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Lydia Lunch (born Lydia Koch on June 2, 1959 in Rochester, New Yorkmarker) is an Americanmarker singer, poet, writer, and actress whose career spawned from the New York No Wave punk subculture in 1976. Her large and diverse body of work typically features provocative and confrontational delivery and has maintained an anti-commercial, do-it-yourself ethic, operating independent of major labels and distribution deals.


After arriving in New York Citymarker at the age of 16, Lunch moved into a large communal household of artists and musicians in NYCmarker, including Kitty Bruce, daughter of Lenny Bruce. Soon after she earned the surname "Lunch" by regularly stealing lunches for her often starving artist friends. After befriending the 'godfathers of punk' Suicide at Max's Kansas Citymarker, she founded the short-lived but influential No Wave band Teenage Jesus & the Jerks in 1976 with her artistic partner, No Wave punk-funk-jazz musician James Chance. Both appeared on the seminal No Wave compilation No New York. Lunch later appeared on two songs on Chance's album Off White (credited to James White and the Blacks; Lunch used the pseudonym "Stella Rico") in 1978.

She appeared in two films directed by the husband and wife film-making team of Scott B and Beth B; In the short film Black Box (1978) she played an unnamed torturer, and in the feature length, neo-noir thriller Vortex (1983) she played a private detective named "Angel Powers". During this time, she also appeared in a number of films by Vivienne Dick, including She Had her Gun All Ready (1978) and Beauty Becomes The Beast (1979), co starring with Pat Place.

In the mid-'80s she formed her own recording and publishing company called "Widowspeak" on which she continues to release a slew of her own material from songs to spoken word .

Later, she was identified by the Boston Phoenix as "one of the 10 most influential performers of the '90s", Lunch's solo career featured collaborations with musicians such as J. G. Thirlwell, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Billy Ver Plank, Steven Severin, Robert Quine, Sadie Mae, Rowland S. Howard, Michael Gira, The Birthday Party, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, Die Haut, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Black Sun Productions, and French band Sibyl Vane, who put one of her spoken words into music. She also acted in, wrote, and directed underground films, sometimes collaborating with underground filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern (including several films such as Fingered in which she performed unsimulated sex acts), and more recently has recorded and performed as a spoken word artist, again collaborating with such artists as Exene Cervenka, Henry Rollins, Don Bajema, Hubert Selby Jr., and Emilio Cubeiro, as well as authoring both traditional books and comix (with award-winning graphic novel artist Ted McKeever).

In 1997 she released Paradoxia, a loosely-based autobiography, in which she candidly documented her bisexual dalliances, substance abuse and flirtation with insanity.



Spoken word

  • Better An Old Demon Than A New God, Giorno Poetry Systems comp. f/ William S. Burroughs, Psychic TV, Richard Hell and others (1984)
  • The Uncensored, solo (1984)
  • Hard Rock, solo (split cassette w. Michael Gira / Ecstatic Peace, 1984)
  • Oral Fixation, solo (12", 1988)
  • Our Fathers who Aren't in Heaven, w. Henry Rollins, Hubert Selby Jr. and Don Bajema (1990)
  • Conspiracy of Women, solo (1990)
  • South of Your Border, w. Emilio Cubeiro (1991)
  • POW, solo (1992)
  • Crimes Against Nature, solo spoken-word anthology (Tripple X/Atavistic, 1994)
  • Rude Hieroglyphics, w. Exene Cervenka (Rykodisc, 1995)
  • Universal Infiltrators, (Atavistic, 1996)
  • The Devil's Racetrack (2000)



  • She Had Her Gun All Ready, directed by Vivienne Dick (1978)
  • Guerillere Talks, directed by Vivienne Dick (1978)
  • Rome '78, directed by James Nares (1978)
  • Black Box, directed by Scott and Beth B (1979)
  • Beauty Becomes the Beast, directed by Vivienne Dick (1979)
  • The Offenders (1979-1980)
  • Liberty's Booty (1980)
  • Subway Riders, directed by Amos Poe (1981)
  • The Wild World of Lydia Lunch, directed by Nick Zedd (1983)
  • Like Dawn to Dust, directed by Vivienne Dick (1983)
  • Vortex, directed by Scott and Beth B (1983)
  • Submit to Me, directed by Richard Kern (1985)
  • The Right Side of My Brain, directed by Richard Kern (1985)
  • Fingered, directed by Richard Kern (1986)
  • Submit to Me Now, directed by Richard Kern (1987)
  • Mondo New York (1987)
  • Penn & Teller's Invisible Thread (1987)
  • Penn & Teller's BBQ Death Squad (198?)
  • Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1990)
  • The Road to God Knows Where (1990)
  • Thanatopsis, directed by Beth B (1991)
  • Visiting Desire (1996)
  • Power of the Word (1996)
  • The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things (2004)
  • Kill Your Idols (2004)
  • Psychomentsrum (unreleased)


  • The Right Side of My Brain (1985)
  • Fingered (1986)


  • The Offenders (1980)
  • Vortex (1983) (W/John Lurie, Adele Bertei, Pat Place, Beth B and Scott B)
  • The Right Side of My Brain (1985)
  • Goodbye 42nd Street (1986)
  • Fingered (1986)
  • I Pass for Human (2004)


  • The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (1983)
  • Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1987)
  • Put More Blood into the Music (1987)
  • The Gun is Loaded (1988-1989)
  • The Road to God Knows Where (1990)
  • Malicious Intent (1990)
  • The Thunder (1992)
  • Totem of the Depraved (1996)
  • Paradoxia (1998)
  • Lady Lazarus: Confronting Lydia Lunch (2000)
  • Kiss My Grits: The Herstory of Women in Punk and Hard Rock (2001)
  • DIY or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist (2002)
  • Kill Your Idols (2004)



(both written, acted, directed and produced with Emilio Cubeiro)
  • South of Your Border (1988)
  • Smell of Guilt (1990)




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