Author Archives: dragsterbarbie

Kelly

11 Jul 16
dragsterbarbie
No Comments

When Kelly rented a set of drums before her first drum lesson at the local music store, she had to study the cover of her Buddy Rich’s Snare Drum Techniques to figure out how to assemble them. Nor did she and her sister know how to assemble a song, but that didn’t stop them from forming their first band. After various lineup and name changes, the band emerged as Wednesday Week and they released the Don-Dixon-produced album What We Had on Enigma Records. Two songs from the album were featured in the film Slumber Party Massacre II, and a video of “Missionary” made it onto MTV’s 120 Minutes.

Some years later, Kelly was lightly stalked by Amy and Teresa at a Wednesday Week reunion show. One listen of the dragsterbarbie cassette they gave her told her all she needed to know: this band knew how to write great songs and had a fun and engaging stage presence that she wanted to be part of!

Teresa

11 Jul 16
dragsterbarbie
No Comments

Teresa hails from Brandon, FL and moved out to Los Angeles in the mid-90s.  Dragsterbarbie was the first band she was even in (and, according to her, the most special). She has since lent her bass and harmony talents to a dizzying array of artists such as Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Carine and Wendy Wilson, Ben Vaughn, Frank Stallone, Adam Marsland, and many more.  She also appears as the legendary bass player Carol Kaye in the critically acclaimed Brian Wilson biopic, Love and Mercy starring John Cusack, Paul Dano and Paul Giamatti released on June 5, 2015.

Amy

11 Jul 16
dragsterbarbie
No Comments

Amy conjures up characters she sings about like a mermaid doomed to a polluted sea, and an old man who became an international jetsetter traveling all over the world… but never knew it.

The stories twisted into wisps of melody that she heard coming through the transistor radio of her 1961 Valiant as she drove the streets of Los Angeles. Her dream of having a girl band materialized as the music vibrated out through her Sears Silvertone, through Teresa’s bass line, and blasted from the punches of Kelly’s drums; together, they became the band Dragsterbarbie.

Amy has performed at Webster Hall, NYC with Tommy Ramone, Mickey Leigh, Ed Stasium and others as part of the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash 2012, and sang Party Line with Joey Ramone on his posthumous record Ya Know? (BMG). She is half of duo SugarplumBrandies, her original Xmas songs getting annual airplay on Little Steven’s Underground Garage [XMch21] during the holidays, was featured artist on Genya Ravan’s Goldie’s Garage, and wrote an original theme song for Gayle King featured every Friday in 2010 on OprahXM radio’s Gayle King Show. Fourteen of Amy’s original songs were featured in the animated Baby Felix The Cat (2003-2008) and two of Amy’s songs appear the soundtrack to the movie Black Widows (2016).

Our Story

15 Feb 16
dragsterbarbie
4 comments

Maybe it was all because of a disgruntled mermaid. In our song Sad Beach, she’s trying to clean up the ocean with a vacuum cleaner and a chorine potion.  Not long ago, I was vacuuming… and suddenly thought about that tattered, old, songwriting notebook.

I turned off the vacuum, dug to the back of my closet, and pulled out an aqua sparkle vintage hatbox that had survived a move to Colorado and back. It is covered with stickers: San Fernando Drag Strip, Rev Horton Heat, Misfits, a House of Blue All Access pass. Everything was still there: guitar pedals, old set lists, flyers, and garage-sale-Barbie doll heads that I used to attach to the tuning pegs of my Silvertone guitar. Sure enough, there on the bottom, underneath it all, was the forgotten journal. It contains little stories I had written, from which the lyrics of my songs were born.

These vignettes are where the songs started, conceived from a single idea, like all of us, before they really came into their own; wisps of melody that played in my head as I drove my 1961 Valiant on the streets of Los Angeles, songs that lived in pieces as we plugged into amps and out into a bass line and around drums packed tightly in a car and down my arms carrying a heavy guitar amp in heels; melodies fused with sweat and camaraderie and laughter. We played them from set lists written quickly in lipstick at Club Dragonfly, The Garage, Jack’s Sugar Shack, the Troubadour.

When a song is truly finished, it is made up of pieces of your life.

These songs would not have come alive without the brilliant magic of Teresa and Kelly. You barely realize how amazing and precious something is until one day you look back at it—in my case, it was a band we called dragsterbarbie.

After so many years, we all met up again not long ago, in the still-futuristic-sounding year of twenty-sixteen. We sat eating Mexican food, kicking around ideas and old memories. The next thing to do, like any reunion, was to plug in and play. And that is the story of how dragsterbarbie became a band once again.

— Amy

San Diego, 2016