I wrote a post on all-female bands from the 1910s-1950s, and a post covering all-female bands of the 1960s — here’s my attempt at a conclusive A-Z (and other alphabets) of all-female bands of the 1970s. Details are often sketchy or non-existent and as always corrections and contributions are appreciated!
Die Ätztussis were an anarcho-punk band from the Kreuzberg section of West Berlin, active at least as early as 1979 when they played the Antifaschistischen Festival. The members were Cordula (vocals), Kiki (bass), Menusch (guitar), and Petra (drums).ol
Cynthia Ross, Lucasta Rochas, Marcy Saddy, and Rhonda Ross formed ‘B’ Girls in Toronto in 1977. Although they recorded a handful of demos, they only released one single, “Fun At The Beach,” on BOMP! in 1979. Roaches was replaced by Xenia Holiday before they broke up in 1981 or ’82. A collection of their recordings were released as Who Says Girls Can’t Rock in 1997.
BeBe K’Roche were formed in Berkeley by Jake Lampert, Pamela “Tiik” Pollet, Peggy Mitchell, and Virginia Rubino in 1973. They released one single, “Hoodoo’d,” and an eponymous LP in 1976 on Los Angeles’s Olivia Records.
BERKELEY WOMEN’S MUSIC COLLECTIVE
Berkeley Women’s Music Collective were comprised of Debbie Lempke, Jake Lampert, Nancy Henderson, Nancy Vogl, and Susann Shanbaum. Lampert later went on to play in the all-female BeBe K’Roche. Henderson left the band to become a physical education instructor before they recorded Berkeley Women’s Music Collective (1976) and Tryin’ To Survive (1978).
Bitch were from the Chicago area and were comprised of Donna Agresti (drums), Donna Kirkendall (bass), Gerre Edinger (guitar), Lorrie Kountz (guitar), and Nancy Davis (vocals). They were active from the late 1970s until at least 1981.
Two Tone ska group The Bodysnatchers formed in London in 1979 and were comprised of Miranda Joyce (alto saxophone), Nicky Summers (bass), Penny Leyton (keyboards), Rhoda Dakar (vocals), Sarah-Jane Owen (lead guitar), and Stella Barker (rhythm guitar). In 1980 they released “Let’s Do Rock Steady.”
Debbie Trethaway (drums), Jane Boston (harmonica), Jen Green (rhythm guitar), Jude Winter (electric piano), Rose Yates (bass), Susy Taylor (vocals), and Tasha Fairbanks (saxophone) formed Devil’s Dykes in Brighton in 1977. The band changed their name to Bright Girls in 1980 and their song “Hidden From History” was included on the compilation Vaultage 80: A Vinyl Chapter (1980). They stopped performing in 1990.
BRISTOL WOMEN’S MUSIC COLLECTIVE
The Bristol Women’s Music Collective formed around 1978. They were the subject of the short documentary, In Our Own Time (1981), produced by Women in Moving Pictures (WIMPS).
Neue Deutsche Welle group Carambolage were formed in 1979 by Angie Olbrich, Britta Neander, Elfie-Esther Steitz, and Janett Lemmen. They released an eponymous album in 1980 and Eilzustellung-Exprès in 1982.
The Castrators were an all-female punk band with Angela Risner, Tessa Pollit (guitar) — who went on to join The Slits as bassist — and Budgie, who apparently was NOT the Budgie of The Slits. They were profiled by News of The World in 1977 for a piece on female punks.
THE CHICAGO WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band teamed with The New Haven Woman’s Liberation Rock Band and released Mountain Moving Day on Rounder in 1972. Their side included the songs “Secretary,”“Ain’t Gonna Marry,”“Papa (Don’t Lay That Shit on Me),” and “Mountain Moving Day.”
Clapperclaw were a London-based theatrical group comprised of Caroline John, Rae Levy, Rix Pyke, and one other member. They active from around 1978 who performed feminist, socialist satirical music hall on instruments ranging from accordion, banjo, clarinet, guitar, mandolin, pianos, recorders, spoons, triangle, and whistles.
