List of Girlschool band members

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Girlschool
Girlschool band 1981.jpg
Girlschool classic line-up: Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams, Kelly Johnson, Denise Dufort
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Heavy metal
Years active 1978–present
Members Kim McAuliffe
Enid Williams
Denise Dufort
Jackie Chambers
Past members Kelly Johnson (died 2007)
Ghislaine 'Gil' Weston
Cris Bonacci
Jackie Bodimead
Tracey Lamb
Jackie Carrera

Girlschool are an all-female British heavy metal band, founded in 1978. The original members Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams, Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort come from the club cover band Painted Lady. During the early 1980s the band was one of the relevant groups of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) movement, entering the British charts with both singles and albums. Unlike many heavy metal bands, Girlschool often had more than one lead vocalist, with vocal duties in the 'classic' line-up shared amongst Williams, McAuliffe and Johnson.

In 1982, Williams was the first to leave the band under very stressful circumstances[1] and was replaced by punk rocker Gil Weston. Kelly Johnson left in 1984 and went to live in the USA.

In 1985, Girlschool veered towards a more commercial and American FM friendly sound, changing to a five-piece group, with Cris Bonacci replacing Johnson on lead guitar and adding Jackie Bodimead on lead vocals. This formation was short-lived, because Bodimead left in 1986 and Girlschool returned to a four-piece band. More line-up changes took place in 1987, when former Rock Goddess bass player Tracey Lamb replaced Weston, and in 1992, when Jackie Carrera had a short stint with the band.

In 1993, Kelly Johnson came back to England from the USA and found her place again in Girlschool, replacing the departing Bonacci. Johnson and Lamb remained in the band until 2000, when Jackie Chambers and the returning Enid Williams took their places in the current line-up.

Current members[edit]

Kim McAuliffe live in 2010

Kim McAuliffe[edit]

(London, 13 May 1959)

Active: 1978 – present
Instruments: rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals
McAuliffe is a founding member of Girlschool and acted as front-woman and spokesperson of the group. She was pivotal in most of Girlschool’s career decisions, from their first line-up, to their change of image and sound in the mid-80s, to their return to a rawer kind of music after their American debacle. She is a prolific songwriter and also known for her romantic relationships with other rock musicians (Eddie Clarke,[2] Gary Owens,[3] Michael Monroe,[4] Nick Lashley,[5] Cozy Powell[6]). In the 1990s, McAuliffe worked with punk singer Beki Bondage and she was later one of the presenters of the Raw Power TV show on British commercial TV channel ITV.[7] McAuliffe featured with Cris Bonacci on the NWOBHM celebrating album All Stars in 1990[8] and also on the album Metal Christmas in 1994, with Paul Di'Anno and Eddie Clarke.[9] Besides her work with Girlschool, McAuliffe also played in the late 90s with the cover band Born to Be Girls, which performed at various summer biker rallies.[10] She had been the sole lead singer in Girlschool from 1986 to 1993, a duty that she currently shares with Enid Williams.

Enid Williams[edit]

Enid Willams live in 1981

(London, 28 April 1960)

Active: 1978 - 1982, 2000 - present
Instruments: bass guitar, lead and backing vocals
Williams is another founding member of Girlschool and one of the three lead vocalists singing in the first two albums of the band. She left the band in 1982, at the time of maximum success and workload for the group. She formed the same year the short-lived band Framed.[11] She then completed her education and worked composing and performing music for theatres and musicals, becoming later an actress and a professional astrologer.[12][13] She remained always in contact with her former band mates and joined them in the early 90s for the She-Devils and Strange Girls experience. She rejoined the group in 2000 after the departure of Kelly Johnson and Tracey Lamb, taking back her lead vocalist slot and introducing lyrics about social and political matters.[12]

Denise Dufort[edit]

(London, 18 October 1958)

Active: 1978 - present
Instruments: drums, backing vocals
Jackie Chambers live in 2009
Dufort is the third still active founding member of Girlschool. Before joining, she had played in a few punk bands[14][15] and had become a fan of Painted Lady, the cover band formed by Kim McAuliffe and Enid Williams in their school days.[16] She is the sister of British drummer Dave Dufort, drummer in the NWOBHM band Angel Witch.[17] Denise Dufort has always been present in every formation of the band and had a long relationship with Girlschool’s road manager Tim Warhurst. When working with Girlschool, she also played with the post-punk band Au Pairs.[14] She manages web communications for the band.

