She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll

Gillian G. Gaar, Author, Yoko Ono, Photographer Seal Press (CA) $16.95 (467p) ISBN 978-1-878067-08-1
This much-needed history and examination of women's role in the turbulent world of modern music makes a valiant attempt to be inclusive, but that is its downfall. Because she reports on not only performers, but record company publicists, a documentary filmmaker and a music attorney, and because she stretches the definition of rock & roll to include such personalities as choreographer cum pop star Paula Abdul and performance artist Karen Finley, Gaar can only cover each of her subjects briefly. Sometimes even that scanty coverage is strangely repetitive, as when she stresses several times that Janis Joplin's bad-girl image made her famous but also killed her. Chapters are divided by decade, which causes confusion, since the work of many performers has spanned more than ten years. There are interesting discussions of issues such as the difficulties that black Motown artists had while traveling in the South, as well as a humorous account of the quasi-accidental founding of Bitch: The Women's Rock Newsletter With Bite, but the end result is scattered. Gaar is senior editor of the rock newspaper, the Rocket. Photos not seen by PW 25,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-58005-078-4
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