::Literate Blather::
Monday, September 24, 2007
The 12 Coolest Women in Rock History
Yeah, these women go to 11. What else can we say? DaRK PaRTY gives it to you straight up with the 12 Coolest Women in Rock. Disagree? Leave behind a comment with your picks.

Joan Jett

Real Name: Joan Marie Larkin

DOB: September 22, 1958

Hometown: Philadelphia

Resume: As a teenager, Jett founded the band the Runaways with Lita Ford. The Runaways opened for big acts like Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Tom Petty. The band broke up after 5 LPs when they couldn’t crack through in the U.S. Jett went solo for awhile before forming Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Best Album: Up Your Alley (1988)

Best Song: “I Love Rock n’ Roll” (1981)

Second Best Song: “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1988)

Damn Neat Fact: She ran away from home at age 15 after she discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with her mother.

Damn Neat Fact #2: Jett claims Siouxsie Sioux as an inspiration.

Coolest Moment: Have you seen her performing Gary Glitter’s “Do you Wanna Touch Me?”

Ann & Nancy Wilson

Real Name: same

DOB: Ann – June 19, 1950; Nancy – March 16, 1954

Hometown: Ann – San Diego; NancySan Francisco

Resume: Formed the band Heart with Steve Fossen and brothers Roger and Mike Fisher.

Best Album: Dreamboat Annie (1976)

Best Song: “Magic Man” (1976)

Second Best Song: “Barracuda” (1977)

Damn Neat Fact: After Heart’s debut album was released rumors circulated that Ann and Nancy were witches and the song “Magic Man” was about Satan seducing a baby.

Damn Neat Fact #2: A second rumor in 1977 had the sisters as lesbian lovers. Ann was so pissed off about the rumor that she wrote the lyrics to “Barracuda” about it.

Coolest Moment: Ann and Nancy dated the Fisher brothers during Heart’s heyday, but eventually fired them both from the band.

Shirley Manson

Real Name: Shirley Ann Manson

DOB: August 26, 1966

Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland

Resume: She was the lead singer of Angelfish and then was recruited to become the lead singer and front person for Garbage.

Best Album: Version 2.0 (1998)

Best Song: “Push It” (1998)

Second Best Song: “Vow” (1995)

Damn Neat Fact: Her father was a scientist who was involved in cloning the first animal – a sheep named Dolly.

Damn Neat Fact #2: She was bullied as a child for having red hair and green eyes and used to cut herself as a result.

Coolest Moment: The video “Push It.”

Deborah Harry

Real Name: Deborah Ann Harry

DOB: July 1, 1945

Hometown: Miami

Resume: Lead singer of the alternative band Blondie.

Best Album: Parallel Lines (1978)

Best Song:One Way or Another” (1978)

Second Best Song:Rip Her to Shreds” (1976)

Damn Neat Fact: Harry was a Playboy bunny.

Damn Neat Fact #2: She starred in David Cronenberg’s bizarre 1983 cult movie “Videodrome.”

Coolest Moment: Becoming a punk icon in the 1970s.

Kim Deal

Real Name: Kimberly Ann Deal

DOB: June 10, 1961

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

Resume: Bass player for the alt-rock band the Pixies and lead singer and guitarist for The Breeders.

Best Album: Doolittle by the Pixies (1989)

Best Song: “Cannonball” with the Breeders (1993)

Second Best Song: Debaser with the Pixies (1989)

Damn Neat Fact: Deal became the bass player for the Pixies after answering a newspaper add. She took on the stage name of Mrs. John Murphy.

Damn Neat Fact #2: She founded the Breeders with her twin sister Kelley.

Coolest Moment: One upping Pixies frontman Black Francis by releasing the Breeder’s album “Last Splash” and showing the world who the real talent on the Pixie’s was and remains.

Chrissie Hynde

Real Name: Christine Ellen Hynde

DOB: September 7, 1951

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Resume: Lead singer and front person for the band The Pretenders.

Best Album: Learning to Crawl (1984)

Best Song: “Middle of the Road” (1984)

Second Best Song: “My City Was Gone” (1984)

Damn Neat Fact: She had a daughter with Ray Davies of the Kinks, but ended up marrying Jim Kerr of the Simple Minds.

Damn Neat Fact #2: Drunk and feeling horny, she groped Kim Deal after mistaking her as a man.

Coolest Moment: Allowing Rush Limbaugh to use her song “My City Was Gone” for his intro when he agreed to donate money to PETA. How’s that for irony?


Real Name: Christa Paffgen

DOB: October 16, 1938 (died July 18, 1988)

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Resume: Singer for The Velvet Underground, but also a model and actress (and friend of Andy Warhol)

Best Album: The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)

Best Song: “Sunday Morning” (1967)

Second Best Song: “Heroin” (1967)

Damn Neat Fact: Slept with Jim Morrison of the Doors, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground and Iggy Pop (among others).

Damn Neat Fact #2: Starred in Andy Warhol’s experimental film “Chelsea Girl.”

Coolest Moment: Recorded one of the most influential albums of all time in The Velvet Underground and Nico.

