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The Girlfriends

Articles, current and '80s

Fine Times 1983

The Girlfriends are tough to pin down. Their look is a cross between the Go-Go's and Joan Jett. and their music ranges from melodic pop originals to covers of "White Rabbit"and "You Really Got Me." They play from Philadelphia to the shore, but their sights are set on much farther horizons.

"We did a showcase to attempt to do some travelling with the USO," said Marge Connelly, the group's personable singer who also handles keyboards, trumpet and guitar. "We still don't know anything definite, but we're hoping. It's exciting."

Connelly gave up a successful solo act a year and a half ago to form the Girlfriends with bassist Robin Rohr, formerly of the Secrets. After several different incarnations, the band settled in November into their present lineup, Connelly, Rohr, and former Tapistrie members Jill Brady (drums) and Kim Butler (guitar).

The idea of an all-female band was Rohr's. "I thought it was a novelty and apt to be successful. And quite frankly, I get along better with women. Sometimes In a mixed band I feel I should take a back seat, keep my mouth shut.

'We've all had our differences with women, too." she added quickly, "but it happened that the four of us have hit It off" quite well. We really get along great."

The Girlfriends' chemistry shows in their contagious onstage energy. They bring their fans to the dance floor with originals (penned by all four members of the group) as well as peppy covers of the Pretenders, the Motels and Missing Persons.

The band cut their first single last month—"Good for a Girl" a bouncy. lighthearted political statement written by Butler and Brady, backed with Connelly's "Life of Economy": a minor-key new music tune. The disc was a project of "Dancin on Air'" producer Mike Nice, and was engineered at Powerhouse Studios In Camden, NJ.

The Girlfriends play regularly at Oscar's, the Old State Tavern and Justin's. They've also landed an appearance at this month's Rose Tree Festival in Media. Pa. and their USO audition has brought them gigs at local Air Force bases.

But the overseas USO tour is still the group's immediate goal. 'Who would turn down a European tour, or Mediterranean or Oriental or Pacific?" Butler asked. "Of course, some places probably are not the greatest—no one wants to get shot or blown up. But we feel that if Bob Hope can do it, we can do it. We keep expanding—we just want to keep on going."

—Marian Hudson

News-Journal May 3, 1985

Laying a myth to rest by Don Challenger
The Girlfriends prove women can rock hard

"We heard it right away," the Girlfriends' manager, Kim Andras, says. "When the band first played out, people would be lining up to say, 'Hey, you guys are pretty good, for girls.' So we wanted to get that issue out of the way early."

So last spring, just months after forming in September 1983, the Girlfriends recorded a mocking single, "Good for a Girl," backed with "Life of Economy," that remains one of the best independent records in the area.

Actually, the likes of the Go-Go's, Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde — if not Bonnie Raitt — long ago laid the gender question (can the fairer sex rock?) to rest. But the old-boy myth that women can sing, but are lost in the intricacies of power chords and drum rolls, might require one final nail in its coffin.

Hammer in hand, the Girlfriends appear tomorrow night at the Deer Park, 108 W. Main St. in Newark. The band is not yet as well-known locally as in Philadelphia, where they've made several television appearances, but a stellar show on the Wilmington Loop last week at Oscar's might change that.

Lead guitarist Kim Butler and drummer Jill Brady, both from Media, Pa., had been playing together for a decade when they were joined by bassist Robin Rohr and vocalist Marge Connelly, who also plays keyboards and trumpet, to establish the Girlfriends less than two years ago. Their current sets include astute covers of songs by Raitt, Ricki Lee Jones, Cyndi Lauper, the Pretenders and the Motels as well as a growing catalog of strong originals.

Justin's featuring the Girlfriends this weekend

May 25, 1984 The Delaware Beachcomber

Returning to the beach this Memorial Day weekend is an up and rising band on the music scene, The Girlfriends. From the Brandywine Valley, the Girlfriends are four talented and creative women who together provide an evening of good music, dancing and fun.

Robin Rohr (bass. vocals) and Marge Connelly (keyboard. trumpet, guitar, vocals), the originators of the band, have been working together for close to three years. During this time, the band went through some personnel changes and for a long time the Girls played because it was fun. But throughout the changes in band lineup, Robin and Marge remained strong in their ideas of who the Girlfriends were and where they wanted to go.

Then they met Jill Brady (drums, vocals) and Kim Butler (guitar, bass, vocals), formerly of Tapistrie, and they found themselves to be a serious and dedicated band. All four women are actively involved in the selection and writing of the music they perform.

Their originals are an interesting variety, ranging from a more commercial nu-wave dance sound, to rock'n'roll, to an almost jazzy western swing number featuring Marge on trumpet. The Girls recently finished recording two originals, "Good for a Girl" and "Life of Economy. "

"Through the years music has been viewed as representative of the times," says Kim. " 'Good For a Girl' is so appropriate for us. It's what we hear so often. 'Life of Economy'," laughs Marge, "is about bad checks and cheap wine."

The cover tunes The Girlfriends perform include Cindy Lauper, Missing Persons, Motels, Quarterflash and quite a bit of Pretenders. Needless to say, some excellent dance tunes. … Rehobeth and Lewes …



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