Not Just Another Book About Women in Rock

~ posted by Abby


Women have always been a part of rock and roll – as musicians, singers, songwriters, producers, promoters, critics, fans and much more. Yet their stories have often been overlooked in rock writing. Thankfully, this myopia is finally receiving a serious corrective, with more and more women writing about their involvement in the rock world.

In the last few years, pioneering figures such as Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Cherie Currie (The Runaways), Viv Albertine (The Slits) and most recently, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) have all penned memoirs detailing their experiences in a traditionally male-dominated arena. Music critics like Laina Dawes and Sara Marcus have examined the complex intersection of race, gender and rock in the predominantly white male subcultures of heavy metal and punk.withband

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve put together a list of a dozen books that shed a different light on women’s contributions to rock & roll. From I’m With the Band, Pamela Des Barres’ classic account of her escapades with some of the biggest rock bands in the ‘60s & ‘70s, to Violence Girl, Alice Bag’s firsthand account of the birth of the LA punk scene, there’s something on this list for everyone.

violencegirlCheck out our Not Just Another Book about Women in Rock list and tell us about your favorite women rockers (and books about them) in the comments.

If you’re read all these books already and are itching for more, take note: Sleater-Kinney guitarist & Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein’s memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, comes out this Rocktober.

4 thoughts on “Not Just Another Book About Women in Rock”

  1. This is great – thanks for posting! I’m looking forward to reading Kim Gordon’s new book.

    Several years ago I checked out one of my favorite books from SPL, “Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, Or My Life as a Fabulous Ronette,” by Ronnie Spector. I consider it a classic by a very important [female] figure in early Rock’n’Roll, but I was suprised to see it’s no longer in the SPL catalog. I hope The Library can get a copy as I’d suggest it to anyone wanting to learn more about early Rock’n’Roll history, Girl Groups, the Ronettes, and [the insanity of] Phil Spector!

  2. Hi Emily, “Be My Baby” by Ronnie Spector is, regrettably, out of print. Otherwise we’d love to have it in the collection!

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