought up for it. “
” The more blows you have in life, the better, because it means you’re challenging yourself. “
” Doctors didn’t know if I would survive. The cancer was too big to operate on, so they blitzed it with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. “
” I’m still angry at so much – class, gender, society, the way we are constantly mentally coerced into behaving a certain way without us even knowing it. I feel so oppressed by the weight of it all that I just want to blow a hole in it all. “
” When you’ve fought and fought to keep positive and to keep creative even though there was not a space to be creative, well, you show me any human who is not angry after 60 years of that. “
” Female rage is not often acknowledged – never mind written about – so one of the questions I’m asking is, ‘Are you allowed to be this angry as you grow older as a woman?’ But I’m also trying to trace where my anger came from. Who made me the person that is still so raw and angry? I think that it’s empowering to ask that question. “
” I want to say to younger women especially that it’s OK to be an outsider. It’s OK to admit to your rage. You’re not the only person walking down the street feeling angry inside. “
” We were very deliberately not playing 12-bar structures, blues structures, which rock musicians turned into such a cliche. We tried to… listen to the rhythms within ourselves and take the normal words we used every day in our normal thoughts, which girls hadn’t written about before. “
” I have a daughter. I have my imagination. I have friends. I, in no way, am going to louse that up with some idiot man, frankly. They drag you down – I’m talking about my generation of men. “
” I feel sorry for girls getting caught up in it and still thinking they have to define themselves and their success by being in a relationship, straight women, straight girls, by being in a heterosexual relationship or being in any relationship, as if that’s in any way a mark of what kind of successful human being you are. “
” Girl bands still do just copy the way men move onstage. To me, that is so backwards, so un-radical. “
” I can’t stand these autobiographies that start with, you know, ‘I was born in Acton, and I went to such and such a school.’ They just bore me. “
” I think young men and boys are taught to fail. It’s nothing to them; they do sport, they fall over, they shout, ‘I’m all right,’ and carry on. But with girls, they’re so appallingly embarrassed to fail, it’s like it’s considered unfeminine. “
” I’ve never had any interest in reading the real-life stories of criminals. I don’t want to get inside their heads. “
” If my 18-year-old daughter asked me whether she should lead a truth-hunting, artistic, uncompromising life as I have done, I’d say no, don’t do it. It’s a difficult and lonely path for a woman. “
” I’ve burned all my bridges for the sake of getting as near as I can to the truth. And after years of searching for the truth, you find that that’s all you can bear. The truth and nothing but the truth. “
” The older I get, the more the lying, the losing touch with your true thoughts and feelings, and the compromises required to fit in seem not worth the effort. It’s my one go on Earth; why spend any more of it conforming to other people’s rules and ideals? “
” I think, often, people who do something new creatively don’t benefit financially from it – it’s the people who come after and make them palatable that make money. “
” With the second book, I didn’t have an ideal reader in mind, as it developed quite out of my control, this detective novel of why am I so full of anger, why did I pick up a guitar when I was poor and uneducated. “
” I haven’t found music comforting since the ’80s, but it doesn’t mean it’s not good – it just doesn’t work for me. It’s shocking to me because music was my religion from the age of 11, and it’s like I don’t believe in my god any more. “
” My favourite guitar was – I can’t remember if it was ’50s or ’60s – a pale wood Telecaster, and it made me a better player. It was beautiful, so easy to play. “
” There are more and more of us women out there who won’t be pushed around and will give back a lot more than was bargained for. You have to mean it, though. “
” In the 1970s, girls didn’t do anything. It wasn’t their fault. For me and the other working-class girls I hung around with, our route was plotted – you were a secretary and a wife. I wanted to hitchhike around the world, go on motorbikes, be in bands. “
” There’s a fine line between brave and mad. But whatever I do, I go for it. “
” I didn’t pursue happiness at all. I’ve never pursued it. I wasn’t brought up to pursue it. “
” Both my parents lived through a world war. My grandparents lived through two world wars. And they didn’t go around saying, ‘Look for happiness.’ “
” You’ve got one life: find your voice within it. “
” It’s all very well for the Kinks and Damon Albarn to sing those songs and sneer at Mr. Nine to Five, but again, they’re white men, so they didn’t have it very hard. “
” I could be completely mad and sound like David Icke, but I just find people with blue eyes colder, less passionate, and more calculated people. “
” When I was pregnant, I prayed that my daughter would have brown, green, or grey eyes. “