Clito were an Italian punk band formed around 1978 in Milan. They were comprised of Elettra Sax (saxophone), Klara Lux (drums), Norma Loid (guitar), Olivia Gintonic (bass), and Ruby Scass (vocals). Their songs “Giangol” and “Se La Vita E’ Faticosa” were later included on the compilation Italian Records called The Singles 7” Collection (1980-1984) (2013).
The Curse were formed in Toronto in 1977. The band was comprised of Dr. Bourque (bass, backing vocals), Mickey Skin (vocals), Patzy Poizon (drums, backing vocals), and Trixie Danger (guitar, backing vocals). They released the single “Shoeshine Boy” b/w “The Killer Bees” in 1978.
THE DEADLY NIGHTSHADE
The Deadly Nightshade formed in Northampton in 1972 and were comprised of Anne Bowen (rhythm guitar), Helen Hooke (lead guitar, fiddle), and Pamela Robin Brandt (bass). They released two records, The Deadly Nightshade (1975) and F&W (1976).
The Dinettes formed in San Diego as The Cockpits in 1978 who, after a couple of line-up changes, coalesced around Cindy Brisco (drums), Doriot Negrette (vocals), Irene Liberatore-Dolan (drums), Joyce Rooks (guitar, vocals), Lisa Aston Emerson (guitar), and Sue Ferguson (keyboards) as The Dinettes. They released “Poison” b/w “T.V.” in 1979.
The Dishrags were a Vancouver-based punk band comprised of Dale Powers (bass), Jade Blade (née Jill Bain, guitars), Scout Fairlane (drums), and Sue MacGillivray. Powers had apparently been a member of The Miamis. In 1979 they released a single, “Past Is Past” b/w “Love Is Shit (It’s Goodbye)” and “Tormented” on short-lived Seattle-based label, Modern Records. A follow-up, “Death In The Family” and “Beware Of Dog” b/w “All The Pain Written” was apparently self-released (despite the RCA Victor logo) in 1980. Soon after, Powers, Fairlane, and Jade Blade went on to form Snow Geese with Phil Smith and Dishrags producer, Bill Napier-Hemy. Fairlane later played in Blanche Whitman. Jade Blade much later formed the duo Volumizer with Napier-Hemy. A compilation of The Dishrags’ recordings from 1978-1980 was compiled and released as Love/Hate by Other Peoples Music in 1997.
Dolly Mixture were formed in 1978 by Debsey Wykes (bass, piano, vocals), Hester Smith (drums, vocals), and Rachel Bor (guitar, cello, vocals) in Cambridge. After releasing three singles in three years they released the limited edition Demonstration Tapes in 1983. Wykes and Smith went on to form Coming Up Roses and Bor performed with Fruit Machine. Wykes later performed with Saint Etienne and later, Birdie.
Electra were formed in Suffolk in 1979 by Celia Tordoff (congas) Gill Alexander (bass), Lizzie Scott (piano, bass, guitar, vocals), Lizzy Smith (guitar, lead vocals), Margi Stevenson (vocals, percussion), Nicolette Vine (vocals), and Rachel Perry (piano, bass, guitar). In 1986, Smith, Stevenson, Perry, and Paddy Tanton (vocals) formed The Lizzy Smith Band, which continued until 1993.
EMILY SWAY AND THE SHUFFLE SISTERS
No information available!
THE FEMINIST IMPROVISING GROUP
The Feminist Improvising Group (FIG) formed in 1977. Their ranks included Angèle Veltmeijer (flute, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone), Annemarie Roelofs (trombone, violin), Cathy Williams (keyboards), Corinne Liensol (trumpet), Françoise Dupety (alto saxophone, guitar), Frankie Armstrong (vocals), Georgie Born (cello, bass guitar), Irène Schweizer (piano, drums), Lindsay Cooper (bassoon, oboe, soprano saxophone), Maggie Nicols (vocals), and Sally Potter (vocals, alto saxophone). They released an eponymous album in 1979 before disbanding in 1982.
