Viv Albertine: ‘Being in The Slits was pretty dreadful’

The guitarists's time in the cult punk band was an unhappy one

Viv Albertine says her time in cult punk-era band The Slits was “pretty dreadful”.

Albertine was guitarist in the group, who formed in 1976 and released three albums before calling it a day in 1982.

Speaking in this week’s Letter to My Younger Self, Albertine, who has recently released two acclaimed books about her life, reveals how difficult she found life in the band, who reformed without her in 2009. But she says she’s thankful her mum was there to support her through the process.


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She said: “The whole Slits experience was pretty dreadful. I was the one who worked hard, and tried to make the others work. It was fucking exhausting and I ended up in hospital.

“Thank God my mum was there to say, they’re treating you like shit. It still hurts me to this day. What I would say to the young me is, don’t worry Viv, in 30 or 40 years’ time you’ll still be that person having ideas and having the drive, writing books, making albums, writing new songs instead of just playing the old ones again and again.

“I know it’s not cool to talk about that sort of thing but really, I’ve had enough. It’s still painful to me. Why not talk honestly about it?”

Read the full Letter To My Younger Self interview in this week’s Big Issue, on sale now.