There are dominant female influences in music that we are well aware of. Artists like Madonna, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner have undeniably paved the way for countless women rockers of today, standing up as influences and icons to today's generation of female musicians.
But what about the killer, rigid edged female metal girls of yesteryear that raged through the male dominated world of hard rock and heavy metal with a 6 inch stiletto implanted firmly into the buttocks of their male counterparts and hold their own in the rock arena, only to burn out and not given the credibility and integrity they were well deserved?
When we, as a western society, think of the female innovators of rock and roll, we seem to disregard and surpass the great artists like 1979's London bred metal-muthas Girlschool, or the lashing metal cords of teen rockers The Runaways in the mid seventies, both bands which trail blazed along side male groups like Deep Purple, Led Zepplin, Motorhead and Black Sabbath and could effortlessly hold their own against the bad boys of rock.
The Runaways are a high-quality case in point.
Featuring Lita Ford and Joan Jett, two powerful forces who would both later have flourishing solo careers, the Runaways profoundly went unnoticed not only because they were female, but because they were 15 and 16 years old when they began. Huge in Japan, The Runaways were the innovators of all female bands likewise to come. Although Japan embraced them with open arms and a raised leather fist in the air, American audiences, so conditioned by our testosterone laden culture, recoiled in horror at the thought of seeing 16 year old schoolgirls clad in black leather and heavy eye makeup belting out crunchy guitar riffs screaming out such lyrics as [i]"hey street boy what's your style, your dead end dreams don't make you smile, I'll give ya something to live for, have ya, grab ya, till you're sore"[/i], with front woman Cherie Currie smothered tightly in a corset and thigh high platform boots.
Were the American audiences, who were so accustomed to heavyweight male front men such as Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy Kilmiester, intimidated by The Runaways? Or in the case of Girlschool, Motherhead in high heels? Scared to accept little girls playing along side the bad boys of metal and actually holding their own in the rock and roll court?
Throughout history, critics and media alike have honored pop sensations The Go Go's as the most credible, first female group to actually play their instruments and have commercial success, but yet there is never any mention of The Runaways or Girlschool who both came years before The Go Go's even existed. Bassist Kathy Valentine of The Go Go's was even once in Girlschool while under the moniker Painted Lady in the late seventies. We, as a culture, praise girl bands like The Donnas (who the Runaways were a MAJOR influence and continually heard through their tongue-in-cheek lyrics and stiff driven guitar riffs) and vocalists like Courtney Love who is now deemed rock's bad girl many years AFTER Plasmatics front woman Wendy O Williams was blowing up Cadillac's on stage, getting arrested for punching a police officer after he ˜mishandled her', driving a red convertible into the Hudson River and wrapping herself in black electrical tape and shaving cream.
This topic is to take a look at all the female rockers you may have overlooked. The women of metal I have loved since I was a child, who paved the way for the 90's artists to be accepted into mainstream rock. The forgotten ladies who, with sweat, blood and balls, smashed down the male dominated metal scene with a swift kick of a high-heeled stiletto boot and a lipstick sneer.
My own personal favorite? GIRLSCHOOL; I was 8 years old when i first heard the screaming guitar riffs of the opening of Screaming Blue Murder and have had the honour of actually running their Official Website and conversing with them through email and phone years later (the website is currently being revamped though when i get time to do so). It was a dream come true for me. I even have their logo tattooed on my left shoulder. How about yours? Who's your fave female rockers and why? [This message was edited by ViperBoy on 12-20-02 at 08:57 PM.]
Original Post
how did I miss this one? The runaways were amazing - and what Joan has done since then has been awesome - i got to see her a couple times live -closeup and she truly fucking rocks - so connected and fierce with her audience - and that voice! anyway - I also love that chick from Berlin too (Teri??). Saw a "where are they now" thing - and she looks exactly the same - must be all that yoga out in LA.

Of course Deborah Harry (Domination!) still rocks my world. She's been a big influence on me - not only because of her voice and what Blondie has become (or the "call me" on the Muppets!)- but the stories behind how Blondie came up and how she found her way to music. I love how she talks about (in their autobiography, I forgit the name! glamnerd?) how for years she thought her voice lived "somewhere south of her chin" hahaha. I can completely identify with that - how people told her she'd never make it in rock. Of course she just kept on following her passion and her truth which led her to where she is today.