The Flatbackers formed in the UK in 1978 and were Julie Usher (lead guitar, vocals), Lucy Dray (bass, vocals), and Lyn Monk (drums, percussion, backing vocals). They released three singles, “Pumping Iron,”“Buzzz Going Round,” and “Serenade Of Love” in 1980 and 1981. They disbanded in 1981.
Die Flying Lesbians were formed in Germany in 1974 and included Cäcilia Rentmeister (piano, synthesizer, harmonica, vocals), Christel Wachowski (guitar, percussion), Danielle de Baat (guitar, bass, vocals), Gigi (Christa) Lansch (percussion), and Monika Jaeckel (drums, percussion). They released a self-titled album in 1975.
Galaxy were a heavy psych/space rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida by Frenzi Fabbri (guitar), Miss Gunner Powell (drums), Pepper Leonardi (bass), and Space Mama Geiger (keyboards). They released Day Without the Sun in 1976.
Girls were a Japanese five-piece comprised of Gill, Lena, Llia, Rita, and Sadie. They released the albums, Noraneko (野良猫) (1977), Punky Kiss (1977), and Girls (1978).
Girlschool are a British Heavy Metal band which formed in 1978. Their roots go back to Wandsworth where in 1975 Dinah ‘Enid’ Williams (bass, vocals), Kim McAuliffe (rhythm guitar, vocals), and Tina Gayle (drums) formed Painted Lady. In 1978, McAuliffe, Williams, Denise Dufort (drums), and Kelly Johnson (lead guitar) changed their name to Girlschool and released their first single, “Take It All Away.” They still perform to this day, with McAuliffe, Williams, Dufort, and Jackie Chambers (lead guitar, backing vocals).
The Go-Go’s were formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by Belinda Carlisle (vocals), Elissa Bello (drums), Jane Wiedlin (guitar, vocals), and Margot Olavarria (bass). Although initially punk, they found fame as a pop band in the 1980s. Wiedlin released several solo albums, as did Carlisle and Gina Shock, who early on replaced drummer Bello.
Isis formed in New York City in 1973. Their ranks included Barbara Cobb (bass), Carol MacDonald (vocals, guitar), Ellen Seeling (trumpet), Edith Dankowitz (saxophone, flute, clarinet), Faith Fusillo (guitar), Ginger Bianco (drums, percussion), Jeanie Fineberg (saxophone, flute, piccolo), Lauren Draper (trumpet, vocals), Lolly Bienenfield (trombone, vocals), Lynx (saxophone, guitar), Margo Lewis (keyboards), Nydia “Liberty” Mata (percussion), Renate Ferrer (guitar), Suzi Ghezzi (guitar), Stella Bass (bass, vocals), and Vivian Stoll (drums, vibraphone). They released three albums, Isis (1974), Ain’t No Backin’ Up Now (1975), and Breaking Through (1977).
Jam Today were formed in 1976 in Peckham, UK. Over the course of several line-ups their ranks included Alison Rayner (bass), Angele Veltmeijer (saxophone, flute), Barbara Stretch (vocals), Corinne Liensol, Deirdre Cartright (guitar), Diana Wood (vocals, alto saxophone), Fran Rayner, Frankie Green (drums), Jackie Crew (drums), Joey (vocals), Josefina Cupido (percussion, vocals), Josie Mitten (keyboards, vocals), Julia Dawkins (saxophone, flute), Laka Daisical (vocals, keyboards), Nicki Francis (saxophone, flute), Sarah Greaves Baker (trumpet), Terry Hunt (guitar), and Vicky Aspinall (violin). They (when the band was comprised of Crew, Dawkins, Hunt, Rayner, and Stretch) only got around to releasing one EP, Stereotyping, in 1981.
Kandeggina Gang, which included Jo Squillo, was a punk band which formed in Milan in 1979. They released one single, “Sono captive” b/w “Orrore” before disbanding in 1981.
