HOLLY AND THE ITALIANS
Holly Beth Vincent was born in Chicago and began her music career in the late 70s by
playing drums and guitar and singing in bands such as the Brothel Creepers and
Backstage Pass. While staying in Los Angeles, she started Holly and the Italians with
Mark Henry (bass) and Steve Young (drums). In 1979, the band relocated to London
and, in December of that year, released their first, and best known, single on Oval
Records 'Tell That Girl To Shut Up' - a song that would later be covered by Transvision
Vamp. The B-side of the single was a cover of the 1964 Dixie Cups song 'Chapel Of
Holly & The Italians, Bungalow Bar
Mark & Holly
The single captured the attention of the UK press and led to Holly and the Italians
signing a deal with Virgin Records and gaining support slots with Blondie, the Clash,
and the Ramones. In 1980, Virgin released the singles 'Miles Away' and 'Youth
Coup', and the band's first album 'The Right To Be Italian'. Trouser Press described
the album as being:
'...a new wave classic of romantic ups and downs, leather-jacket rebellion and kitsch
culture, carried mightily on Vincent's tough-girl attitude, full-throated singing,
gale-force Brill Building melodies and chunky rhythm guitar presence. The hybrid
LA/London sound, with glimpses of the Ramones, Blondie and Cheap Trick, is a
powerful and original creation'.
The album; however, was not a commercial success and, after releasing a further
two singles ('Just For Tonight' (1981) and 'I Wanna Go Home' (1981)), the band split
at the end of 1981.
Holly remained in the UK and released an album under her own name in 1982 titled
'Holly And The Italians'. This would be her last album recording for more than 10
years but during this time she recorded a duet of 'I Got You Babe' with Joey
Ramone, briefly played in the Waitresses, formed a group called Bikey with her
brother Nick, and appeared in a combo called the Wild Things with Anthony
Thistlethwaite of The Waterboys.
In 1994, under the name the Oblivious, she released an album called 'America' on
Daemon Records and, in 1995, under the name Vowel Movement, she released an
album of the same name with Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde on Mammoth
Records. In 2003 a double CD of demos from 1979-1998 entitled 'Demos Federico'
was released on Wounded Bird records.
Holly Beth Vincent continues to record under her own name and has recently
released a new fifteen-trach CD called 'Super Rocket Star'. Further information is
available from her MySpace page - link below.
Holly & The Italians
The following photos from the Bungalow Bar, Paisley, were provided by Bill-F. Date to be confirmed.
All photos Bill-F. and the Cellar Collective
Holly Beth Vincent's page
'When Holly played the Bungalow, the drunk Paisley scruff thought they
were in with a shout with the lovely yankee. None succeeded to my
knowledge. The bloke who looks as if his eyes are poked out behind
Mark, is big Lamp from the Fegs. The bloke to the left I'm sure, is a
guy from Glasgow who was always hanging around the place called
Charlie. He was going to change the world. Don't know if he ever did.
Holly had a bike jacket admired by many, for its Ramones logo painted
on the back'.