The Feminine Complex

feminine-complexThe Feminine Complex was a short-lived garage band from Nashville. By the time their only album was released on the likewise soon-to-expire Athena Records, the band had broken up. Four of the five women in the group were high school basketball teammates, and they took the team’s name, the Pivots, for their first performance at a talent show.

Their album, Livin’ Love, clearly draws on Nashville’s stable of session musicians on some tracks, such as “Don’t Want Another Man,” below. Three singles were released from the album and sold well regionally. The band also became a regular at Nashville’s Skateland, which was probably as awesome as it sounds.

Demo recordings of the original band from 1968 were included in a 90s reissue of the album on Teenbeat Records, and a collection of more demos and live recordings followed. These are all believed by some to be a hoax, actually just a new band on the ‘lost tapes.’

Many all-female bands from the 60s have been re-discovered by various archival labels in this era of reissues. Last year Sundazed Records released an album of recordings by the Pleasure Seekers, a band best known as the starting point for Suzie Quatro and her sister Patti Quatro (later of Fanny). Their two singles are sought-after rarities because they’re considered some of the best female garage rock recordings of the era.

There were female garage bands all over the world! Argentina had Las Mosquitas and Japan’s Tokyo Happy Coats¬†were said to play between them more than twenty instruments. Another Japanese band, Dorothy and the Vampires is the very definition of awesome even though we can’t understand a word of this single (here).

Dara Puspita from Indonesia suffered under the repressive Sukarno regime and ultimately relocated to Thailand. The band recorded four albums, the first of which you can hear through the magic of Youtube.

In Norway there was a trio called the Dandy Girls who recorded an instrumental jam called “To You,”¬†and in New Zealand there was a quartet called the Fair Sect who released four singles. Their drummer Norma Stacy was also the lead singer. On their second single, a cover of “I Love How You Love Me,” she sang and a dude was brought in to play the drums, as well as his brother-in-law who added the track’s distinctive bagpipes.

The United States led the world in female bands, of course, as we do in all things rock and roll. From Fulda, Minnesota (that’s down in the southwest) there was the Continental Co-Ets. They released a single on the IGL label and have been the subject of stories on MRP and in the City Pages.

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