Kleenex formed in Zurich in 1978 with a line-up of Klaudia Schiff (bass, vocals), Lislot Ha (drums), Marlene Marder (guitar), and Regula Sing (vocals). Initially Kleenex were assisted by Rudolph Dietrich and Gogi Düggelbach of Nasal Boys (I smell a theme here) but the core of the band was always female, revolving around the duo of Ha and Schiff. Sing (nee Ramona Carlier) left to join The Mo-Dettes and was replaced by Chrigle Freund, who was subsequently replaced by Astrid Spirit. In 1979, faced with legal action from the popular American manufacturer of snot rags, Kleenex changed their name to LiLiPUT, and no legal threat ensued from the estate of Jonathan Swift. After their dissolution, Marder wrote the book, Kleenex/LiLiPUT – Das Tagebuch der Gitarristin Marlene Marder and the band’s output was collected and released by Kill Rock Stars as LiLiPUT.
The Klitz formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1978 and were comprised of Amy Gassner (bass), Gail Elise Clifton (vocals), Lesa Aldridge (guitar), and Marcia Clifton (drums). They recorded “Couldn’t Be Bothered,”“Two Chords,” “Hard Up,” and a cover of Alex Chilton’s “Hook or Crook” before disbanding.
Klymaxx were a Los Angeles funk band who formed in 1979. The members were Bernadette Cooper (drums, vocals), Cheryl Cooley (guitar, vocals), Joyce “Fenderella” Irby (bass, vocals), Lorena Porter Shelby (vocals), Lynn Malsby (keyboards), and Robbin Grider (synthesizers, guitar). Their first big hit was 1984’s Meeting In The Ladies Room.
Lavender Jane were comprised of Alix Dobkin, Kay Gardner, and Patches Attom. They released Lavender Jane Loves Women in 1975. Dobkin went on to form Alix Dobkin Featuring the Lesbian Power Authority who released Living With Lesbians in 1976 and she released the solo, Alix, in 1980. Gardner released several solo albums before dying in 2002.
THE LONDON WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The London Women’s Liberation Rock Band were formed in 1972 by Alaine (guitar), Angele Veltmeijer (vocals and flute), Eleanor Thorneycroft (bass guitar), Frankie Green (drums), and Hazel Twort (vocals, keyboard).
Maiden Voyage were Hetsilla Sharkey (flute, saxophone, keyboards), Leslie LaRonga (drums), Missy Wolcott (bass, keyboards, banjo), Nancy Pollock (guitar, trumpet, trombone), and Terry Sausville (keyboards, flute, trumpet). They released In New York in 1974.
The Mascaras were an obscure punk group who existed around 1977, when they Tony Wilson’s So It Goes.
水玉消防団 formed in Tokyo in 1979. Members included 天鼓 (guitar, vocals), カムラ (bass), 可夜 (piano, electric piano, organ), まなこ (guitar), and 宮本 (drums). They released Otome no Inori wa Da Da Da (1981) and 満天に赤い花びら (1985) before disbanding in 1988.
Mother Trucker formed in Hounslow, UK around 1974 and were comprised of Billie Simpkins (lead vocals), Freddie Barnes (drums), Jackie Ellender (bass guitar), Leslie Rice-Paddington (guitar), Ronnie McBurney (vocals) and were signed to Ember Records. They released a self-titled album in 1975.
Necessary Evil were a British punk band formed around 1979 who existed until 1980.
Neo Boys formed in Portland in 1978. The members were Jennifer Labianco (guitar), K.T. Kincaid (vocals), Kim Kincaid (bass), and Pat Baum (drums). Labianco was replaced by Meg Hentges. They released “Neo Boys” in 1980 and the Crumbling Myths EP in 1982. A compilation, Sooner Or Later, was released in 2013.
THE NEW HAVEN WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band appeared on the split 1972 LP Mountain Moving Day with The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band. The New Haven Woman’s Liberation Rock Band’s side contained the songs “Abortion Song,” “Sister Witch,” “Prison Song,” “So Fine,” and “Shotgun.”
The Nixe formed in 1978, in Utrecht, Netherlands. Their line-up was comprised of Ilva Poortvliet (vocals), Marian De Beurs (guitar), Nikki Meijerink (bass), and Simone Luken (drums). They appeared on Utreg-Punx in 1980 and and released The Nixe EP in 1981. They broke up in 1984 but a self-titled compilation was released in 2008.
