TC with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart-

TC here and for all of my Queens Of Noise maniacs (and the fact that I am giving away Ann Wilson tickets this week)
I complied a list (please note these are not the ONLY women, but a few of my personal favorites) who opened doors for women in rock music BACK IN THE DAY!
Rock and Roll was a guys game in the 60’s, 70’s and especially in the the 80’s, so the women that broke out in these three decades were true pioneers. This list covers many rock styles, songwriting credits and accomplishments that broke down much needed barriers for so many rock genres.
I’m grateful for the artists that grace this list and the joy they have given me as a music fan AND for opening the doors to the future- BECAUSE of them, the women of the 90’s and beyond were allowed to give us some of the killer tunes and performances that have shaped our lives.

Let’s go……..!

  • Janis Joplin

    Born Janis Lyn Joplin in Port Arthur, Texas, Janis started with her band Big Brother and The Holding Company and became a superstar in rock. Her electrifying performances and off the charts vocals make her one of the premiere women in rock.

  • Pat Benatar

    I LOVED Pat. Tiny, fearless and with a voice and stage presence that blew most male performers away, she surrounded herself with a killer band and dominated the 1980’s HER WAY! The first woman ever played on MTV and the second video they ever showed. Game changing indeed.

  • Heart- (Ann and Nancy Wilson)

    Amazing vocals, blistering guitars, the Wilson sisters are talented beyond measure and constantly fighting for equality for women in music. Their evolution from 70’s areas queens, to 80’s MTV stars and pushing creative music making and touring into three more decades prove their relevance and limitless ability to blow away the fans.

  • Steve Nicks and Christine McVie- Fleetwood Mac

    I put Stevie and Chris in the same line, but their contributions were unique and both key to the incredible success of Fleetwood Mac. Both incredible songwriters, both with unique lead vocal qualities, both major contributors to a band that would not have been what it was without either one of them.

    They each went on to have solo careers, Stevie with one of the most successful solo careers in rock history, I love both of these ladies so much. Timeless, beautiful and classic rock goddesses.


  • The Runaways - (Joan, Lita, Cherie, Sandy, Jackie)

    I’m putting The Runaways on the same line as well even with the incredible solo careers of Lita Ford and Joan Jett.

    Without the band, the solo careers of these immensely talented women may have never happened.

    A band of teenagers, they broke down the doors and took so much crap from everyone who said “girls can’t play rock”!

    The Runaways paved the way for many all girl bands who came after them who had better record deals, fair contracts and an easier path. And hail to Lita and Joan who continue to change the rules to this day.

  • The Go Go's

    Think the Go Go’s are pop fluff? Watch their showtime documentary as they broke through the hard core punk scene, touring everywhere and their debut “Beauty and The Beat” became  the highest charting debut album by a female band that wrote and recorded all of their own material. They are also credited for being one of the most successful bands that ushered in the “new wave” sound of the 80’s. Outspoken, artistic and business women, the Go Go’s changed the game for sure.


  • Bonnie Raitt

    Representing the blues since her 1971 recording debut, Bonnie single handedly kicked in the door for performers like Susan Tedeschi, Shannon Curfman and Samantha Fish.  A 13 time grammy winner, (nominated close to 30 times) Bonnie has not only influenced female blues musicians but men as well. The true pioneer of blues rock with her incredible playing style, amazing vocals and songwriting genius.

  • Wendy O Williams - The Plasmatics

    The first time I laid eyes on the Plasmatics on TV, I was both terrified and mesmerized! Wendy O was WILD!
    The original. mohawked queen of metal, punk and shock rock who chainsawed guitars and put whipped cream on her…well…you know…she was actually nominated for a grammy in 1984!
    Her theatrical performances with her band The Plasmatics and solo were legendary (as were her dangerous videos!) and there was no one like her. Fearless. That was Wendy. Sadly we lost her to suicide in 1998.

  • Chrissie Hynde- The Pretenders

    One of my favorite performers and bands of all time, Chrissie Hynde is such an inspiration as the female leader of a punk band who went on to have massive mainstream success without compromising. Chrissie kept the band together after losing two members (Pete Farndon and James Honeyman Scott) back to back.

