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Essential Logic, ‘Fanfare in the Garden’ (2003)

September 2, 2017

GreilMarcus.net

essential logic: fanfare in the garden

Punk promised that you could become a new person. You could live a new life in a new world—and to live in it you needed a new name. It was late 1976 in London when 15-year-old schoolgirl saxophonist Susan Whitby answered an ad placed by a would-be “punk” band in the now defunct Melody Maker. The band turned out to be X-ray Spex, led by one Poly Styrene, who had left “Marion Elliot” on the sidewalk. Susan Whitby became Lora Logic.

Without such a perfect name, would there be a story to follow it? Punk wasn’t supposed to be “logical”—it wasn’t supposed to make sense. The name set Lora apart, even as it brought her into the fold. It suggested a certain reserve, a step back, a raised eyebrow.

As Lora Logic lifted her horn and dove, along with the rest of X-ray Spex, into Poly Styrene’s songs (“Oh…

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