The Origins of the Riot Grrrl Ethos

Part of my 'Herstory': Marina Red Demo from 1995



The year is 1995, I'm still in FE college.  There are no social media channels and I don't own a computer.

My legend of a Dad bought a Tascam 4-Track and I spent hours messing around on it, twirling the nobs, pressing the buttons, and recording lots of very dodgy acoustic jams.

I'd been playing in bands for a couple of years and been writing my tunes.... some very cringe-worthy, but hey, we all have to start somewhere.

One afternoon, sometime in summer of 1995, I took the Tascam 4-Track down to the rehearsal room.  Matt, Andy and Ian were already setting up and we put a couple of mics around the room.  One on the drums, one between the guitar amps, one next to my bass amp, and the other, my main vocal track.

I think we'd intended to record a full album, right there that afternoon, but nervous about what we were playing actually going down on tape, we kept on messing up.  What we came away with were 4 songs... I would've loved to have a copy of us playing my 4 chord Ramones style rip-off that I called 'Like Everyone Else' and a few more of the more punky tunes that we played, but these were the ones that we thought were more commercial and more likely to land us a record deal!! Oh, the innocence!!  One of the songs, I've left off this.  While it had a beautiful solo written by Andy Bentley, the rest of the song will send you to sleep!

I'm not even saying that these are amazing, but they're a part of my herstory and as I listen to them now, I can feel my hands sliding over the thick strings of my Rickenbacker bass, I remember all the lyrics and I'm transported back to a time when I was young, full of dreams of making it as a rock star, and thought about nothing else than music and boys in leather jackets!!

If you feel like checking it out, it's on bandcamp.  You don't need to buy it, you can have it for free, but if you put 50p or a £1 or so towards it, you'd make an ol' Riot Grrrl very happy and it will be proudly displayed in your bandcamp collection!!  Who would've thought in '95 that this would end up anywhere else than on a cassette at the bottom of a box in an attic by 2020?