The Lost Women of Rock Music : Female Musicians of the Punk Era book cover
1st Edition

The Lost Women of Rock Music
Female Musicians of the Punk Era

ISBN 9781138376083
Published January 3, 2019 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

In Britain during the late 1970s and early 1980s, a new phenomenon emerged, with female guitarists, bass-players, keyboard-players and drummers 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 partly by the enabling ethic of punk rock ('anybody can do it!') and partly by the impact of the Equal Opportunities Act. But just as suddenly as the phenomenon arrived, the interest in these musicians evaporated and other priorities became important to music audiences. Helen Reddington investigates the social and commercial reasons for how these women became lost from the rock music record, and rewrites this period in history in the context of other periods when female musicians have been visible in previously male environments. Reddington draws on her own experience as bass-player in a punk band, thereby contributing a fresh perspective on the socio-political context of the punk scene and its relationship with the media. The book also features a wealth of original interview material with key protagonists, including the late John Peel, Geoff Travis, The Raincoats and the Poison Girls.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; A ladder through the glass ceiling?; Media gatekeepers and cultural intermediaries; The Brighton scene; Noise, violence and femininity; The aftermath; The social context: academic writing on subcultures, the rock press and 'women in music'; Conclusion; Appendix; Index.

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Helen Reddington is from the School of Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Studies, at the University of East London, UK.


’... an entertaining and important book...’ Mojo ’... a fascinating social and cultural history... ’ Popular Music