When Joan Jett belted out the lyrics to "I Love Rock N' Roll," it wasn't just a pop culture phenomenon. It was also a message to the world that women rockers could be just as loud, stylish and brash as their male counterparts. It's been more than 30 years since her version of the song hit the airwaves and the Billboard charts, yet its power and influence remains today.
Like a host of other powerful Sunset Strip women — Stevie Nicks, Exene Cervenka (X), Michelle Philips, Cher, The Runaways — the current generation continues to push the boundaries of what it means to be a woman in the world of rock.
While the image of women on The Sunset Strip has been stereotyped and isolated to "groupies" throughout the years, the truth is that many women on The Sunset Strip have influenced and shaped this boulevard for decades — as talent bookers, promoters, marketing directors, rock reporters, artists and entrepreneurs.
One woman who has shaped the culture and music of The Sunset Strip over the years is booker Dayle Gloria, who gave a first start to influential bands including Jane’s Addiction.
“You have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what you are going to be called. [You can't] worry about the way you are going to be treated by the men who want to intimidate you, and that’s not easy for a lot of women that want to be liked,” she noted. “Sharon Osbourne has always been a woman that I look up to and has always been a role model to me. She's tough but fair and more times than not she is right! …To me, it doesn't matter if you are a woman or a man, if you can't take the heat, then don't get in the frying pan.”
Gloria was one of the more than 30 “women of rock” who met up for a nontraditional ladies brunch and photo session at Rock N’ Reilly’s pub earlier this month. They shared stories about the music industry and their role in it while catching up with each other over pints and plates.
Solo artist and The Stripminers musician Holland Greco was one of the artists who spoke about her personal experience working as a musician. She encouraged the upcoming generation to get involved.
“There is a great demand and place for females in music," she shared. "Get great at your instruments and craft so that you can express your ideas, perspective and whatever else you've got.”
8mm frontwoman Juliette Beavan echoed this sentiment, stating that, “Music is not for the faint of heart. It is an endeavor where the odds of survival are against you. Passion and a thick skin are recommended.”
Additionally, The Roxy Theatre’s talent buyer Megan Jacobs, who has been booking Los Angeles venues for more than 12 years while also developing her own music career as a solo artist, noted that women have obtained powerful roles throughout the past decade, yet the overall culture still has a little way to go to continue supporting women.
“There are still a lot of powerful women making big deals and controlling a lot of the moves that go down, even though we [are still] the minority,” she stated. “We're not exactly invited to the boys club to play basketball, if you know what I mean... But I have my loyal relationships in the business, and I don't let it affect my progress.”
While these women continue to rock and make their voice heard, one thing was certainly made clear during this brunch: The Sunset Strip has a supportive and close community of women both on the stage and off.
Get to know all of the women featured in this behind-the-scenes photo shoot!
A DJ Named Gal
Alecia Mixi Demner (Stitched Up Heart)
Alicia Fusting (Promoter, Viper/House of Blues)
Amanda Fiore (SoundCheck Hollywood/The Pantheon Agency)
Ambre Leigh (Some Hear Explosions)
Ana Lenchantin (Into The Presence)
Arden Fisher (Kozmonaut/The Great Attractor)
Aubrey Henderson (DJ)
Bekah Stern (Booking Agent, Whisky A Go-Go)
Catie Laffoon (ChinaShopMag, Photographer)
Chelsea Schwartz (High Voltage Magazine/DJ)
Courtney Kemp (Communications Manager, Sunset Strip Music Festival)
Cynthia Lempitsky (Booking Agent, Whisky A Go-Go)
Dayle Gloria (Talent Buyer, The Viper Room)
Erin Soriano (Drop Dead LA)
Gaby DeMarco (Drop Dead LA)
Genie Sanchez (Sunset Strip Photographer)
Gina Katon (Gina & The Eastern Block)
Heather Kohos (Chief Brand Officer, The Roxy Theatre)
Holland Greco (solo artist/The Stripminers)
Juliette Beavan (8mm)
Kristin “Gypsy” McElroy (High Voltage Magazine)
Lina Lecaro (LA Weekly)
Linda Lou (Marishi Ten)
Lizzy Stadler (Marketing/Promotions, The Roxy Theatre)
Lucy Levinsohn (Evolove)
Mayuko and Tsuzumi Okai (The Binges)
Megan Jacobs (National Talent Buyer, The Roxy Theatre)
Nykky Ikalina (Burlesque Dancer, The Toledo Show)
Rita Fiora (Doorperson, The Viper Room)
Roxanne Teti (Skyline Pigeons)
Sarah Berkowitz (Tour Coordinator, 30 Seconds to Mars)
Trina N. Green (High Voltage Magazine)