Before Jo Squillo was a stylized television host, the Italian icon led an all-female punk band called Kandeggina Gang, known for their anti-establishment/anti-patriarchal anthems and throwing red-painted tampons into their audiences. There’s little known on the band, mostly because the quartet only released one album before Jo Squillo slowly slinked over to pop music.
Kandeggina (or bleach in Italian) Gang formed in 1979 while attending art school in Milan at Santa Marta- a hotbed and squat for early punk bands. Experimenting with British post-punk (read: Poly styrene especially) Italian label, Cramps, put out the 7″ “Sono Cattiva” before the women disbanded. But, not before leaving a lasting impression on the first days of Milano punk music however. Below you’ll find a live clip of the band performing and an interview, which you may want to learn Italian for, before watching.
Because her decline into vanilla pop music and television was slow, Jo Squillo also produced great solo albums along the way as Jo Squillo Electrix, toting everything from punk and new wave to italo disco. You can find my favourite song from that period here. She also put out rad comic zines, which I warn are definitely NSFW. Check out Soft Streams when you’re good and ready.