In the late 1970s and early 1980s a new phenomenon emerged in UK popular music - female guitarists, bass-players, keyboard-players and drummers began playing in bands. Before this time, women's presence in rock bands, with a few notable exceptions, had always been as vocalists. This sudden influx of female musicians into the male domain of rock music was brought about by the enabling ethic of punk rock ('anybody can do it!') and by the impact of the Sex Discrimination Act. With the demise of the punk scene, interest in these musicians evaporated and other priorities became important to music audiences. This book investigates the social and commercial reasons why these women became lost from the rock music record, and rewrites this period of popular music history. In addition to a wealth of original interview material with key protagonists, including the late John Peel, Geoff Travis, The Raincoats and Poison Girls, this new edition has been updated to include interviews with members of Birmingham-based band The Au Pairs, Leeds-based band Delta 5 and Viv Albertine of The Slits. Lucy Whitman (aka Lucy Toothpaste), who started the fanzine Jolt and later wrote for Spare Rib, also provides enlightening words on the relationship between female punk band members and feminism. The author also draws on her own experience as bass-player in a punk band.
About the Author
Helen Reddington teaches at the School of Arts and Digital Industries at the University of East London, UK.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. A ladder through the glass ceiling? 2. Media gatekeepers and cultural intermediaries 3. The Brighton scene 4. Noise, violence and femininity 5. The aftermath 6. The social context: academic writing on subcultures, the rock press and 'women in music' 7. Conclusion