The Barbie Army Story

Update (5/28/2003): I have finally updated the links to buy and listen to the CD. The CD is pretty cool. I still hope to someday remix the songs so that they are louder and to add some more tracks and cover art. Don't know when that will happen, though, so you might as well buy this incarnation if you are so inclined. I have also updated the alumni center page but if I missed your entry, please let me know. I apologize for being so very derelict in my administration of this site. I humbly beg your forbearance.

--Sarah Lyons

Who were the Barbie Army? Barbie Army was a late-80s all-female punk band in Chicago. Their performances were a cross between a pyjama party and a case of raging menstrual cramps. Primitive enthusiasm drenched their sound of fuzz-guitars, bass and drums-- at a time when synthesizers dominated the airwaves. They sang three-minute power-chord songs of heartache, alcohol and other concerns of the modern woman. In late1980s, they played Chicago, Wisconsin and Indiana and also two short tours of the South. They set Barbie dolls' heads aflame and enjoined lawmakers to abolish the Tampon Tax. They were featured in Maximum Rock-n-Roll magazine at a time when few women were playing electric punk rock. When Courtney Love and the Veruca Salt girls still wore training bras, the Barbies were pathbreakers in Chicago.

Group members: Back-stabbing, catfights and boyfriend-bashing broke up and refigured the band over the years. Founding members were Jean Lyons (guitar), Mary Dean (guitar), Tina Matlock (drums) and Judy Johnson (bass). Other talented women who played with the Barbies included bassists Glynis Johnson, Lyn Pusztai, Christine "Sixteen" Garcia, Liz Tate, Joan Baby, and Tanya Mushinsky; and guitarists Ellen Phillips, Debbie Jurek and Alena Lemon.

Were you ever a member of the Barbie Army? Or were you in Green, Precious Wax Drippings, Material Issue, I.D. Under, Sponge, Friends of Betty, Bhang Revival, Eisenhowers, Tiddleywinks, Lert Somboon Festival of Love, Algebra Suicide, Bald Cow, Dead Steel Mill, Slugs, Ono, Pile of Cows, Research Defense Squad, Fang Beach, The Sapphires, Maestro Subgum and the Whole, No Empathy, Sleepy Silvers, The Mystery Girls, Farmers, Moondogs, Joan Baby, The Clams, Defoliants, Slammin' Watusis or any of the other awesome bands of the Chicago Punk scene? Please visit our alumni center. Or, sign the guestbook

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