1986. Almost every Thursday through Sunday night was spent at the Rock Capital of the world, L'Amour's in Brooklyn. Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth were releasing monumental albums. Glam, hardcore, hair, thrash, speed and whatever subcategory Manowar belonged to was exploding.  The Pit and Trash and Vaudeville on St. Mark's place in NYC were the source for all things, leather, fetish, rock-n-roll and everything in between. We were in our heaviest incarnation as an all-female metal band and playing all the local venues

Little Boy Blue's a Big Girl Now…

2008. Although much has been said and written about my old band from NYC, Missdemeanor, not much of it is accurate. Tall tales of fiery car crashes, love-struck bass players eloping in the night, spontaneous human combustion, of course...and WHAM!...two of the band's original members were expunged from the books. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the L'Amour reunion... people remembered. Or should I say, people NEVER forgot the original line-up of this band. Two of the OG's may have gone away, but 20 years later people still remember, fans still exist, and have asked me to put something, anything online that could stand as a testament to the old days. I probably would have left well enough alone until a life-altering experience occurred on March 1, 2007. My incredibly talented, beautiful, brilliant friend, Cat Coleman, succumbed to a life-long battle with cancer. A few months before she passed away she realized there wasn't much online that included the two of us. As a tribute to her I've decided to put up this page.

I have been digging through the "basement tapes" to find whatever material I could dust off. I couldn't stand one more person asking me if some of the crap on YouTube was me, or Cat, or having to explain what happened and why. So, with the help of some outside sources and a special friend from up north who located some footage, I will post some old shows and photos, unedited. 


Melinda The Good Witch

In my weekly travels I'd hit the only other record store besides Zig Zag that carried new and hot metal releases and hard to find vinyl--Titus Oaks on Avenue U in Brooklyn. Considering that on an average afternoon I would be dressed in full metal apparel (boots and hair up to there), I didn't exactly blend into the racks. I'll never forget the day I met Melinda, the future MissD guitarist and big banana. She bounced and clomped behind me up and down the record aisles, snapping her gum, and in a heavy Texan drawl shouted "HEY. Y'all got a band 'er something?" So we chatted each other up and I liked her instantly. She was out of her gourd (always a plus), and immediately started running off about Michael Schenker, UFO and Scorpions. She wanted me to go home with her to "meet Michael." That was her beloved Flying V guitar. OH yeah. Handful.

It's hard to capture here all that Melinda B. Whitley was, but like a true Texan, everything about her seemed bigger--her MOUTH, her HAIR, her giant flying V, and her PERSONALITY. We got tight pretty quickly, and all she wanted to do was get in the band with us. So, I had to make a choice between never going to Titus Oaks again to avoid the risk of being mauled, or ask the girls if we needed a 2nd guitarist. If I didn't need that Sad Wings of Destiny picture-pressed 10" so damn badly, life may have turned out differently. But, Mel could play, and had a great melodic sound. She was not as adept as Linda at that time, but what she lacked in her playing capabilities, she made up for in character. We wanted to start filling the songs out and a rhythm guitarist seemed like a good idea. We thought that her and Linda could play nice in the sandbox.


The Catwoman...

Some people come into your life and stay forever. Even if forever is cut way too short. I can remember the day that Cat Coleman auditioned for the band. It wasn't really an audition, it was more like: OK, I'm here. You want me. I want to be here. I can sing, and there's nothing else to discuss. SNIPPY BITCH! God, I loved that girl instantly. She made ME feel like a dumbo, and I'm pretty damn sharp between the ears. I think we decided on the spot (after she opened the pipes and let roar some Ann Wilson) that she was in.

Cat was this tall, cool, dark person from Jersey. She wore long flowing scarves and had a sneer. There was something about her that told you she had been through something in life that wised her up quickly. She wasn't there to mess around. She KNEW people. She knew PEOPLE who knew people. She wrote for the Aquarian, which of course gave her some shtank AND she knew all the up and coming bands and was not the least bit impressed. Although, she did like those glamour boy bands (see earlier reference to Poser extraordinaire from Poison).

I can write about the personality clashes and bitching and moaning that we all did, but I'd rather say that the band now had it's foundation in 1984. This was the essence of MissDemeanor although we didn't go by that name yet.

I can also go on about how Cat and I forged a lifelong friendship that far outweighed any band stories, but no one really cares about that but me. When she died, she took part of me with her instantly. She was my dearest friend.

Make no mistakes, though. We were ALL friends for the next few years...with a few blips on the radar screen...


Yosemite Sam and the Art of Singing

So, we needed a singer. Lin, Jo and I were getting tired of going to the studio or Jo's basement. We practiced a few times a week. The "setlist" was a mix of "songs" we were busily crafting. Jo, who was barely five feet, could hit those drums like a mofo. I'd turn the SVT up to 10, and Lin was cranking.

