Lori Barbero

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Lori Barbero
Lori Barbero.jpg
Background information
Birth nameLori Anne Barbero
Born (1961-11-27) November 27, 1961 (age 61)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
GenresPunk rock
  • Drums
  • vocals
Years active1987–present

Lori Anne Barbero[1] (born November 27, 1961) is an American musician and singer who rose to notoriety as the drummer of the Minneapolis-based punk rock band Babes in Toyland, which she joined in 1987. After the dissolution of Babes in Toyland in 2001, Barbero subsequently played drums for the bands Eggtwist and Koalas.[2] In 2015, she reunited with Babes in Toyland, performing on an international tour with the band.

Early life[edit]

Barbero was born in Minneapolis on November 27, 1961.[3] She is of Filipino and Scandinavian descent.[4][5] At the age of fourteen, her father moved the family to Pearl River, New York, where she attended high school, graduating in 1978.[6][7]

During her teenage years, Barbero often ventured into New York City to attend concerts, specifically at CBGB,[8] which exposed her to a wide array of bands: "From where my house was—we lived on a hill—I could see New York. So I went into the city a lot, and I saw a lot of music," Barbero recalled. "I liked music that was probably not as acceptable to a lot of ears as it was to mine. In high school, I loved David Bowie and I loved Queen. I remember going to the city and seeing a lot of punk stuff, [like] the Tubes and Patti Smith, and the New York Dolls. I was pretty lucky because it was just part of my life."[7]

After high school, Barbero moved to Key West, Florida before returning to Minneapolis, where she attended the University of Minnesota before dropping out and working as a waitress.


Barbero had never played a musical instrument prior to joining Babes in Toyland,[7] but had always wanted to learn to play drums. Upon meeting Kat Bjelland at a barbecue in the mid-1980s, Bjelland asked her to start a band with her.[9]

After the dissolution of Babes in Toyland in the early 2000s, Barbero worked as a music manager, and for a time was Courtney Love's assistant during the recording of America's Sweetheart (2004), beginning in 2002.[10] She was subsequently employed by the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas as an assistant production manager for a total of seven years, beginning in the late 2000s.[11] She was also part owner of the now defunct Minneapolis label Spanish Fly Records, whose roster included Smut, Dumpster Juice, Milk, REO Speedealer, Sleep Capsule, and Likehell.[9]

Lori contributed to a zine called After Grrrl (Small Stories From Big Lives) in 2015. The zine included stories from many influential female artists, icons, and taste makers including Allison Wolfe, Camille Rose Garcia, Tara McPherson, Kelly Osbourne, Bonnie Burton, Remy Holwick, Jessicka, Janine Jarman as well as many others.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2014, Barbero divided her time between Minneapolis and Austin, Texas.[8]


  1. ^ Leon 2016, p. 214.
  2. ^ Lori Barbero Archived February 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Minnewiki.publicradio.org
  3. ^ Escamilla, Brian (1996). Contemporary Musicians. Gale Research, Inc. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-810-39317-2.
  4. ^ Gaar 2002, p. 390.
  5. ^ Leon 2016, p. 19.
  6. ^ Bechard, Gorman (October 29, 2014). "Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland, the complete interview from COLOR ME OBSESSED". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Kuehnert, Stephanie (November 28, 2016). "Don't Do It 'Cause You Think You Have To: An Interview With Lori Barbero". Rookie Magazine. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Bennett, Kim Taylor (July 11, 2014). "Shooting the Shit with Babes in Toyland's Lori Barbero". Noisey. Vice. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Gaar, Gillian G. "She's a rebel: the history of women in rock & roll". Seal Press. 2002.
  10. ^ Neutron & Barbero 2020, 25:38.
  11. ^ Neutron & Barbero 2020, 24:00.
  12. ^ After Grrrl June 09, 2016 in CULTURE, ROUGE
  13. ^ LUSTIG. HANNA Grrrl, You Need A Copy Of Jack Off Jill's New Fan Zine Bust (magazine)


External links[edit]