Siouxsie Sioux

Real Name: Susan Janet Ballion

DOB: May 27, 1957

Hometown: London

Resume: Lead singer of the band Siouxsie & the Banshees and of The Creatures.

Best Album: Tinderbox (1986)

Best Song: “Cities in Dust” (1986)

Second Best Song: “Peek-a-Boo” (1988)

Damn Neat Fact: Shirley Manson claimed Siouxsie as a major influence (along with Sinatra).

Damn Neat Fact #2: She was once punched in the face for wearing a swastika armband.

Coolest Moment: Becoming a major influence of bands like The Cure, Joan Jett & Blackhearts, Shirley Manson and Garbage and scores of other shoe gazer and Goth bands.

Meg White

Real Name: Meghan Martha White

DOB: December 10, 1974

Hometown: Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

Resume: Drummer and back-up singer for the duo The White Stripes

Best Album: White Blood Cells (2001)

Best Song: “Fell in Love with a Girl” (2001)

Second Best Song: “Seven Nation Army” (2003)

Damn Neat Fact: Claimed to be the sister of her fellow White Stripes musician Jack White even though they were married.

Damn Neat Fact #2: She divorced Jack in 2000, but didn’t quit the band.

Coolest Moment: She was featured on “The Simpson’s” in an episode called “Jazzy and the Pussycats.”

Wendy O. Williams

Real Name: Wendy Orleans Williams

DOB: May 28, 1949 (died April 6, 1998)

Hometown: Webster, New York

Resume: Lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics.

Best Album: New Hope for the Wretched (1980)

Best Song: “Corruption” (1980)

Second Best Song: “Masterplan” (1981)

Damn Neat Fact: She was nominated for a Best Female Rock Vocal Grammy in 1985.

Damn Neat Fact #2: She liked to strip on stage and use chain saws to cut her guitars in half.

Coolest Moment: Arrested in Milwaukee in 1981 for simulating a sex act on stage.

Stevie Nicks

Real Name: Stephanie Lynn Nicks

DOB: May 26, 1948

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Resume: Singer and songwriter with Fleetwood Mac, but also had a long solo career.

Best Album: The Wild Heart (1983)

Best Song: “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (1981)

Second Best Song: “Stand Back” (1983)

Damn Neat Fact: Persistent rumors that she is witch have been denied by Stevie several times.

Damn Neat Fact #2: Courtney Love counts Stevie as one of her influences.

Coolest Moment: Recorded one of the greatest rock albums ever with Fleetwood Mac – “Rumors” – in 1977.

Courtney Love

Real Name: Courtney Michelle Harrison

DOB: July 9, 1964

Hometown: San Francisco

Resume: Married to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and lead singer of the alt-punk band Hole.

Best Album: Celebrity Skin (1998)

Best Song: “Doll Parts” (1994))

Second Best Song: Celebrity Skin” (1998)

Damn Neat Fact: Hole’s album “Live Through This” was released four days after the suicide of Cobain in 1994.

Damn Neat Fact #2: Once told Rolling Stone magazine that she needed to be saved.

Coolest Moment: Going topless in the 1996 film “The People vs. Larry Flynt.”

See our picks for the 10 Worst Videos from MTV

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Blogger twosheds said...
Wot no Kate Bush? But I agree with your choice of Siouxsie's best song....

Blogger GFS3 said...
I'm not sure I'd classify Kate as a rock musician. Alt-folk-pop, perhaps?

Although, I will admit that's she's definitely cool...

Blogger Stealth said...
I think I'd relpace Nico with Lita Ford. Other than that, I totally agree. (also glad you had Joan first!)

Blogger GFS3 said...
Joan is a rock goddess. No doubt. Thanks for swinging by Stealth. Don't be a stranger!

Anonymous lou reed said...
and janis joplin? patti smith?

Anonymous Claire said...
are you crazy, wanting to remove Nico?! I think, au contraire, that the article should have mentioned her solo work: she didn't only appear with the VU; what she did after is just phenomenal; The Marble Index (69) is a revolution, created like 20 years too early, the goth before its name and age...
And the other guy who is insane (yes, another one here xD) is the "writer" (of this): not includong PJ Harvey; its out of my comprehension of this universe. Go check this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48GIaN7SrGU and tell me she's not a rock goddess...........

Anonymous Anonymous said...
janis joplin?

Blogger GFS3 said...
But PJ Harvey isn't cool. Janis Joplin -- there's an argument there, no doubt.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't forget Tina Turner & Janis Joplin. Even though I'm not a fan of their politics Melissa Etheridge and Cheryl Crow are not too shabby. Annie Lennox & Sarah McLachlan have unbelievable voices, if talent factors in this evaluation.

Blogger seahound95 said...
Donita Sparks!!!

Blogger Amy said...
Not too shabby on the list- but Patti Smith is a requirement.

Blogger d. scarlatti said...
Don't know what you were thinking leaving off Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, and Grace Slick. I would have also liked if you'd given a single shout out to some kids who are rocking their prime currently, Carrie Brownstein, for instance.

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