My best recollection of singer auditions is that they went something like this...
- Wide-eyed young girl enters studio, clutching copy of our Aquarian classified ad.
- Carries on for 10 minutes about how she drove all the way from Wherever, Upstate, Queens to be there.
- Jo, with head down hiding behind drum kit, already shaking her head NO, PLEASE, NO, and throwing out snippets of Looney Tunes (Foghorn, The Big Bad Wolf and Yosemite Sam instantly jump to mind).
- Lin, being diplomatic, trying to get the first song going.
- Me, somewhere in the middle of being serious with Lin, and matching Jo's cartoon excerpts.

The quest for a singer was endless. I think we auditioned at least 50. In fact, we had some stalkers. We ended up with a girl named Charisse (pic). Bronx born, tough, looked great. Had a banging patch of blonde in her dark hair. Whether or not she could sing was a different story. But for the time being we forged ahead. Band practices became farther and wider as now the Bronx was a new place to explore. I can vaguely remember getting lost in Harlem a few times on the way home. Life was full of excitement.

Useless Tidbits of Information:

First complete song played as "band": Not one
Setlist: None. Primarily riffs, early beginnings of Miss D songs
Outcome: Band relieves singer of position due to "creative conflicts"
Postscript: Lin and I return to Mount Richmond Cemetery for deep contemplation about finding new singer. JoJo cracks open numerous beers and hangs in there. New ad for singer is placed into the Aquarian classifieds.

The Irrelevance of 1982-3

For the life of me I cannot remember exactly when we met JoJo, but I believe it was sometime within these 2 years. It probably had to do with an ad placed somewhere in a local Rocker paper. What I do remember is the constant teasing imposed by Lin and myself on Jo regarding her living locale. As the new Jersey Girl, she was on the receiving end of many a "that's because you're from NEW JERSEY! Dweeeee!" comments.

Anyway, without the specifics on hand it's safe to safe we met Jo in this time period. Sometime before that, Lin and I had become the closest of friends and went to recording and engineering school in a far off place called Chilicothe, OH. We studied 24-track recording, perfected our out-of-town bar hopping, signed autographs in the small airport (some poor shlub was convinced we were KISS and the whole gender thing didn't seem to matter), gained new respect for Old Granddad, and came home older and wiser. That trip was a musical mix of Accept, Scorpions, Sabbath and Sabbath. We even found a kitten on that trip, she wasn't black, but we respectfully named her --->Sabbath.

Back home, the scene was brewing heavily. L'Amour's had become a regular hang. It was in it's 2nd phase (after they got rid of the central disco dancefloor) and the bar in the way back was home away from home.


Basement Jams circa 1982

Ah, yes, the beginning. Linda and I started getting together on a regular basis to jam. This meant I would drive to Staten Island, meet Joe, drive to Lin's school and pick her up. She was already playing with a local drummer whose folks graciously offered up their basement for practice. I do remember a lot of yelling, chaos, and a really cute cat came along with the deal. No pix of the cat, but the basement walls pictured above were covered in small throw rugs, and provided much visual appeal. Didn't provide much sound buffer to the family eating dinner above us, thus the yelling and chaos. A lot of door slamming also. The drummer's brother used to get agitated and hide my car keys, sometimes by throwing them in the toilet. Joe (pictured above with Lin) enjoyed the display and happily provided beverages.

Useless Tidbits of Information:
First complete song played as "band": Paranoid
Setlist: None. Primarily riffs, feedback, chaos (and more yelling)
Outcome: Band breaks up due to "creative conflicts"
Postscript: Lin and I return to Mount Richmond Cemetery for deep contemplation about finding new drummer


BKNY circa 1980

Sometime in 1980 I was busy playing with the one and only female guitarist available in all of Brooklyn and nearby galaxies, let's just call her AJ. She and I spent most of our time at a place called Great Gildersleeves, a stanky glorified biker bar on the Bowery in Manhattan which had the unmistakable stench of regurgitated stout, and was home away from home. Back then the Bowery was not the Flowery that it is today. There was CBGBs, Gildersleeves and Phoebes Diner for the essential cheese fries at 4 a.m. to name a few. So, AJ and I were band mates, only there was no band. AJ was a blast, smart, talented, but we had different musical tastes. When rehearsing, we'd play the one tune we knew together in her basement a few times a week--Train Kept a Rollin' by Aerosmith, which peaked my homicidal tendencies. It was time for us both to find some other musicians, but gender was a tiny problem, and eventually AJ and I parted ways. I believe she did well for herself and I admired her for her "lone wolf" no-nonsense attitude. Once we drifted, I had to contend with the fact that there were, um...NO WOMEN MUSICIANS PLAYING ROCK. I listened to a steady stream of all types of music, day and night. I wasn't really feeling like "puttin' another notch in my lipstick case" or emulating the Go-Gos, although I appreciated what they were doing. Right. (....deeeeep beath....) Ok, I loathed what the Go-Gos were doing. Hated it. It stuck like gum on the bottom of my 7-inch heel. Forgive me. I wanted to play the polar opposite. Sabbath was the closest thing I had to religion, and, when not scribbling band logos and preaching sab lyrics to my friends as gospel, I was writing songs about Death, Doom and Destruction and painting my bedroom walls black. I was also a straight A student bored with college. I was taking music 101 in BK College, and I sat next to a long-haired blonde male guitarist, who a) I secretly wrote off as a Poser, and b) never stopped whining. That semester he said to me (in his Old Lady from Bensonhurst drawl), "FRIG THIS. I'm going to L.A. where there IS a music scene because it SUCKS here in NYC." A few years later, Cat throws a Poison album at me and says "these guys are gonna be HUGE" (she was an Aquarian writer at the time) and there was Poser on the cover, in full make-up, and looking quite fetching in eyeliner and satin. My first response was "These, um...GUYS??" Go effing figure. He goes to L.A., dresses as a woman, hits it big, and we spend the next couple of years trying to find REAL women dressed as men who could successfully play in the same key. The early 80s was also the era of the Plasmatics crossing over into some heavier shit. Wendy O -- now, there was a goddess. Someone I could respect. A real woman with fantabulous balls, wielding a chainsaw.

