Monday, June 25, 2007
I think this posting might happen in either two or even three bits; it's about the party for The Lost Women of Rock Music and I didn't sleep a wink last night because I was so excited by what happened.
I drove down to Caroline's to meet the woman from Woman's Hour, who was ideal- she had bleached white hair and was really stylish, and had really done her research which made her very easy to talk to. Caroline looked beautiful (she always does) and had got us a minicab to take the books round to First Floor on Portobello Road. It was the perfect place- just the right size and the sort of place anyone could feel comfortable. Lisa (who was the 'greeter') was already there,and we had a bit of time to settle in. Sara and Emily from Ashgate turned up next an quietly set about making a display.
First guest to arrive was Gaye Black, friendly and serene as always and with a sparkle in her eye that said the whole day was going to be a blast; she was one of the first to say she was definitely coming and hats off to her for getting into the spirit straight away. Then they started arriving, thick and fast; Heather from the Brighton band the Objekts, and the Devil's Dykes (haven't seen her for nearly 30 years).Christine Roberston, who used to manage the Slits, and Penelope Tobin, who played keyboards for them (they hadn't seen each other for years), Steve Beresford who did the same. and Tessa Pollitt (Slits) , the cover girl, with her daughter Phoebe. Kate Hayes, also for the Objekts, who wrote a song for the Raincoats with Vicky Aspinall, but Gina and Ana (Raincoats, also there with manager Shirley) had never met her before. Zillah and Sid, from Rubella Ballet, with Poly Styrene (oh I am so glad she came!) who looked about 15 years old and who was really happy; Hester Smith and Rachel Bor from the Dollymixture, with Karen Grey from the Gymslips and Serious Drinking. Suzanne Long (Reptiles) from Gateshead who spent her wedding money on a bass guitar instead of getting married; Jennie Bellstar with her camera, in a ballgown and pink hair; Mavis Bayton (Mistakes) , also in a ballgown, retiring from teaching to become a blueswoman again; Jane Woodgate from the Mo-Dettes (she looked so brilliant, honestly, I hope someone will send me some links to some photos!) and Lora Logic, calmly beautiful and wearing the most fabulous Indian clothes which I keep imagining because they were so beautiful, with her daughter; June Miles-Kingston also a Mo-Dette but also a Funboy Three (excellent interviewee), Ellie Medeiros from the Stinky Toys (I didn't get to interview her for the book but she flew over from Switzerland specially and she's amazing, and what's more she loved my party shoes so much she took a photo of them!); Vivienne Goldman, who flew over from New York (I think Gina will send her some video footage to post on her site), Lucy O'Brien, having a lovely time and just finished her book on Madonna), Sue Bradley, punk violin player, Enid Williams straight from tour with Girlschool in Germany, with a guitar on her back, Liz Naylor (Gay Animals) just standing there with a huge smile on her face, oh it was great! I kept seeing people smiling, exchanging emails, laughing, and doing sweet things like Hester getting Gaye's autograph for Suzanne's husband.
Caroline made a really good speech- I could see that it affected a lot of the women there in auite an emotional way; she has a way of pinpointing reality that is quite extraordinary. She'll post it on her site www.carolinecoon.com at the beginning of July. Poor Sarah Furse had terrible flu and missed it (was that where you were too Mufti?) but we cheered her, Vi Subversa and Ari, and then just buzzed and buzzed.
There I was shaking hands with Paul Gambaccini...
It was over in the twinkling of an eye but I am sure good is going to come out of it, I just know it will. All that exchanging of numbers, I just said to everyone, write your story, write your story!
We were just getting ready to leave when Rhoda Dakar arrived, hot from Glastonbury- she's got in at 8 a.m. and spent the morning trying to find where we were. That's dedication! We poured a huge bowl of strawberries into a carrier bag, and went back to Caroline's for a cup of tea and a de-brief (and a bit of a gossip too)
I can't believe it happened, all those brains and talent all under one roof, all talking and some meeting for the first time.
You know, I took no photos, didn't get any autographs, didn't even eat anything apart from one little thing on a stick, but it was just the best Sunday of my entire life, by golly it was.
All thanks to Caroline, who suggested it, found the venue and funded the entire thing. I know she had a great time too; I am so grateful to her, she is a complete better-than-a-diamond, and I know everyone who came along will agree with me on that.