Saturday, March 19, 2005

More California Girls



First of all, I had no idea that this photo was "all that." Twenty years after I took it, guys I know stop me and ask me all about the session.

What do I remember about The Pandoras? I remember Paula Pierce totally in and around the scene for a long time, supporting local bands at all the shows, forming her own bands and eventually, The Pandoras. She was also, as they say, "boy crazy." And the boys loved her too.

LA certainly had its fair share of strong women in rock n roll. Starting with The Runaways and their two strong guitar players, LA and its environs also boasted The Bags, with Patricia and Alice Bag as strong women in key positions. The Alley Cats had the outstanding Diane Chai a punk Ronnie Spector look alike who rocked the bass; and there was Exene Cervenka of X and punk-inspired cross-over pop hitmakers,The Go Go's. The Castration Squad boasted a pre-solo Phranc. A band called Those Girls featured both Vickie and Debbie Peterson before they joined Susanna Hoffs in the pre-Bangles version of the band with Annette Zelinskas, called simply, The Bangs. I am leaving out a million people. Backstage Pass, The Orchids -- I am sure the moment I post this, I will think of 25 other bands.

Anyway, The Pandoras were strong ladies with a tough attitude and a hot look. I think they were highly influential and because of the talent within the band, of course, there was turmoil. When Paula and Gwen had creative differences, both of them were fronting bands called The Pandoras. Paula won that battle. After personnel shifts and what not, The Pandoras actually had a major label release and then suffered what happens to hot local bands when they go to the majors. Lost in the shuffle.

Paula Pierce expired - literally - after doing strenuous exercise. It was a death that caught me off guard and its hard to believe she is not around. She was lively and vibrant and she made a few cool records that are incredibly fresh 20 years down the road.

As for this photo session --- guys, I'm afraid there's not much to tell. We decided what we were gonna do - met at the beach and snapped some shots. They even got into the water. Those pix of the Pandoras splashing around in the water were published in the February 1985 issue of Oui. If you collect such things. Someone I know does.... drop me a line if you want me to hook you up with him.

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