VENICE, Calif. -- In the 60s, there were plenty of all-female rock bands, but most didn’t get a chance at having their own record deal. But one of those bands, is making their comeback over 50 years later with their very own record.
There’s a group of women in their 70s who have been playing the bass, drums, and electric guitar together for years, spanning back to the 60s.
“Nothing will stop us from playing, except, for when we are off this earth,” Denise Kaufman, bandmember of Ace of Cups said.
The Ace of Cups is an all-female rock band that has toured with many historical bands from the 60s era. It was a time when male rock bands took the lead in the music industry, leaving all-female rock bands in that decade's shadows.
“We opened for Jimi Hendrix in the Panhandle the weekend after he played the Monterey Pop Festival and we had a wonderful time with him and he said really great things about us. He appreciated us and we sure appreciated him,” Kaufman said.
The band continued to play their music, sharing the stages with many well-known bands today. But without a record deal, the band started to go their separate ways in the 70s.
“None of the record labels that were coming into San Francisco Bay Area in the 60s would sign us, so we ended up being amongst the bands that they played with all the time, but we were sort of the only ones that didn’t get a record deal,” Kaufman said.
Evelyn McDonnell created the book, Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl groups to Riot Grrrl. Mcdonnell believes it was gender stereotypes that held bands like the Ace of Cups back from making history.
“I think the typical role of women in the 1960s was as a groupie, was as a lover of rock musicians and rock bands. Not as a rock star herself,” McDonnell said.
Through her research, McDonnell said it’s a stereotype that still holds to this day.
“This has been a historic problem for all-female bands and I would say it’s probably still an issue. In the history of music, I think there’s only one all-female band of musicians that’s gone to number one with an album and that’s the Go-Gos. They did it with their first album. They’ve never done it since and nobody else has done it since,” McDonnell said.
But that’s not stopping the women of Ace of Cups from making a comeback. Recently, they signed a record deal with High Moon Records to create their first album and soon they’ll be creating their second.
“There’s no reason to stop doing the things that you love and that you can have opportunity show up at any point in life and don’t give up on your dreams,” Kaufman said.
Now, these women rock stars are hoping their comeback will be the beginning of creating their own herstory for generations of women to follow.