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.
’… an entertaining and important book…’ Mojo ’… a fascinating social and cultural history… ’ Popular Music
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.
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.