We caught up with Jenn Pelly in London, where she has been tirelessly working on her 33 1/3 on The Raincoats’ The Raincoats. Read about Jenn’s research below!
At the end of last year I took a trip to London to meet with the Raincoats. I spent many, many hours sitting at Ana and Shirley’s kitchen table talking about music and art and punk and feminism, about the unique perspectives that each member of the Raincoats brought to their 1979 debut for Rough Trade. I was also able to access their sizable archive of newspaper clippings, photos, zine articles, tour diaries, etc., many of which had never been digitized until I sat there and scanned them. The experience was incredibly illuminating and left a significant mark on how I think about concepts of “history” versus “herstory”. The opportunity to ask very specific questions and have such a close glimpse at the inner-magic of their music has been incredibly moving. One of the most interesting pieces from the band’s archive was a 1980 pocket zine made by Ana (below), which collected drawings and writings to complement the self-titled record. Without giving away too much: it was also very cool getting to look through a Raincoats/Kleenex tour diary (below) from their 1979 tour, and to see photos (below) of their hero, Patti Smith, taken by Shirley around the same time. -Jenn Pelly