Then of course there is Pat Benetar - who dropped out of opera to sing rock - How cool is that? Live from Earth is one of my favorite all time albums! YOu can tell I love the real behind the music stuff. Truth is - there are so many nuggets of truth and experience you can get from listening to interviews and hearing about how people found their way to where they are now- or how this or that happened.

"I love playing with fire
but i dont wanna get burned..."

Jade
no one that matters has forgotten any of the above mentioned rock-n-roll queens.
Patti Smith is another great icon in the female history of rock.
all you can do to keep these Queens alive is to blast the bullshitters like Britney, PINK, and the other R&B'rs out there when they refer to themselves as ROCK-N-ROLL
School the masses on what R-n-R is. don't forget the likes of L7.
encourage the chick rockers you know personally to never give up ... support your local chick rockers
the next rock-n-roll queen might be right under
your nose. pay attention, they are still out there, don't overlook the newcomers...
Had an interview with them scheduled a few years back, was going to do it in a bondage/fetish restaurant on 23rd, as they were to be staying in a midtown hotel. They were so into the idea (which I had a hard time getting past the publicity people, why I wonder, what kind of image control were they going for? anyhow ...) the date switched at the last minute and I could not accommodate the new time so a co-editor took over the interview, but I often regret what a great interview that would have been. The show, they were on tour with Offspring at the time, was full-throttle. I even spied the Sumo-Rocker and when I got my big toe nail torn off in the mosh pit (yes I had to wear big glamorous open-toe platforms) the writihing of the guitars made the pain completely bearable, the blood gushing from my foot however, did manage to clear me a cute little spot to swing my ass back in forth in!

KcFox -- great band to mention!

[This message was edited by TonyaKnudsen on 02-28-03 at 01:36 PM.]
Amen Anna--

Chrissie, interviewed recently by Maclean's mag:

She once drew up a list of 10 commandments to budding "chick rockers." Number six: "Don't think that sticking your boobs out and trying to look fuckable will help. Remember you're in a rock and roll band. It's not 'fuck me,' it's 'fuck you'!"

Brilliance!
Did you catch Avril at the Grammys trying SO hard to look angry! I love that middle class white colar angst... sorry but it reminds me of when the Beastie Boys came to Liverpool and everyone just beat the shit out of them and they ran crying and brought their rich jewish attorney daddies back to Liverpool with them to sue the theatre for not protecting them! (They lost the trial by the way and had to pay damages).. I am not convinced by white rich arse angst, styled by the record company and a $1000 a day stylist... wheres the edge... (and I don't mean that git in U2)
yes, i saw. so sad. AND THAT HAIR! AND THAT TUX, made of Dickies fabric. So so wrong. Actually, I hope she doesn't have a $1,000 stylist, cause she could really use some help in that dept.

Don't get me wrong though, I love some of the manufactured pop stuff, esp. tAtU, the fake lesbos from russia. My problem is when these other gals try so hard to be something they're not. And they're so serious at doing it! tAtU knows [or their producer knows] they're just bubblegum sideshow kitsch, and the lesbo thing is a gimmick-- they work it that way--- and work it good.
I fucking hate her! GO AWAY! She worse than all the others, pretending to be a blowup doll is one thing but pretending to be "punk" is just sad. I hated her before, but when she couldn't even pronounce David Bowies name........good bye sunshine!
When I first heard her name I thought it was LEVINE! That would be new, to have such a Jewishy name and get famous with it. Maybe it IS her real name, but she's like Mrs. Bucket ("Boo-KAY") from "Keeping Up Appearences".

