back in the 1970's decided to break the rules of society. They rallied together
under the banner of the punk movement. Many of them are no longer with us.
This page is dedicated to their memories.
I am sending out e-mail interviews to women who were actively involved in the late
seventies L.A. punk scene. Everyone gets the same eight questions. No space or
time limitations. Since I think that women's voices have already been over-edited
by others, I reserve the right to refuse to edit these women's responses. Instead, I
intend to publish them in their entirety, raw and unexpurgated.
LET THE WOMEN SPEAK!
conducted June 2005
One of my strongest memories of Genny Body is of her, onstage with Backstage
Pass. She had one half of her face very glamorously made up with lipstick, eye
shadow, etc. and one half with no makeup at all. It was a very interesting look and
reminded me a bit of the cover of Bowie's Pinups album. I was thinking about this
last night and it occurred to me that Genny's makeup could be a metaphor for the
time and place that her band, Backstage Pass, occupied. I thought that the made up
half represented the glitter scene which was then being replaced by the new punk
scene. The half with no makeup represented the punk scene. It was raw and real,
as opposed to the more showy, artificial glitter side.
Backstage Pass was made up of more polished and proficient musicians than most
of the punk bands around at the time. Their music bridged the gap between glitter
and punk and was inspiring to many female musicians, who eventually went on to
form their own bands.
|Che Zuro with Genny Body.
|Backstage Pass, photo by Jenny Stern/Lens, as
published in NY Rocker May/June 1977
I was in one of the first all-girl bands called Backstage Pass with Marina Del Rey, Spock, Holly
Vincent and later Che' Zuro. Marina and Chas from the Skulls helped Brendan sign the lease for
the Masque and build the rehearsal studios. Backstage Pass and The Controllers were the first
bands to rehearse there. It's been said that the Go-Go's were inspired by us. In fact, post-
Margot, I was asked to be the bass player but I turned it down because I had just opened a
clothing store called "Strait Jacket".
2. Which artist, band concert and/or show had the most impact on your life?
Well, one of the first bands I fell in love with was actually an English pub rock band called
Dr. Feelgood that came here in 1976. Their tour manager was Andrew Jakeman (Jacko) and
later named Jake Riviera. My introduction to Jake was him donning a bi-centennial tie and
kicking a rent-a-car with his pointy cockroach shoes. It was in front of The Starwood. I was
shocked and exhilarated. We kept in touch with Jake and he stayed at my first apartment where
i lived with Marina. He practically started Stiff Records from there. Then he brought The
Damned over and half of them stayed with us. The Damned kept bugging our band to play
shows, so we finally did one. I was crazy about the Damned. I loved their humour. I was having
a fling with Brian James at the time. Then later Jake had us open for Elvis Costello at the
Whisky - his first L.A. show - and I fell in love with that band. I had a weakness for English bands.
I think they had their own point of view that was really unique. Before i came to Hollywood, I lived
in the San Fernando Valley. Everyone [there] was so square. I was playing electric guitar and
the kids there thought i was a freak. On the punk scene, i felt that i fit in because there were
other females on the scene performing full throttle.
4. What is the legacy of punk in your life?
Well, Backstage Pass of course. I had the chance to witness the L.A. punk scene first hand, and
in some ways we were instrumental in building it - literally, as in The Masque, the rehearsal
studio. We were at all of the first shows: The Runaways, The Ramones, The Damned, X , The
Go-Go's, Elvis Costello, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, Eddie and the Hot Rods plus all of the shows
at the Masque on the L.A. Punk Scene, the list is endless. I shagged a few too, Brian James,
Jonesy, Paul Gray, Dee Dee Ramone, Elvis Costello, Gary Valentine. My God, I was a slut!
Actually, I was reeling from my mother's death and I did anything to find a distraction.
5. What are you listening to now?
I love so many things. I like a lot of British Invasion bands like The Kinks. I like all of the original
punk bands, especially the ones with humour. I was never keen on the death thing, like what's
his face from the Germs.
6. Do you have any funny or interesting stories to share?
Yes, a ton.....but we'll have to get together if you want me to tell you all.
7. Are there any punk women from the early scene that you feel have not been been
Well, I loved your band. Maybe Siouxsie and the Banshees.
8. What is something we should know about you that we probably don't know?
I came on the scene just months after my mother had died. I was really desperate to find a place
i fit in and I think that's how it all began. Just recently, Backstage Pass has reunited and we have
had a chance to heal the past, have tons of fun and write music. I can't believe I'm creating again
with the same incredible women. It's great to have the hindsight. It's much more fun and I think
we sound better for it.
|Backstage Pass member Genny Body,
backstage at the Whisky A Go-Go with
Joey Ramone and Arturo Vega, Feb, 1977.
|Tommy Gear of the Screamers with Genny Body at
Bomp Records, 4/9/77.
generation of cool women:
Genny's daughter, Eden.
Photo courtesy of Genny
|Brian James of the Damned with Genny Body,
at Bomp Records, 4/16/77.