    The bands debut is in my top 5 of all time. Her vocal style is so beautiful and her tone so unique. Yet she is edgy as hell!

    And Chrissie does what Chrissie wants!

  • Patti Smith

    One of the most influential PUNKS EVER! Patti Smith is a songstress, poet and frontrunner of the New York punk scene with her groundbreaking debut HORSES. (And she went to College in New Jersey too!)

    Patti has influenced so many with her storytelling based in truth and gritty style. She’s an icon.


  • Debbie Harry (Blondie)

    Never afraid to take a chance, born in Florida and raised in Bergen County the talented and extremely beautiful Debbie Harry formed Blondie in the mid 70’s and took music by storm with the bands mix of punk, rock, disco, hip hop and experimental styles. Debbie has gone solo, made movies and reformed the band and is still touring today!

  • Grace Slick - Jefferson Airplane- Starship

    Grace embodies power in female vocals and deserves so much credit for fronting a band in the 1960’s when very few women were. In my opinion the Airplane songs that featured her power vocals were the bands absolute best.

    Her voice has always given me goosebumps…..still does…..

  • Joni Mitchell

    One of the most amazing songwriters ever, Joni may not initially be thought of as a straight out rocker, but her ability to write and deliver a song (vocals and on guitar)  like no-one else makes her a master. Her talent has influenced so many women to pick up a guitar and let their emotions flow.  This song is one of my favorites of all time and if you want to learn what amazing songwriting and guitar playing is all about- pick up Joni’s records “Blue” and “Court And Spark”.

  • Suzi Quatro

    Please DO NOT think of Suzi as Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days! Suzi is a bad ass bass player who inspired so many women in rock including Joan Jett and The Runaways.  Suzi hails from Michigan and found her greatest musical success overseas as the states never quite knew what to do with her. The growl that Joan does, Suzi did first. Often imitated totally underrated.

  • Doro Pesch

    She may not be the most well known, but Doro has been making metal since the 1980’s with her band Warlock and solo.

    Her unique, powerful vocals and bigger than life stage presence have dubbed her the “Queen Of Metal” and her longevity and still active in metal performances secured her spot on my list. “All We Are” from Warlock is one of the great classic metal anthems of all time.


  • Carole King

    Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Carole King paved the way for women writing songs for others and is regarded as one of the most influential females in music. Her album Tapestry held the record for the  longest #1 album by a female artist for more than 20 years and she has been inducted into the rock hall twice as both a performer and songwriter. I adore her.

    This version of “I Feel The Earth Move” also features Slash because he knows how awesome she is too!

  • Girlschool

    Never compromising,  the Queens Of British Heavy Metal and Punk, Girlschool were found and supported by the amazing Lemmy from Motorhead in 1978 and he actually offered the band the opening slot on the Motorhead tour that year and was always supportive. While it was almost impossible for female hard rockers to get noticed in the 1970’s, this band led the charge for female metal empowerment and were so cool to watch.


  • Tina Turner

    Watching videos after Tina’s recent passing, I understood why she always wanted to be a ROCK star.

    She was a rock star. Her incredible voice and dynamic stage presence gained her a massive fanbase that consisted of amazing frontmen including Mick Jagger and David Bowie. The Ike and Tina Turner revue performances of classic rock favorited like “Proud Mary” were legendary. Personally I LOVED her in the “Tommy” movie as “The Acid Queen”! Holy crap! Unreal…….I made my parents take me to see it ten times JUST to see the Acid Queen…..

  • Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson- The B52's

    These punk queens help invent the genre with their bandmates and the ladies were featured prominently on many songs with B52’s frontman Fred Schneider and alone.

    If you have ever seen the B52’s live you know how awesome they are onstage. Energy off the charts- there is no one like them. True punk pioneers (mixed with some surf rock and sprinkled with insanity) thanks to Kate and Cindy for sure.

    Check out this performance from NJ in 1980. So raw and so punk! And they are still going strong.

  • Siouxsie Sioux- Siouxsie and The Banshees

    The original goth goddess, Siouxsie Sioux and her band were always ahead of their time.

    She opened the door for the alternative rockers of the 1990’s both male and female and her unique look and style made her one of the most recognizable stars of the goth genre. And I LOVE her m music so much.

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