These rarely seen, personal photographs, taken from Sam Knee’s forthcoming book, Untypical Girls: Styles and Sounds of the Transatlantic Indie Revolution, chart the rise of women in alternative music.
From the advent of punk in late-70s Britain to grunge via no wave, indie, and hardcore, Untypical Girls traces the evolution of indie girl styles, and, more important, the transformation and explosion of voices long suppressed in the music industry.
As Knee writes in the introduction, “This book is by no means an indie girl A-Z. Merely a glimpse into a journey from nascent radical stages to the full flower of revolution, the looks and attitudes of which are frighteningly relevant today.”
Punk girls with Belinda Carlisle from the Go-Go’s in the center. Los Angeles, 1978. Photo by Mike Murphy.
Kim Gordon. Somewhere in Connecticut, 1987. Photo by Scott Munroe.
Poly Styrene from the X-Ray Spex at the Red Cow. London, 1977. Photo by Jeremy Gibbs.
Two riot girls at the March for Women’s Lives. Washington, DC, 1992. Photo by Pat Graham.
Gee Vaucher of CRASS at Eric’s Club. Liverpool, England, 1979. Photo by Mark Nick Jordan.
Hüsker Dü fan. Somewhere in New Jersey, 1984. Photo by David McKenzie.
Slant 6 at the Embassy. Washington, DC, 1992. Photo by Pat Graham.
The band Dolly Mixture. Doncaster, England, 1981. Photo by Rich Gunter.
Riot girls at the March for Women’s Lives. Washington, DC, 1992. Photo by Pat Graham.
Stef Petticoat of the post-punk band the Petticoats. London, 1980. Photo by Stefanie Heinrich.
Two post-punk fans pose. Wimbledon, London, 1980. Photo by Anita Corbin.
Clare Kearney and Liz Gutekunst of the Cancer Girls. Washington, DC, 1979. Photo by Peter Muise.
Riot grrrls performing. Washington, DC, 1992. Photo by Pat Graham.
Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth at Maxwell’s. Hoboken, New Jersey, 1984. Photo by Dave Rick.
Neo Boys, likely Portland’s first all-girl punk group. Portland, Oregon, 1981. Photo by K Saul.
Dancing to the Big Boys. Houston, 1980. Photo by Ben Tecumseh DeSoto.
Gillian Elam of Bi-Joopiter, 1989.
Ari Up of the Slits, 1979. Photo by Graham Macindoe.
Bikini Kill, 1993. Photo by Pat Graham.
Bodysnatchers, 1980. Photo by Neil Anderson.
Skinned Teen, 1983. Photo by Greg Neate.
Strawberry Switchblade, 1982. Photo by Peter McArthur.
Lunachicks, 1989. Photo by Joe Dilworth.
Two women during the Revolution Summer in Washington DC, 1985 – an upswell of activism against the violence and sexism in the US punk scene Photo by Lloyd Wolf.
Julia Gorton, 1979.
Modettes, 1980. Courtesy of Neil Anderson.
Altered Images, 1981. Courtesy of Neil Anderson.
Jane Fox, 1981. Photo by Mark Flunder.
Rachel and Gaye Bell – The Twinsets, 1981. Photo by Simon C.
GUN CLUB, 1981. Photo by Mick Mercer.
Bilinda MBV, 1988. Courtesy of Joe Dilworth.
Julie Cafritz with Pussy Galore, 1988. Photo by JJ Gonson.
Jan Aberdeen, 1981. Photo by Fiona McNeill.
Sonic Youth, 1987. Photo by Scott Munroe.
Courtney Love, 1991. Photo by Brad Sigal.