Full Name: Polly Jean Harvey
Birth Date: October 9, 1969
Birth Place: Yeovil, Somerset, England, UK
Height: 5' 4"
Quote: "I suppose I give as much as I want to give. I decide immediately if I like a person and if I do, then I'm myself, and if I don't, then I give nothing. With Tori I liked her straight away, so she got me. But people do have completely the wrong idea about me, almost the opposite, in fact. And I'm quite happy for it to be like that. Do I want loads of people to know who I am? I'd much rather they didn't have a clue."
Polly Jean Harvey was born on October 9, 1969 in Yeovil, England. While growing up in a small village consisting of 600 people, she felt isolated as the only young girl around town. As a result, she confesses to living most of her earlier years as a tomboy. This isolation propelled her to develop an interest in music. Much of her interest stemmed from her parents being avid collectors of many different music genres, including blues and jazz.
PJ also garnered a great deal of exposure through personal music lessons. Whenever touring musicians would play at nearby venues, her parents would invite them to stay at the Harvey household overnight. However, instead of charging them a fee for their hospitality, they would ask that Polly be granted personal lessons on various musical instruments. By the age of 11, she had gradually become proficient with several of these instruments, including the guitar, drums, violin, cello, and saxophone.
While PJ's parents were major influences on her musical upbringing, she credits an even greater portion of her talent to her primary musical mentor, John Parish. He single-handedly helped PJ take her guitar-playing skills to an even higher level. By the age of 17, John recruited her to play guitar in his band, Automatic Dlamini.
Following her short-lived stint with Parish's band, PJ expanded her musical horizons by playing in a variety of groups. However, a major turning point in her career took place when she enrolled in Yeovil Art College in her hometown. While pursuing a degree in sculpture, she met and teamed up with bassist Steve Vaughn and drummer Robert Ellis and formed the trio, PJ Harvey.
In late 1991, the trio began to make a name for itself on the music scene by releasing two singles, "Dress" and "Sheela-Na-Gig." Both songs created quite a stir, which in turn earned the group some highly acclaimed reviews in the London music press. Shortly after the group's star power increased thanks to these singles, PJ Harvey released its debut album, Dry, in March of 1992. The album was praised for its musical innovation and PJ began to receive some well-deserved recognition for her songwriting abilities.
Shortly after the release of Dry, things took a turn for the worse for the trio. PJ reportedly suffered from a nervous breakdown due to overbearing stress and increasing pressures to succeed with a second album. As a result, she retreated back to the confines of her hometown to take a break.
Once she pulled herself back together, PJ rejoined the band and PJ Harvey released its second album as a band, Rid of Me, in early 1993. The success of the group's second effort skyrocketed and immediately outsold Dry by a substantial margin.
After touring in support of Rid of Me, PJ Harvey disbanded for undisclosed reasons. PJ focused on pursuing a solo career and in 1995, released her debut album as a solo artist, titled To Bring You My Love. She had her former mentor, John Parish, produce the album. This solo release earned PJ an even higher level of recognition as a truly gifted songwriter. The duo of Harvey and Parish eventually collaborated even further by releasing a full-length album together in 1996, entitled Dance Hall at Louse Point.
Following the release of her album with Parish, PJ spent much of her time collaborating with other talented artists, including Tricky and Nick Cave. In 1998, she released her second album as a solo artist, Is This Desire? and began dabbling in acting by portraying Mary Magdalene in Hal Hartley's film, The Book of Life.
In October of 2000, Harvey released her third solo album, titled Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Since her latest release, PJ has been touring in support of the album, has made public appearances on a variety of television shows including the Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
On June 8, 2004, she released her sixth album of all-original material, titled "Uh Huh Her."
PJ Harvey Filmography
The Book of Life (1998) .... Magdalena
PJ Harvey Links