Jennifer Anderson (aka Jennifer Miro) of pioneering San Francisco punk band The Nuns died on December 16 at the age of 54. Cause of death was cancer. She died in New York City. News of her death was only officially announced today.
Anderson co-founded The Nuns with Alejandro Escovedo and Jeff Olener in 1975. The band performed regularly at legendary S.F. music club Mabuhay Gardens. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1980.
Combining provocative lyrics and imagery with an aggressive musical attack, The Nuns were part punk, part goth, part satire and totally themselves.
While continuing to periodically record and perform with The Nuns (sans Escovedo) through the 1990s and beyond, Anderson was a popular model within the fetish and S&M community and a budding screenwriter. In the last few years of her life she worked in the law office of Raoul Felder.
Despite her cancer becoming progressively more incapacitating and pain increasingly intense, Anderson shunned conventional treatment and followed a regime of homeopathy and exercise.
According to long-time friend Peter Young, “she was very optimistic and positive. One of the last things she told me was she wanted to do another modeling shoot because she was so skinny from the last bout with the disease.”
Estranged from her family, with just one close friend and the occasional nurse attending to her, Anderson spent the last months of her life by herself in her apartment in Manhattan. Even for a woman who embraced privacy, this was a particularly lonely end. When remaining at home was finally no longer an option, she was moved to Bellevue Hospital where she died.
In this footage from a Nun’s performance at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on July 30, 1977, Anderson’s haunting beauty and dark humor is in full display.
Songs: “Lazy” and “Savage.”