I always liked the New Wave Chicks: Lene Lovich, Nina Hagen, Annie Lennox, Dale Bozio, Whatshername from Altered Images, The Go Go's, And, of course, Kate and Cindy of the B52's. Well, Fred was a fierce new wave chick too!
another ruler who should be mentioned here is Theo (lead singer of the Lunachicks). Yes , she is a good friend but even before I knew her I was worshiping her true punk realness. She and the Lunachicks were the real thing and make all the Advils ..I mean ..Avrils of the world look like poseurs.
all that hair, and leather, and tattoos.... mmm mmm. avril would never take advice from them- though she should. plus, at first i thought avril was alright as far as pop goes, wearing the tie and all, but i've recently decided they she really doesn't know what she's doing with that tie, or any of the real significance behind the state she's making because she's really just a puppet
Yikes, no wonder Donatella Versace has fallen head over heels over sexy Christina! This gurl oozes sex! Christina was always such a sweet little thing as a teen - so mediocre, so very "pop". Now she is getting as S&M and vulgar and dirty and NASTY as can be. She truly is HOT. A real FEMME ROCKER!
her new album is fantastic. That girl can really sing. My only crit. is that she doesn't have her own identity down yet. One song is "Whitney", one song is "Mariah" ...you name her, she does her. I know she cheezy but I can't deny a good song and a good voice. I have to give her her props.
I am glad someone finally agrees with me! Not only are all the songs great on sweet little Christina's new CD (STRIPPED), her video on MTV (I AM BEAUTIFUL) is an utter dunk-ball. In it, guys are kissing guys, women are carressing women and trannies are getting dressed - what a provocative, ballsy video! I mean, nothing against Patti Smith and Wendy O Williams and all of them used-to-bees and has-beens, but I don't think they ever went half as far as little Christina does in shaking up the status quo - Besides, Chissie Hynde and all those chicks like Lita Ford and the two sisters from Heart , etc are all old grannies now. Christina is brand new - a really frisky pup!

[This message was edited by Joel on 03-28-03 at 12:55 PM.]
true. christina's got a ton of courage... and after eminem ran over her reputation a zillion times she also has nothing to lose... and did anyone see the vh1 special of her? she's incredibly talented, since she was little... i remember her from star search! but i'm still not sure i can qualify her as a rocker. i mean, daddy, like you said her style is similar to mariah and whitney... do you consider mariah a rocker?
"Patti Smith and Wendy O Williams and all of them used-to-bees and has-beens"


Joel, what are you 10 years old? There is nothing more unattractive than discarding someone because of their age. If it weren't for these "has-beens" Christina wouldn't be anywhere. Plus you should do a little more research into Wendy O, Christina may sing better but she will NEVER have the balls Wendy did. She totally paved.
Okay, I confess, I just wanted to see who remembers Wendy O. I think she is the greatest female rocker of all time. My god, I looooved her so! So sexy, so raunchy, so hard, so butch!!!!Wendy O is up in heaven now. Here is the note she left behind:

"The act of taking my own life is not something I am doing without a lot of thought. I don't believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm . Love always, Wendy."
-- Wendy O. Williams' suicide note (april 6, 1998)

PS: Some people believe that Elvis never died, so it is with Wendy.
since this is a Grrllllz rock discussion I thought I would post this URL Ana Lovelis
As a Writer for the Long Island Entertainment News I get to hear a lot of New chic bands. This one does a great show..and plays in NYC all the time. more to come this is a great thread.

Link to the LIEN Long Island Entertainment News
which I am proud to say has the First Transgendered Advice Column.....thats quite an acclishment for a vanilla paper On Vanilla Island.
Christina is soooooo hot. Her new video Can't Keep Us Down has been banned from MTV. Yikes!! It is even HOTTER than Dirrty and the Beautiful video!! Christina Aquilera looks so hot in her little short shorts designed by her main squeeze, Donatella Versace, that she makes Madonna seem like Milli Vanilli....
I love Japanese femme rockers. They whine, growl, scream, screech and sing through their albums so charmingly. The Japanese language has a distinctive way of treating gender in lyrics so it's interesting listening to them, even in broken English.

Some of my favorites are Shena Ringo (she's been compared to Bjork, Lauper and Stefani), Cocco, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, Youjeen, Shonen Knife, Bugy Craxone and Lisa Go.

Just my two cents.
Oh hell yeah. And there's so many!

Puffy Ami Yumi, tho not exactly 'rockers' at first glance, are soooo excellent, delicious and fine. In that totally disposable, stuck in your head bubblegummy kind of way. I think they have their own action figures.

Ex-Girl is a delight, and a puzzle. Not just to figure out what the hell the songs are about, (accept your own answer), but what the hell the band is about. Actually, anything Hoppy Kamiyumi-related can offfer the same tease

Japanese boy bands are lovely too. Guitar Wolf. Thee Michelle Elephant Gun. Melt Banana. The Ruins. Mmm mmmmmmmm.

Aw,geez. Let's just start a new topic...

[This message was edited by Minerva on 08-21-03 at 10:18 AM.]

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