Mama Quilla II
Mama Quilla II was a Canadian rock band that first performed together in 1977 in Toronto and dissolved in 1982. Although the band recorded only a single EP as Mama Quilla II, after 1982 a revised lineup evolved into the influential pop band Parachute Club.
Personnel changed over the band’s five year existence, but Mama Quilla II was usually a seven-piece all-female band. The main band personnel were as follows: Lorraine Segato (vocals, guitar), Lauri Conger (keyboards, vocals), Linda Jain (drums, percussion), Linda Robitaille (saxophone, vocals), Susan Sturman (guitars), Catherine McKay (bass, vocals) and then Jacqui Snedker (bass, vocals), Maxine Walsh (percussion), Susan Cole (vocals and piano) and BJ Danylchuk (keyboards,vocals). Nancy Poole acted as the group's manager. Billy Bryans, who would later become a bandmate of Segato and Conger in Parachute Club, also sometimes performed with the band on percussion; as the only man performing with an otherwise all-female band, his bandmates jokingly gave him a T-shirt which read "Token Male".
Development out of original Mama Quilla
Mama Quilla II developed out of a band called Mama Quilla (named after the Inca Goddess Mama Quilla). The original Mama Quilla was formed in the early 1970s by Sara Ellen Dunlop, a "major independent figure on the Toronto music scene who died of cancer in 1975." Original Mama Quilla members included Linda Jain, Linda Robitaille and Jackie Snedker, as well as Dunlop.
Relationship to "women's music"
Keyboard player Lauri Conger describes a time at the beginning of the band's history when she decided to "make a political shift (from being the only woman in the bands she played with) ...to work with women." Conger also notes that MQII was one of the earliest women's music groups to go electric rather than playing acoustic instruments.
High profile shows
Mama Quilla II headlined at the First Annual Bi-National Lesbian Conference in Toronto, which was put on by members of the Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT) with members of the Toronto International Women’s Day Committee in May 1979.
Transformation into Parachute Club
Mama Quilla II morphed into Parachute Club and signed a recording deal with Current Records in 1983. The band was “asked to organize a group for the 1982 Toronto Festival of Festivals and Mama Quilla II personnel were unavailable so they grabbed Conger and several other area session players and formed The Parachute Club.”
- 1982 KKK//Mama Quilla/Angry Young Woman Tupperwaros; EP. Produced by Billy Bryans. Engineered by Daniel Lanois.
- Jam! Pop Encyclopedia
- Mama Quilla Collective promotional flyer, accessed at the CWMA (Canadian Women's Movement Archives)
- Ross, Becki. The House That Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation, University of Toronto Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8020-7479-0, p281
- Kivi, K. Linda. Canadian Women Making Music, Green Dragon Press, 1992, ISBN 0-9691955-8-3, p87
- "Billy Bryans’ eclectic musical tastes took him far". The Globe and Mail, April 23, 2012.
- Kivi, K. Linda. Canadian Women Making Music, Green Dragon Press, 1992, ISBN 0-9691955-8-3, p86