5.07.2010

Rock N' Roll Style Guide: Betty Blowtorch

all images courtesy of google images

I recently watched Anthony Scarpa’s wonderful documentary "Betty Blowtorch: And Her Amazing True Life Adventures" about the late great rock band. It was bittersweet. Four ferocious women break ground on the LA rock scene, come close to achieving some commercial success, and then lose everything due to the untimely death of lead singer and bassist Bianca “Butthole” Halstead. Their music was a combination of 80’s style hair metal with a bit of pop/ punk mixed in.

The film was shot with a small DV camera. The beauty of the low-fi approach is that you feel like you’re living moment to moment with the band on the road. Nowadays, everything has such high production value. Just because 24p and HD cameras are readily available doesn’t mean they’re appropriate for the content. Some scenes feel like a fan captured them on their camera phone. The effect is a raw quality that a high gloss “Behind the Music” episode could never have. The interviews with Bianca feel especially candid. You see her sprawled out on her leopard couch, casually recounting stories as if she were hanging with one of her best friends.

The film opens with a Betty Boop cartoon. She wiggles her hips while singing a song about how to keep your "girlish" figure. When the songs stops, drums kick in, and you hear the roar, "We're from Hollywoooood" as the four foul mouthed, hard rocking women, with greasy hair and tattoos launch into the anthem "Hell on Wheels". While they share the namesake of the 1930’s cartoon star, Betty Boop’s restrained sexiness and demure “girlish” charm is a far cry from Betty Blowtorch’s in-your-face explicitness.

Betty Blowtorch were disciples of the Runaways, further paving new territory for women in the hard rock genre. As a feminist, I often have to reconcile my love of hard rock with my disdain for misogynist lyrics. Whether or not it’s right, it’s refreshing to hear a song like “Size Queen”…it feels like the answer to GNR’s “It’s So Easy”. Most of their songs were purely fun and tongue-in-cheek, but others pact a “personal is political” punch. “Get off”, confronts incest and “Rock my World” is an anthem of sexual autonomy. Bianca Halstead and Betty Blowtorch will be sorely missed, but hopefully their legacy will inspire the next generation of women in rock.

For more info on the film check out bettyblowtorch.com. Watch the trailer here.

Now just for fun.. if you want to look like a hard rocking biker chick, I’ve supplied you with the goods. Grab your bass, drum set, or guitar and you’re ready to rock!




topshop tank $36, pimkie boustier , sailor jerry belt buckle $24 , forever 21 vest $40 , von zipper sunglasses $90, ash sneaker heels $186 , french connection leather pants $260 , alexander mcqueen spiked cuff , sam edelman boots $112 , sang a clutch , luxury divas studded belt $13

15 comments:

Sabrina said...

your pics give a lot of style's inspiration!

i love this style and i love the choice of the clothes and accessories you made on the collage!

J. said...

Hard core chick rock should've been bigger, there were so many good bands!

UnoCosa said...

the eagle tank is insane ... i love your R & R post, xx

Noshabelle said...

Wow, INSPIRATION! THANK U!

Fashion Cappuccino said...

I love that biker vest so much! All the picks are so rock and roll chic! xoxoxoxoxo

Sophie said...

love it
i've been in such a grunge mood lately too


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Susu Paris Chic said...

I would love to rock some leather pants!

belle in arms said...

Those girls makes me wanna get a tattoo. Fantastic inspiration.

K8 said...

so effing cool....and I absolutely love every single piece in the collage above...especially the leather pants and denim bustier :)

Fashion X K8

Nicci said...

hells yeah leather and studs!

Keith said...

Hello. I hope this finds you doing well. I've been on a blogging hiatus since the beginning of the year, so it's been quite some time since I've been around to visit some blogs. I'm back from my break now. I wanted to make sure to visit your blog. I enjoyed checking out the latest posts on your blog. Great job. I'm back blogging now myself. I hope you'll take a look at what I'm doing. Thanks. Take care. Have a great week.

hélène said...

I always love your rock n roll spotlights :) xx

Cindy Whitehead said...

I have to say how much I love these Rock and Roll style sections you do - really inspiring!

Isabel said...

i love sang a her designs are AMAZING...allthough sadly a bit out of my price range

Walk of Fashion

AR said...

What colorful, strong characters, and a clear, accessible style breakdown as only you can do.