On bass, some of my personal influences were Squire, Geddy, McCartney, JPJ, Entwistle, and the king of kings, Jaco. Weather Report with JACO, enough said. BUT, to get right down to what kind of music filled my dissonant guts at the time, I preferred things a tad darker, Sabbath being uber Numero Uno, Priest, very early Maiden, Scorps, Witchfynder General, Angelwitch...any name with witch in it...and so on. Alice Cooper provided comic relief and satisfied any urge for broadway-style tunes relating to necrophilia and dead babies. What can I say. In the early 80s this wasn't the norm for most women in gold spandex, and I refused to compromise. So, sometime around 1980-81-ish, I met a guitarist named Linda through a guy named Joe at Zig-Zag records in Brooklyn. Zig-Zag was the single source in Brooklyn for anything metal, and then some. I met Joe on the long line, waiting to get in to meet Iron Maiden with Paul Dianno at an in-store record signing. Dianno practically threw up on me, whilst Steve Harris signed my thigh, and I blurted out something asinine to him like THANKS MAN for actually playing the BASS in THESE SONGS. Joe and I are still friends. Back to Joe said he knew Lin, she could play, and she was a "tough chick." Secret prerequisite? Hmm. Problem was, she was still in High School. So I had to drive to Staten Island and meet her after school to go to rehearsal. That's how and when Missdemeanor laid down its roots. Lin in high school, rehearsing in a friend's basement 3 nights a week. The friend was also a drummer named Jo, but not JoJo of later years. So the floating horse-poo about the band being a brainchild of a different group of gals years later was a giant crock of shite. Lin, me, Joe tagging along, hanging out on graves at the Mount Richmond cemetery, and wondering what to put in the Aquarian ad to find a real drummer and singer.


Testicular Fortitude

In the mid-eighties there were very few girl bands, much less ones who could play as though they had some stones between them thar thighs. Missdemeanor was one of the few original female metal bands to get onstage instead of Posing. Yes, we had a penchant in our little black hearts for Those Who Posed. Problem Number One was, most female rock musicians looked good in photos but hadn't gotten far past tuning the instruments. Problem Number Two was that no one really cared if we girly-girls could play our instruments, as long as we wore thigh-high boots and showed some cheekage. We knew this first hand while we screened every female rock musician in the tri-state area from 1982 to 1985. Back then, if someone asked me to pick up the bass I only asked that they stand back a few feet and tie down anything loose. We used to love to shove our our musical prowess up the ass of the mostly critical male audience, of course while donning boots up to our hips. It was great time for music, and especially exciting for the band because we knew we were blazing some trails. Truth be told, we were tight, hot and on a mission. I was a tad bit disgusted when we quit the band, but only because we left behind a trail of talent, sweat, memories, promise, and a name. The name lived on for years after Cat and I left, but the band was NOT Missdemeanor.

When Cat and I made the very conscious effort to leave the band, I understand that they 'changed the format' (read: fell into the sea of mediocre chick bands). Too bad, because Lin & Jo were the real deal. So, with all due respect to the later line-ups, however talented they may have been, this page will only make reference to the original Missdemeanor in its earliest incarnation up until 1988. For the record I was the original bassist, the one with the 5-string, and the one who did not suffer the fate of spontaneous human combustion. Hopefully some of the facts will counterbalance some of the fantasy! Oooh, and speaking of fantasy, here is a whole page of it just for shits and giggles: Cat sent this link to me a few years back and we laughed hard over a bottle of wine. When I have time, between enjoying life with my husband, 5 cats, two businesses, and a rather demanding english garden, I'll smack down some of this crap (p.s. my favorite part is when Mr. Interviewer asks about our 4-track demo) Girls can be so evil!

For anyone still wishing to argue an old point, Black Sabbath still reigns supreme. Some things never change. All RIGHT now...won'tcha listen?...