Nōh Mercy were a post-punk duo of Esmerelda (vocals, keyboards) and Tony Hotel (drums), who formed in San Francisco in 1977. They disbanded in 1980. A self-titled compilation was released in 2012.
THE NORTHERN WOMEN’S LIBERATION ROCK BAND
The Northern Women’s Liberation Rock Band formed in 1973 and were comprised of Angela Cooper (vocals), Angie Libman (drums), Carol Riddell (keyboards), Frances Bernstein (guitar), Jane Power (rhythm guitar), Jenny Clegg (bass), and Luchia Fitzgerald (vocals).
Östro 430 were a Neue Deutsche Welle group who formed in Düsseldorf in 1979. The original line-up included Martina Weith (vocals, saxophone), Bettina Flörchinger (keyboards), Monika Kellermann (bass), and Marita Welling (drums). Later members included Olivia Casali (bass), Gisela Hottenroth (bass), Birgit Köster (drums), and Ralf Küpping (guitar). In 1981 they released the Durch dick & dünn EP, in 1983 they released Weiber wie wir, and they disbanded in 1984.
Ova formed as The Lupin Sisters in 1976 and were Jana Runnalls (vocals, guitar, clarinet, drums, percussion, kazoo) and Rosemary Schonfeld (vocals, 12-string guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, cabasa, drum programming, marímbula, log drum). They released Out of Bounds (1982) and Possibilities (1984).
Peaches, also known as The Vamps, were an Australian trio formed in Sydney in 1975 by Margaret Britt (bass,vocals). In 1978 they released a recording of Willie Harry Wilson’s “Substitute.”
Pulsallama were a no wave band which included members Andé Whyland, Ann Magnuson, April Palmieri, Dany Johnson, Jean Caffeine, Kimberly Davis, Lori Montana, Min Thometz, Stace Elkin, and Wendy Wild. They released “The Devil Lives In My Husband’s Body” b/w “Ungawa Pt.II (Way Out Guiana)” (1982) and “Oui-Oui (A Canadian In Paris)” b/w “Pulsallama on the Rag” (1983). Magnuson went onto form Bongwater.
Quality Street were a London band formed around 1979 whose members were Angele Veltmeye (saxophone), Maggie Nicols (vocals), Sally Beautista (guitar), and Vicky Scrivener (vocals).
The Raincoats are a British post-punk group formed in 1977 and still active. The original line-up was Ana Da Silva (guitar), Gina Birch (bass), Paloma “Palmolive” Romero (drums), and Vicky Aspinall (guitar, violin). Palmolive was soon replaced by Ingrid Weiss. After releasing three albums, the band broke-up in 1984 but reformed a decade later after their albums were reissued in 1993 with liner notes by Kim Gordon and Kurt Cobain. In the new line-up, Aspinall and Weiss were replaced by Anne Wood and Heather Dunn.
The Roches were a vocal, folk-rock trio formed in Park Ridge, New Jersey by Maggie and Terre Roche. After singing back-up for Paul Simon on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, they released their only album as a duo, Seductive Reasoning, in 1975. Afterward they were joined by younger sister Suzy Roche.
The Runaways were formed in 9175 by Joan Jett (guitar, vocals), Michael Steele (bass), and Sandy West (drums). Steele left to join The Bangles and was replaced by many bassists, including Peggy Foster, Jackie Fox, Vicki Blue, Laurie McAllister, and Lita Ford (who also played guitar). Cherie Currie joined as lead vocalist in 1975 and, after departing in 1977, was replaced in that role by Jett. They played their last show in 1978 and broke up in 1979.
The Slits were a punk band formed in London in 1976 by members who’d formerly been in The Castrators and The Flowers of Romance. The original line-up was Ari Up (Ariane Forster), Palmolive (Paloma Romero), Kate Korus, and Suzy Gutsy. There were line-up changes and The Slits weren’t always all-female (e.g. Budgie) but they primarily presented themselves as an all-female group. They released Cut (1979) and Return of the Giant Slits (1981) before disbanding in 1982. They reformed in 2005 and released Trapped Animal (2009), the year before Forster died.
