Lisa Carver
By: Lynn Peril | Categories: HiLo Heroes, Literature, Most Visited, Music, Punk

carver

Had my twentysomething self been as honest about the events of my childhood as LISA CARVER (born 1968) has been about hers, instead of Mystery Date I might have published a zine like Carver’s Rollerderby. Born in Dover, New Hampshire, Carver was raised by her mother while her father spent most of her childhood in jail. As a teenager, she briefly worked as a prostitute — because, she claims, it was something she’d always wanted to do. Her band, Suckdog, was a sloppy noisefest — she preferred to call the project “a touring operatic troupe” — and provided a live soundtrack to confrontational performances filled with nudity, blood, and rape scenarios, themes that found their way into the pages of her zine. I was appalled by Rollerderby, but I also instinctively understood her work’s amalgam of bodily fluids. (Was my hidden history of cutting and self-injury any different from what Carver did in public — other than that she was brave and I was a coward?) Frankly, Carver terrified me. This, after all, was a woman who went on a date with the legendary scatologist GG Allin. Luckily for looky-loo shrinking violets like me, she wrote about it all — first in Rollerderby, then in her books Dancing Queen and Drugs Are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir. Her writing is by turns sexy, funny, truly disturbing — and always riveting. To repurpose her own words about dream-date Allin: “Lisa Carver is real.”

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PUNK, POST-PUNK & ALTERNATIVE on HILOBROW: Joey Ramone | Dez Cadena | Jello Biafra | HR | Mike Watt | Vivienne Westwood | Iggy Pop | D. Boon | John Lydon | Henry Rollins | Palmolive | Plastic Bertrand | Kira Roessler | Lisa Carver | Frank Black | Ari Up | Gary Panter | Paul Simonon | Darby Crash | Penelope Houston | Exene Cervenka | Sid Vicious | Andrew Eldritch | Kate Pierson | Paul Westerberg | Lux Interior | Ian Dury | Stiv Bators | Tom Verlaine | Colin Newman | Johnny Thunders | Poison Ivy | Green Gartside | Lydia Lunch | Mark E. Smith | David Byrne | Debbie Harry | Captain Sensible | Mark Mothersbaugh | Kim Gordon | ALSO: The Original Generation X (1954–63) and the birth of DIY | The Original Stooge | Origin of the Pogo | Shocking Blocking: Rock’n’Roll High School | Punk fanzines from the 1970s | Post-Punk and New Wave on HiLobrow

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Hedy Lamarr, Ti-Grace Atkinson.

READ MORE about members of the Reconstructionist Generation (1964–73).

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Lynn Peril is the author of Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office. She lives in Oakland, California.