Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson: I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I was the furthest from the term ‘Sweet 16’ as you could possibly imagine.

I was in the throws of my real teen rebellion.

I had dreams of becoming an actress, and I put most of my energies into that.

In primary school I really loved it and was a good student. A very dedicated, serious soul.

But when I went to secondary school I was unfortunate enough to have a crazy girl in my class.

She was really physically big and intimidating, and she came from a really hard part of town. She basically bullied me.

It wasn’t actually for that long, but it felt like an eternity at that age. For about a year it went on.

Although, mercifully for me, she got pregnant and then left school, I was relieved of my torturer,

Shirley Manson but she had robbed any kind of joy that I had gleamed from being there.

I was skiving school and hanging out with older boys.

Smoking, drinking and starting to experiment with drugs.

I was just sort of wild. My hair literally looked like a birds nest, but I thought I was cool as shit.

There was a female singer in Edinburgh at the time in a band called Hey Elastica. I was kind of obsessed with her.

The people I was hanging around with in an extracurricular fashion were not people who stuck around [as friends for life].

I realised they were kind of mildly self-destructive.

A lot of them were really from a hard background,

they defined themselves as punks or mods or whatever was happening around then.

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