In 1987, New York City was a lawless land with less-than-zero invested in preserving any trace of childhood innocence. It’s hard enough to imagine growing up there at that time, not to mention being a teenage girl there (“Perverts were everywhere,” according to this book). From these seemingly hostile conditions emerges a group of incredibly tight-knit snack-addicted friends parading through the filthy streets, taking it all in and barfing it back out as a day-glo circus sideshow. In Fallopian Rhapsody: The Story of the Lunachicks, the band members, with help from co-author Jeanne Fury, tell the story of four completely out-of-control wild-in-the-streets NYC girls whose passion for outsider music, art, fashion, and junk food led them to do the only thing that made sense at the time: start a punk band.
I didn’t know the first thing about the Lunachicks when I dug into Fallopian Rhapsody. I did see part of their set once, sometime around 1992, at City Gardens in Trenton, N.J. I had to leave early for whatever stupid reason, so I don’t remember much about them. That said, there’s something that I can’t help but love about this book, and I think it’s the band members themselves. They remind me so much of the seemingly fearless, defiant, assertive, hilarious, creative, and somewhat-insane punk girls that I grew up around. It’s almost uncanny. In addition, it’s made clear that The Lunachicks unapologetically align themselves with freak culture.
As young girls trying to make it, the Lunachicks could have easily over-sexualized themselves with baby-doll dresses and mainstream skimpy outfits, yet they chose not to. Their outlandish clothing, costumes, and makeup were part of their vision and they stuck to it, despite what had to be immense pressure to do otherwise. Similarly, they could have gone indie noise rock when Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore were producing their first album, or mainstream pop punk when Fat Mike produced a later album. In pretty much every situation, the Lunachicks stuck to their guns. While their integrity may have impeded their chances of achieving sustainable financial success, it also earned them legions of loyal fans across the globe.
Fallopian Rhapsody utilizes a unique format, with comments from each band member intertwined with an overall first-person Lunachicks narration (like, a single voice writing as the entire band) that ties it together. No matter who is speaking/writing, it’s consistently concise, fun, and a pleasure to read. Highlights include: humans pissing in cat boxes, singer Theo ripping into Blink 182 onstage at the Warped Tour for sleazy scumbag-ish behavior towards underage female fans, and guitarist Gina ditching her very first “lead guitar” lesson to witness the eternal majesty of the John Waters movie Desperate Living for the first time (undoubtedly a more consequential experience). The Lunachicks may not be one hundred percent up my alley musically, but this book is an absolute blast. –Buddha (Hachette Books, HachetteBooks.com)