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Book Reviews

Women in Music

By Lucifera Elena

I decided to write a little information on some books that cover the underground music scene. I tried to find those that write mainly about female musicians in rock and metal. Here I present you with a few that might be of interest to you.

She’s A Rebel.
Written by Gillian G. Gaar.
(Seal Press, 1992)
The book covers The History of Women in Rock & Roll from 1950’s to 1990’s. The book covers different music genres such as, rap, pop, girl groups, Motown, folk rock, counter culture of the 60’s and punk. Some of the females mentioned in this book are QUEEN LATIFAH, DIAMANDA GALAS, EXENE CERVENKA, THE RUNAWAYS, TINA TURNER, MADONNA, HEART, SUPREME, JANIS JOPLIN, SHANGRI-LA, and WILL MAE “BIG MAMA” THORNTON.

Grrls; Viva Rock Divas
Written by Amy Raphael
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 1995)
This one has a nice intro by Deborah Harry. The females featured here are Courtney Love of HOLE, BJORK, Kim Gordon of SONIC YOUTH and LIZ PHAIR. The book focuses on their life stories, experiences and how punk music helped break barriers.

Rock she wrote; women write about rock, pop, and rap.
Edited by Evelyn Mc Donnell and Ann Power.
(Cooper Square Press, 1995-1999)
This book talks about rock & roll journalists. They focus on fanzine diatribes, backstage gossip, riot grrrl rants, polemical essays, hip-hop poetry, diary entries, and confessional stories. There’s a good collection of articles by and about women writers from zines, magazines and newspapers.

The Sex Revolts; Gender, Rebellion and Rock & Roll
By Simon Reynolds and Jay Press
(Harvard, 1995)
This book concentrates on gender and rock. It elaborates on how rock can “reaffirm” sexual identity and explores how males rebel against “the feminine,” and the idealized imagery of women in male rock. In addition, the book contains essays referring to ways in which female artists have defined themselves against the conventional notion of femininity. The bands and artists featured in here are: ROLLING STONES, TIMOTHY LEARY, NICK CAVE, LED ZEPPELIN, THE DOORS, BOB DYLAN, THIN LIZZY, PUBLIC ENEMY, THROBBING GRISTLE, HENRY ROLLINS, IGGY POP, GUNS & ROSES, LL COOL, SID VICIOUS, BLOODY VALENTINE, JANIS JOPLIN, L7, JOAN JETT, TORI AMOS, SINEAD O’ CONNOR, DIAMANDA GALAS, LYDIA LUNCH, BIKINI KILL, HOLE, MADONNA, LUNACHICKS, and BABES IN TOYLAND.

Angry Women in Rock; Volume One.
Edited by Andrea Juno
Juno Books, 1996
Focusing on the Riot Grrrl Movement, this is one of the better book compilations of females in underground music, the book contains a collection of informative interviews with JOAN JETT, 7 YEAR BITCH, JARBOE, TRIBE 8, Chrissie Hynde of THE PRETENDERS and other female musicians.

Angry Women
by Andrea Juno (Editor), V. Vale (Editor),
( Search RE, 2000)
This is the main book that focuses on female issues such as menstration, masterbation, S&M, spanking, racism, and more. It’s pro-sex, pro-porn, and pro-choice. And it features ANNIE SPRINKLE, DIAMANDA GALAS, LYDIA LUNCH and others.