Unless you were into very underground punk in the early '80s, you probably don't know Frightwig--but you should. They were perhaps the first all-female DIY punk band, and they blazed a trail from San Francisco across the U.S. in the name of feminist rock 'n' roll. Along the way, they influenced younger musicians like Courtney Love and Bikini Kill, planting an early seed for the riot grrrl movement that followed in the '90s.
Photo by Claude Shade Frightwig today: Deanna Ashley Mitchell, Cecilia Kuhn, Mia d'Bruzzi, and Eric Drew Feldman
The chemistry of Frightwig has changed a bit with Eric Drew Feldman on keys, but singer and bass player Deanna Ashley Mitchell, who turns 56 Tuesday, remains an outspoken fighter for women's rights. She's leading Frightwig in an East Coast crusade that kicks off Monday, Sept. 8, at The Knitting Factory (with Jane Lee Hooker also performing) and culminates in the We Are Women Constitution Day Rally next weekend in Washington, D.C. We spoke to Deanna about women in music, women's rights in America, and male strippers.
See also: How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide