The heavy metal pioneers talk about drugs, groupies, pink Cadillacs, the curse of Motörhead’s Lemmy – and being huge in Sweden
It’s hard to fathom why Girlschool aren’t more celebrated. Forty years on from their first album, Demolition – released in June 1980 – and they are still the most successful all-female British rock band ever. They reached the Top 10 of both the singles and albums charts; they headlined the Reading festival in 1981; they filled Hammersmith Odeon; they appeared on Top of the Pops with two different singles – and they did so on their own terms. No svengali put them together; they never glammed themselves up to try to be *** symbols. They simply played raucous, high-energy rock’n’roll.
There had been all-female punk bands, such as the Slits and the Raincoats, and there had been women in – and leading – rock bands, but nothing quite like Girlschool. This summer, though, there will be no deluxe edition of Demolition. Unlike their near contemporaries in LA, the Runaways, there has been no starry biopic, no acclaim for Girlschool as a landmark band. They still tour, still record, but their mark on history is far fainter than it should be.
'We used to shout back: No, you get 'em off!' – Girlschool on 40 years of rocking