Snatch were a punk duo comprised of Judy Nylon and Patti Palladin. They formed in London in 1976 but the two bandmates were both American. After several singles and a collaboration with Brian Eno, they released a self-titled album — their only — in 1983.
Spoilsports were Angele Veltmeijer (saxophone), Barbara Stretch (vocals), Carole Nelson (keyboards), Ruth Bitelli (bass), and Sheelagh Way (drums), who formed in 1978. They released one single, “You Gotta Shout” b/w “Love And Romance” in 1980, after which they broke-up.
THE STEPNEY SISTERS
The Stepney Sisters formed in York in 1974. The members were Benni Lees (bass, guitar), Caroline Gilfillan (vocals, drums), Nony Ardill (guitar), Ruthie Smith (vocals, saxophone), Sharon “Shaz” Nassauer (keyboards), and Susy Hogarth (drums). They disbanded in 1976. Their song, “Sisters” was included on the compilation Music & Liberation: A Compilation of Music From the Women’s Liberation Movement (2012).
TOUR DE FORCE
Tour de Force were a British new wave quartet who were formed in the late 1970s by Bernice Cartwright (bass), Carol Stocker (vocals), Deirdre Cartwright (vocals, guitar), and Val Lloyd (drums, vocals). They released three singles, “Night Beat” b/w “Tour De Force,” “Beat the Clock” b/w “Undecided,” and “School Rules” b/w “We Don’t Talk” in 1980 and ’81.
Usch (also known as Enola Gay) were a Swedish punk band formed in Stockholm in 1978. The original members were Hans Edström (guitar, vocals), Irene Liljeblad (bass, vocals), Jojje Jerngrip (guitar), Kicko (vocals), and Nike Markelius (drums, vocals) and they released Usch EP. In 1980, John Essing (guitar) and Toril Vigerust (guitar, vocals) played in the band and the following year the band released the single “Hatlåten” before disbanding.
UT were a New York no wave band formed in 1978 by Jacqui Ham (vocals, bass), Nina Canal (vocals, guitar), and Sally Young (vocals, drums). They released three albums, Conviction (1986), In Gut’s House (1987), and Griller (1989). They were on hiatus from 1991 till 2010, when they returned to live performance.
The Welders were a punk group formed in 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri. The original members were Caroline Fujimoto (bass), Kelly “Rusty” Draper (guitar), Jane Fujimoto (drums, keyboards), Julie (guitar), and Stephanie von Drasek (vocals). Julie left in 1977 and von Drasek in ’78 — their replacements were Colleen (vocals) and Lyla (drums), who remained until the band broke up in 1980 or ’81. Four of their songs, “P-E-R-V-E-R-T,” “Debutantes In Bondage,” “S-O-S Now,” and “Baby Don’t Go” were released by Rerun Records in 2010.
Wicked Lady were a Dutch band who released three singles “Underneath the Neon Tonight” b/w “Manolito,” “Girls Love Girls” b/w “Daddy’s Little Rich Girl” and “Plastic Queen” b/w “Play the Game” in 1978, 1979, and 1981, respectively.
Y Pants were a one album wonder comprised of Barbara Ess (bass, ukelele, drum, vocals), Gail Vachon (keyboards, ukelele, vocals), and Virginia Piersol (drums, vocals), who formed in New York City in 1979. They released the Y Pants EP in 1980 and Beat It Down in 1982 before disbanding the same year.
Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities — or salaried work. He is not interested in writing advertorials, clickbait, listicles, or other 21st century varieties of spam. Brightwell’s written work has appeared in Amoeblog, diaCRITICS, and KCET Departures. His work has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Form Follows Function, Los Angeles County Store, Skid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, Eastsider LA, Boing Boing, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA? and at Emerson College. Art prints of his maps are available from 1650 Gallery and on other products from Cal31. He is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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