A new documentary sheds light on the true story behind The Beat Girl.
It’s an image instantly familiar to anyone connected to the ska world: designed by Hunt Emerson for Midlands outfit The Beat, it’s a young girl dancing to ska music in pristine 60s fashions.
Together with Walt Jabsco – famously based on a youthful (and ultra-sharp) Peter Tosh – the design helped introduce ska to a new generation, with a second wave of British groups blending Jamaican culture with punk energy.
The Beat Girl has donned graffiti designs, t-shirts, and tattoos, and a new online documentary goes deep on the origins of the cartoon.
Seemingly lifted from a reprinted photograph in a 1979 report by Melody Maker on the ska revival and 2-tone, the cartoon was sculpted by Hunt Emerson, and based on a fascinating young woman.
Brigitte Bond – also known as Brigitte Saint John / Brigitte St. John – was a huge ska fan, who went on to record for UK label Blue Beat. She was also a trans pioneer, and her ultimate fate remains a mystery.
The new documentary was pieced together by Miss Upsetter, a film maker and designer whose work is well worth checking out.
The film is fascinating – a 30 minute deep-dive into ska, and the life of a true original: Brigitte Bond.
Tune in now.