” My mother was so ignorant of what could have befallen me and was probably so exhausted – she was one of the first generation of single parents as well – that it was all a bit overwhelming. So the naivety of parents meant we did have a certain amount of freedom. “
” I absolutely wasn’t going to write a book if it was just going to be about punk. “
” If you’ve written something that moves you and frightens you, you just can’t take it back. “
” I think I function well in most parts of my life but possibly not in that emotional side of my life. “
” I can always go back to Jane Austen. ‘Mansfield Park’ is full of wise aphorisms and relevant observations of people. “
” I didn’t have many role models or interesting women to get stirred up by until Yoko Ono came along. “
” I like to smell a book before I start it. I fold over the pages, write comments in the margins, leave it on the bed next to my pillow when I fall asleep. “
” I read a lot when I was young. All the obvious, all the greats, from ‘Le Grand Meaulnes,’ ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘Fear and Loathing,’ ‘Catcher in the Rye,’ ‘The Bell Jar,’ ‘The Female Eunuch,’ ‘Valley of the Dolls,’ ‘The Feminine Mystique,’ Tom Wolfe. Then, film took over for me. Film was so exciting in the ’70s. “
” If you are an autodidact, you probably do write more in the rhythm of speech rather than having learnt prose. “
” Strive to be different and better than what is already out there if you are creating – Benjamin Clementine does that. “
” I always love a song about London or about places. I think Britain could do with more of them; America is so good at that. “
” During my childhood and teenage years, everything I knew was at war. My mother and father were at war. My sister and I were at war. I was at war with my atypical nature, desperately trying to fit in and be normal. Even my genes were at war – the cool Swiss-German side versus the hot-headed Corsican. “
” It’s amazing what your brain can do when all your senses are heightened. “
” We grew up during the ‘peace and love’ of the 1960s, only to discover that there are wars everywhere, and love and romance is a con. “
” I’d like to be with someone kind who can hold a conversation and is in my age group. If that’s too much to ask, I’ll do without. “
” Finding another person to love is finding another person to lose. “
” A lot of the men I’ve dated have been incapable of even basic kindness. “
” It’s me who fixes the roof, unblocks the drain, and changes the plug. I’m Spartacus. “
” We’re so tribal in Britain about music. But my music – my guitar playing, the rhythms, et cetera – just express my personality, because I’m self-taught. “
” Punk was such an exciting time because there were no rules. You could go and knock on Sun Ra’s door – and he was in the phonebook, under Ra! “
” Girls were nothing in the ’70s. “
” It’s the people who transcend their backgrounds who are interesting to me. I have got a bit of inverted snobbery. “
” I definitely thought the first book was going to be a one-off. I never thought I’d even write a book, not ever having aspired to be a writer. It’s something that never occurred to me – a bit like it never occurred to me to play guitar when I was young. I just thought it was out of my league. “
” I’m not a nostalgic person. “
” We’re all products of our own environment. “
” I never thought of myself as a strong person until I wrote my first book, and people started to say, ‘You’re a survivor. You’re such a strong person.’ It never ever occurred to me. “
” Mum had pumped me so full of anger, I couldn’t throw it off. “
” I’ve had two great loves: my mother and my daughter. “
” I get the same lurching thrill now when I’m about to sit down to an egg mayonnaise sandwich and a packet of plain crisps as I used to get when I fancied someone. “
” I very much wanted a family and children. I came to it late in life. “
” I have a lot of empathy, and I think that’s where mothering starts. You are there to empathise and facilitate. “
” If I didn’t live in London, I would live in Glasgow. I love the colour of the brick and the black ironwork. I think it’s got such atmosphere and is extraordinary. I met great people there. “
” Writing is so much about rhythm. If you’ve got another rhythm in the room, it spoils the rhythm of the words. “
” I adore quotes. “
” I do read a lot of autobiographies and biographies but from people who are not in my field – older women, older artists, Miles Davis. “
” Directing taught me how to run a team and turn up on time – things you don’t really learn when you’re in a band. “
” I don’t believe in an afterlife. You live on in the people you influence during your lifetime. “
” Punk inspired me. “
” One of my faults is a big mouth. I tend to say the wrong thing without meaning to. “
” Truth is splintered. “
” I was brought up to be uncompromisingly bloody-minded by my mother. She equipped me, without knowing it, to be someone who is creative rather than an entertainer. Not many girls are brought up like that, to never rely on a man. To not be a housewife, not be a mother. “
” Most female artists – to do what you have to do and to be as honest as you have to be, to be as selfish as you have to be, as tunnel-visioned as you have to be to make art, not entertainment – you can’t compromise, really. “