Jackie Chambers[edit]

(Leeds, 27 March 1964)

Active: 1999 - present
Instruments: lead guitar, backing vocals
Chambers is a self-taught guitar player who played in some punk bands in her native Leeds and then in London, before starting to write music with Kim McAuliffe around 1995.[18] She shared a flat for seven years with Kelly Johnson in London and both Johnson and Cris Bonacci helped her in becoming an accomplished lead guitarist, in order to take their place in the band.[19] Chambers' debut performance with the band was at Venue 27, Luton, England, on October 5th 2000. She soon became a driving force for the band, contributing both to the band’s stage image and as a songwriter. In 2007, Chambers became a member of the reformed Blitzkrieg, a British punk band from Southport.[20] She divided her time between London and Los Angeles, where she composed and performed her own music until March 2012, when she returned to live in Leeds. In 2015 she formed a new band alonsgide her work with Girlschool called Syteria, a female fronted pop-punk band in Yorkshire.[21]

Former members[edit]

Kelly Johnson[edit]

(London, 20 June 1958 – 15 July 2007)

Active: 1978 - 1984, 1993 - 2000
Instruments: lead guitar, lead and backing vocals
Johnson was a founding member of the band and shared with Kim McAuliffe the bulk of song writing in the first four albums of Girlschool. Her taste for pop music was balanced in the songs of the first albums by the punk and heavy metal influence of the other band members, but it became more evident in the album Play Dirty.[22] Her tall figure and blonde hair made her a strong visual focal point for the male-dominated heavy metal audience of the time, while her lead guitar playing became a term of comparison for who followed her in the ranks of the band.[5] She was also the third lead singer in the original line-up. In most Girlschool songs, lead vocals are performed by lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist Kim McAuliffe and by lead vocalist and bass guitarist Enid Williams, but there are some notable exceptions, in which Kelly played lead vocals, such as "Hit and Run", "C'mon Let's Go", "The Hunter", "Please Don't Touch" (Performed with Motörhead as part of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP), "Wildlife", "Breakdown", "20th Century Boy, "Future Flash", among other songs in which Kelly also played lead vocals. She left Girlschool at the beginning of 1984 and moved to Los Angeles, USA, to live with Vicki Blue, former bassist of The Runaways. She spent ten years of her life writing and playing her own music and also working outside the music scene in LA.[23][24] She came back to the United Kingdom and to her place in Girlschool in 1993 and remained until 2000, when she was diagnosed with cancer. She remained associated with the others, playing the occasional gig, instructing her substitute and gathering photos and material for a band biography.[19] On 15 July 2007, Kelly Johnson died of spinal cancer at the age of 49.[24]

Ghislaine 'Gil' Weston[edit]

(15 February 1958)

Active: 1982 – 1987
Instruments: bass, lead (only on the tracks "Hellrazor" and "Flesh and Blood" from Girlschool third album Screaming Blue Murder) and backing vocals
On the recommendation of Lemmy, she replaced the original bass player Enid Williams, coming from the short-lived punk bands The Killjoys and Alternating.[25] In January 1987, after five years with the group, she left as Gil Weston-Jones to spend her life with her American husband, quitting the music business.[26] She now works for the NHS in England.[27]
Girlschool as a quintet in 1985. From left: Kim McAuliffe, Gil Weston, Denise Dufort, Jackie Bodimead, Cris Bonacci

Cris Bonacci[edit]

(Melbourne, 15 October 1964)

Active: 1984 – 1992
Instruments: lead guitar, backing vocals
Bonacci is an Australian guitarist who moved to England to enjoy and exploit the British musical explosion of the early 1980s. In London, Bonacci joined the band She, which played in the local rock clubs and featured as members Jackie Bodimead and Tracey Lamb. She was recruited by Kim McAuliffe to replace Kelly Johnson in 1984 and she remained with the band for nine years, giving a large contribution to the sound of Girlschool with her songs and her Jeff Beck inspired guitar playing.[28] In an interview in 1992, referring to her permanence in the band, she said that "I've decided that I'll only be in the band as long as I'm doing other things as well"[29] In fact, she left the band soon after, to pursue a career as touring musician, artist manager and record producer. She came back to the attention of the British tabloids in 1999, for her relationship with pop singer Samantha Fox, which Bonacci managed.[30]

