YouTube Black Hole: 'Girlschool' Edition
We've all been there. You don't know how it happened, or how you've eaten a whole bag of chips, but it's 3:00 am and you're watching a video of Cher laughing for two minutes. On rare occasions, these episodes can be fruitful. You actually find something worth watching, maybe even worth sharing. This is Youtube Black Hole.
This edition of Black Hole began innocently enough with this week's What's In My Bag? video, which, if you don't know, is a FIRE YouTube series done by Amoeba Records that you should subscribe to IMMEDIATELY. Here we have Mish Way and Anne-Marie Vassiliou of the very badass, Canadian punk trio White Lung giving their picks. We've got the usual suspects. Some Van Morrison, some Muddy Waters, some Stevie Nicks but wait. In the midst of it all (1:15 mark) there was something I just couldn't resist. Who is Girlschool? What is this album? I need to know. To the sidebar!!
It was there that I saw this next video of four ladies clad in skin-tight black, chugging out some very muscley rock n roll. That opening riff? Are you kidding? It's like a souped-up Camaro turning over or a jet taking off. Who exactly are these proto-metal goddesses?
Turns out Girlschool formed in 1978, right in the thick of the British heavy metal scene, getting their start with acts like Motörhead who they frequently palled around with. I also came across this fun fact: They are the longest running all-female rock band, still active after more than 35 years. That's right. You can go see these legends live! The original members-- Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams and Denise Dufort--are still in the band. The only queen no longer shredding, is the badass ripping it at the beginning of the video, Kelly Johnson, who passed away in 2007.
Further down the rabbit hole, I found this video of the band's duet with Motörhead called "Please Don't Touch"--RIP LEMMY!--that's got some SICK 80's graphics and plenty of hair. Why don't bands do stuff like this anymore?!
Next, I moved on to actually searching for "Girlschool" and to my delight, the album the ladies of White Lung discuss in the first video --Hit and Run--is available in full. It's their second album, and their most successful, reaching number 5 in the UK albums chart. My favorites are the aforementioned "C'mon Let's Go," "Kick It Down," "Yeah Right," and an amazing cover of ZZ Top's "Tush," which you better believe I found the music video for.
Loving the hats, loving the cheetah print top (with one sleeve!), and I've also never wanted leather pants and feathered bangs so much in my life.
Lastly, we've got a nice little interview clip and some footage of the band during a rehearsal. Never politically outspoken, the renegade babes of Girlschool weren't out to be the guiding light of feminism, but they opened countless doors just by carving out a place for themselves in the hard rock world. Like they say at the beginning of the above video, "When you sit down and write a song, you don't think, 'Oh I'm a woman I'll write something about women.' Being women doesn't affect music at all. We're just a band." There's a lot of hard-rocking lady bands on the come-up right now--Bleached, Cherry Glazerr, The Paranoyds--and Girlschool deserves a tip of the hat from all of them. Not necessarily for being ladies who picked up guitars, but for being heavy and super-skilled musicians--who just happen to not be dudes.