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Friday, May 11, 2007

The B Girls / Cynthia Ross

cynthia portrait

I first met B Girl Cynthia Ross when she was visiting Los Angeles with her then-boyfriend Stiv Bators. Ever the gentleman, Stiv squired Cynthia around town where they spread the gospel of the B-Girls and took some photo opportunities that present themselves to you about 28 years later.

The B-Girls were one of Canada's best all-girl punk bands, around from 1977 through 1981, with a personnel change or two during their brief existence. The B-Girls line-up that appeared at the Whisky when I saw them included Xenia Splawinksi, guitar and vocals, Renee Chetsky, guitar, and Marcy Saddy on drums, and of course, Cynthia Ross on bass.

Stiv Bators & Cynthia Ross

Here are Stiv and Cynthia on San Vicente, right next to the Licorice Pizza parking lot, which was a punk rock hang-out before, after and in-between sets at the Whisky A Go Go, which was across the street. Also across the street was Joan Jett's apartment, and Stiv and Cynthia always visited Joan when they came to town.

stiv cynthia by licorice pizza 2

They visited Rodney Bingenheimer too. Rodney is a big supporter of indie bands, and girl groups always got a fair shake and spin from him. Whe the whole band came to town, Rodney had the B-Girls as live, in-studio guests on his KROQ show so they could promote their Whisky A Go Go gig.

Stiv & Cynthia at Rodney's Apartment

In Joan Jett's Bedroom

Between the support from Rodney and from Cynthia laying the groundwork for the upcoming B-Girls shows, it was no surprise that theirs was THE show to see and be seen. Blondie members Debbie Harry, Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison all attended the show, and Debbie and Nigel are pictured here with the B Girls, Rodney and Sabel Starr.

Blondie, B-Girls, Bingenheimer Backstage

The B-Girls delivered such a rocking set with true blue 1960s girl group harmonies that they were invited to join Blondie in the studio while they were in town. The result: The B Girls are some of the backing vocalists on the hit "The Tide is High" from Blondie's album, Autoamerican (1980).

The B-Girls disbanded shortly thereafter, however, in 2006, there were some surprise B-Girls performances and a reunion show or two. This Sunday in Toronto - yes, on Mother's Day - the B-Girls will be on the bill with several other girl groups.

Check it out my Canadien friends...
This Mothers' Day
Sunday May 13
50 Blue Jays Way, just below King

Who says girls can't rock?


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