Jackie Bodimead[edit]

Active: 1984 - 1986
Instruments: lead vocals, keyboards
When Bodimead joined Girlschool, coming from the all-female hard rock band She, she was already an accomplished lead singer, having played in the hard rock and prog rock bands Strategy and Canis Major. She shared lead vocals with Kim McAuliffe on the album Running Wild and went on a world tour with Girlschool in 1985. Unsatisfied with the heavier sound the band wanted to return to, she left the band to pursue a more commercial musical direction.[31][32] She joined the British AOR band If Only[33] and later released the solo album of melodic hard rock Don't Believe in Love, produced by Lea Hart.[34]

Tracey Lamb[edit]

Active: 1987 – 1991, 1993 – 2000
Instruments: bass, backing vocals
Lamb is a founding member of Rock Goddess, another all-female metal act originated in the new wave of British heavy metal. She quit Rock Goddess in 1983 and briefly substituted Gil Weston in Girlschool for a tour in Israel.[35] The same year, Lamb formed with Jackie Bodimead, Cris Bonacci, Kat Burbella and Suzie Roll the all-female band She, which never stepped outside the English club scene and disbanded in 1985.[36] Lamb started a new project called The Perfect Mothers[35] but, when Weston left Girlschool for good, she was immediately recruited to replace her and remained in the band for three years.[26] In 1993, she came back to the fold after the sudden resignation of Jackie Carrera. She remained until 2000, when she left the band together with her friend Kelly Johnson. In 2005, she started a new rock band called Rock ’n’ Roll Gypsies, which worked the British rock club scene, but remained without any recording contract.[37] She moved to Spain to work as a gym instructor and manager and finally rejoined the reformed Rock Goddess in 2014.[38]

Jackie Carrera[edit]

Active: 1992
Instruments: bass, backing vocals
Carrera (also known as Jackie Carreira) came from the indie pop bands The Flatmates and The Caretaker Race, where she had been playing since 1988. She joined the band in 1991 and contributed to Girlschool’s eponymous album in 1992. Carrera played with the band around the UK, Europe and Russia, but when the band was due to head to the USA, she declined to travel and left the group amicably. She was replaced by returning bassist Tracey Lamb.[39] After working as a session musician for several bands including Take That until 1996, Carrera is now a writer working mostly in theatre.

Timeline[edit]

Line-ups[edit]

The band's line-up considered as 'classic' was the one from 1978 to 1982. 'Classic' members are mentioned in bold in the following list.

Era Lineup Album(s)
1975-1978
as Painted Lady
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Deirdre Cartwright - lead guitar
  • Kathy Valentine - lead guitar
  • Enid Williams - bass, lead vocals
  • Bernice Cartwright - bass
  • Tina Gayle - drums
  • Val Lloyd - drums
1978–1982
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Enid Williams - bass, lead vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1982–1984
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Gil Weston - bass, vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1984–1985
  • Jackie Bodimead - lead vocals
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Cris Bonacci - lead guitar
  • Gil Weston - bass, vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1986–1987
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Cris Bonacci - lead guitar
  • Gil Weston - bass, vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1987–1988
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Cris Bonacci - lead guitar
  • Tracey Lamb - bass, vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1990

as She Devils

  • Toyah Willcox - lead vocals
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Cris Bonacci - lead guitar
  • Enid Williams - bass, vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1991

as Strange Girls

  • Toyah Willcox - lead vocals
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Cris Bonacci - lead guitar
  • Enid Williams - bass, vocals
  • Lydie Gallais - drums
1992
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Cris Bonacci - lead guitar
  • Jackie Carrera- bass
  • Denise Dufort - drums
1993–1999
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Tracey Lamb - bass, vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums
2000–present
  • Kim McAuliffe - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Jackie Chambers - lead guitar, vocals
  • Enid Williams - bass, lead vocals
  • Denise Dufort - drums

