wendythirteen Purveyor of Hardcore, Music Promoter, Artist - Vancouver, Canada


When I first started painting I would sign the paintings w13. I was born on the 13th along with my dad, brother, sister and grandfather. It’s sort of a witchy number.

Purveyor of Hardcore, Music Promoter, Artist

Age: Almost 52, I am a Virgo double dragon

Provenance: Regina, Saskatchewan

How long have you lived in Vancouver? About 25 years. Since I was a tween I had dreamed of seeing Vancouver. Living and working in Regina I was offered a chance to study fashion at The Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design on Cordova Street. I jumped on a Greyhound bus as a single mum with my two kids and made the move, sight unseen.

Occupations: I have done many things; been a hair shop owner, an artist, fashion eyebrow raiser, punk and metal music promoter and bartender. Punk culture hit me hard when my aunty brought me a punk postcard from London, England. At that time I was also a big fan of pioneering bass player and singer Suzi Quatro, who played the character Leather Tuscadero in the American sitcom Happy Days. My style still to this day is a mixture of rocker and punk. I had my first punk haircut — bright blonde with a shaggy top — at the age of 13. After graduating from the Marvel Beauty School in Regina I opened a hair shop there. Wanting to be a rock star but with minimal musical talent, I surrounded myself with music in the shape of bands and musician boyfriends. For almost 10 years I managed The Cobalt and The Asbalt (The Astoria); this is where most of Vancouver’s punk and metal bands performed. I also was the bartender, band booker and karaoke host at these bars. A lot of my karaoke babies went on to sing and play in their own bands. I ran as an independent candidate for Vancouver city council three times, in 2005, 2008 and 2011. I now feel semi-retired and mostly work from home, putting on punk or metal shows at Funky Winker Beans on Hastings Street on Friday and Saturday nights.

Passions and Interests: Art, music, freedom and politics have been long-time passions of mine. These days I love my cats: Maybelline and Houdini, more than people. I would be a crazy cat lady if I was allowed to have more than two cats in my totally black condo cave. I have become a prepper and my freezer has been turned into a survival chest filled with beef jerky and other dehydrated items. I have also started canning and therefore have a lot of food that will not perish. When I was young I learned some outdoor bush skills from my father and over the years I have been collecting survival gear , so if it all goes to hell I am ready. Drinking was a serious passion for me, after giving up beer I switched to Jägermeister, which led to a very unhappy liver. Now that I am two and half years sober I love the freedom of cruising around on my electric black scooter.

What do people know you for? A purveyor of heavy music! Getting things done and supporting new bands with a stage to play at my gigs.

Thoughts on Vancouver? When I first arrived in Vancouver I loved everything about it, especially the fruit stands. I lived near Norman’s fruit and salad on Commercial Drive — nothing like it existed in Regina. Everything seemed bigger, especially the trees. The weather was warm. No one stared at you if you had a mohawk. Vancouver means peace, freedom, minimal snow with wind chill, pot smoke, smiles and sweet peeps mixed up with Downtown Eastside dope gangs, gentrification, yuppies, hipsters, slumlords and archaic liquor laws.

Tallulah’s Musings

I first met wendythirteen on a Friday night at a diner on Hastings Street, next to Funkys. She was sitting at the counter eating dinner, wearing a scuffed black leather jacket, her blond Mohawk standing straight up and a nonchalant attitude. wendythirteen has been a fixture in the Vancouver music world for a long time and is known as the punk rock mama. For the shoot I visited her home; the inside is painted entirely black, decorated with a lifetime of skulls, posters, memorabilia and abstract paintings by wendythirteen herself in a style reminiscent of early Jackson Pollock. The music playing was the sweet sounds of 1920s and 1930s big band tunes. I photographed wendythirteen with her electric black scooter.

Conversation & Portrait by Tallulah
April 2016,Vancouver
Published on June 2016

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Tallulah can be commissioned for all types of portraiture, contact her to discuss further.

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