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San Francisco, United States (1983 – 1989)

FRIGHTWIG was an all-women band similar in sound to the punk band Flipper. They were located in San Francisco, California and often played at The Farm. Though they predated the riot grrl movement, they have a similar approach and were influential to its development. For example, they were known for inviting a male audience member on stage to “dance” during the song “A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do” and thereby publicly ridiculing him. Frightwig was composed of Cecilia Lynch, Deanna Ashley, Mia Levin, Megan Page, and Rebecca Tucker.

“FRIGHTWIG is American slang used to denote a woman whose appearance is disheveled; she is unruly, perhaps under the influence and she doesn’t give a damn” During Frightwig’s influential history they had many line up changes. Deanna (bass) and Mia (vocals&guitar) formed the band in San Francisco, USA in 1983 because they were bored with the cheezy male dominated rock scene and the growing number of “hair” bands. The duo were then joined by Cecilia (drums) and were now ready to kick serious ass! 1984 saw the release of their debut album ‘Cat Farm Faboo’ and the inclusion of an extra guitarist called Susan. Extensive touring provided an opportunity for Frightwig to gain themselves an irresistable and infamous live reputation. Their shows included the worshiping of women and the band ordering male members of the audience to dance naked (!). Described by one reviewer as “Beautiful, noisy chaos” and “loud women with foul mouths, big songs and fat attitudes”. The wild women set an example that was to influence many other bands such as L7, Babes in Toyland, Faith No More and Hole.


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