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Enid Williams interview". Classic Rock. Christmas 2004. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Kilmister, Ian and Garza, Janiss White Line Fever (2002) – Simon & Schuster pp. 126-128 ISBN 0-684-85868-1
  3. ^ Tucker, John (2006). "Denise Dufort on Girlschool's Support Bands". Suzie Smiles... The New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Church Stretton, Shropshire, UK: Independent Music Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-9549704-7-5. 
  4. ^ Dome, Malcolm (1984). Extra Kerrang!. 3. Morgan Grampian. p. 56. 
  5. ^ a b Watts, Chris (19 November 1988). "Once Bitten... Twice Dry". Kerrang!. 214. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd. pp. 28–29. 
  6. ^ Barton, Geoff (February 2005). "School's Out". Classic Rock. 76. Future Publishing. pp. 50–54. 
  7. ^ Harp, John (15 August 2004). "Girlschool Band Page". Tartarean Desire Webzine. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  8. ^ All Stars (CD sleeve). Japan: Polydor Records POCP-1036. 1990. 
  9. ^ "Metal Christmas". MusicMight. 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Official Girlschool Website News". Former Official Girlschool Website. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "Framed". MusicMight. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "L'intervista a Enid Williams" (in Italian). Long Live Rock n Roll.it. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Rock Astrology". MySpace.com. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  14. ^ a b Dufort, Denise (17 July 2009). "The School- 07-17-2009". Girlschool official forum. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  15. ^ Dufort, Denise. "Skinflicks". Punk77.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  16. ^ "Girlschool guitarist Kim McAuliffe". Fullinbloom.com. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  17. ^ Strong, M.C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh, Great Britain: Canongate Books. p. 326. ISBN 0-86241-541-1. 
  18. ^ Sidiropoulos, Georgios (December 2004). "Girlschool interview". Tartarean Desire Webzine. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Girlschool Interview with Jackie "Jax" Chambers". Morbidzine.com. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  20. ^ "Blitzkrieg "Celebrating 30 years"". MySpace. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  21. ^ "Syteria formed in 2015". 
  22. ^ Forte, Dan (January 1989). "Kathy Valentine & Kelly Johnson - Girl Group Renegades". Guitar World. p. 16. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  23. ^ Dome, Malcolm (26 June 1986). "Kelly Johnson". Kerrang! 123. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. p. 41.
  24. ^ a b "Tribute to Kelly Johnson". Lasting tribute.co.uk. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  25. ^ Ogg, Alex (5 October 2006). No More Heroes: a Complete History of UK Punk from 1976 to 1980. London, UK: Cherry Red Books. ISBN 978-1-901447-65-1. 
  26. ^ a b Dome, Malcolm (28 May 1987). "Girlschool". Kerrang!. 147. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd. p. 7. 
  27. ^ Woodward, Alan J. "Ghislaine Weston". Girlschool Unofficial Site. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  28. ^ "Cris Bonacci interview". Metal Attack no. 23. S.A.R.L. de Presse DB2. 22 July 1985. p. 51. 
  29. ^ "Cris Bonacci interview". Guitarist. Future Publishing. November 1992. 
  30. ^ Boshoff, Alison (3 September 2001). "Sam Fox and her new partner". Mail Online. Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  31. ^ "Girlschool Bio". Roadrunner Records press release for Take a Bite. Roadrunner Records. 3 October 1988. 
  32. ^ Johnson, Howard (30 October 1986). "Hear No Evil". Kerrang!. 132. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. pp. 10–11. 
  33. ^ "If Only - Destiny". USA scratchrecords.com. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  34. ^ "Jackie Bodimead - Don't Believe In Love" (in Italian). Stereo Invaders.com. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  35. ^ a b van Poorten, Toine; Tracey Lamb (27 January 2008). "Rock Goddess biography update by Tracey Lamb". MySpace. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  36. ^ van Poorten, Toine (7 April 2008). "Back To The Past (15): Rock Goddess". Metalmaidens.com. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  37. ^ "Rock'n'Roll Gypsies". MySpace. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  38. ^ "Rock Goddess Is Back For 'Unfinished Business'". Blabbermouth.net. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  39. ^ "Girlschool biography". Former Girschool website. Retrieved 23 June 2010.