News and Nefariousness
“The Deadly Nightshade, an all-female group, has a whole melange of folksy/country bluesy styles at its disposal and uses them correctly. With no label, they have been gigging around New York recently, following good reaction from a WBAI-FM live radio broadcast. It must happen for them.”
— Rolling Stone Magazine, October 24, 1974
By Kaymarion Raymond
Though they had listed an agent’s address in NYC, the all-women band Deadly Nightshade lived together in a farmhouse in Apple Valley, Ashfield. By mid-decade, the social revolution begun in the early seventies had markedly changed the gay subculture in the Connecticut River Valley in Western Massachusetts.
By John MacMillan
Helen Hooke started the first rock band at Smith because “In high school, the boys wouldn’t let me play.” In 1968, The Deadly Nightshade began as a five-piece band of Smith and Mount Holyoke students. Read the article here.
Who says you can’t begin again? Listen to the full radio broadcast (complete with some of our music) here.
Square dance gear, cowboy boots, radical fairies, and gay women. “The Pioneer Valley is still one of the weirdest places on earth—in a good way.” Read the full article here.
Come join us at 7pm on Sunday May 26!
The award-winning weekly LGBT radio program This Way Out featured The Deadly Nightshade Band's new CD, “Never Never Gonna Stop” on 200 radio stations around the world in their May 11 program. Listen to the podcast by clicking here.
Our lovely friend J.D. Doyle over at Queer Music Heritage has been such a loyal supporter. In March, he broadcast three separate segments on KPFT in Houston that included some background into our history, Pam's work in LowLife, Helen's solo work, and some archival stuff from the old days (including a radio interview from 1975!). Click here to find all sorts of information and photos, including a script of the broadcast, and links to listen to the three-part broadcast. Thank you so much, J.D.!
in The Republican
by Donnie Moorhouse
15 October 2012
A brand new CD titled “Never Never Gonna Stop” includes newly recorded songs as well as some old video footage which highlights our former RCA recorded hits, produced by Roma Baran and Vivian Stoll Productions. “It was really fun and took way more time than we ever thought it would, partly just because of the difficulty in geography,” said lead guitarist/fiddle player Helen Hooke. “But when we were all together it just felt like old times.”
Sony Music has made The Deadly Nightshade's two-PT catalog available for streaming on all major platforms.
As part of his monthly tribute to Queer Music Heritage, J.D. Doyle has been playing a few of our songs as well a brief interview we did circa 1975 - 1976. The first song, High Flying Woman, still inspires fans to request our original album. The next two songs are from our second album, which some of our fans have never heard. We encourage you to listen online or download the full show here. And don’t forget to take a moment to learn more about J.D. Doyle and his Queer Music Heritage website.
About ten years ago, we were contacted by a movie producer to provide some details about a concert that was an important moment for Flo Ballard (as it was for us). The story goes like this:
Back in 1975, we were honored to be the background band for Flo Ballard during a big fundraiser headlined by Lily Tomlin at the Edsel Ford Auditorium. After we finished playing Flo’s (one) song and she began to leave the stage, it was clear the crowd wanted more. Pamela (our bass player) ran after her... "We know some Supremes songs, come back on stage and let's do 'em together!" Flo did just that, and the memory of that performance still gives us goosebumps to this day.
A mere eight months after that incredible night, Flo died. For years now there has been a movement to make a movie about her life. We have no idea if this scene will be included, nor who they will show as the background band if the movie ever comes to pass, but rest assured, it was us! (You can find us mentioned in the one of the last paragraphs on Flo’s Facebook page here.)
The Deadly Nightshade began recording a project at the studio. Roma and Viv spent a raucous and fun weekend in the studio with the band recording some great tracks for 2 songs and we’re all looking forward to doing more!
Note from the band: Roma produced Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” and later albums, and Viv has been nominated for a Canadian grammy for Penny Lane’s recent CD. Our new CD, tentative title “Something Old and Something New” will include newly recorded songs as well as some old video footage which highlights our former RCA recorded hits. To date, we’ve finished four new songs; the album is scheduled to be released sometime in 2012.
The Deadly Nightshade II
by Donnie Moorhouse
21 May 2009
Last year’s reunion show at the Institute for Musical Arts in Goshen was an eye opener. The band came out of that show with a renewed sense of their rock’ n’ roll purpose.
The Return of The Deadly Nightshade
by Donnie Moorhouse
25 June 2008
Long before there were supposed to be any all female rock bands, Pamela Robin Brandt had already been in two. From the ashes of Ariel, a group that combined a handful of Smith and Mt. Holyoke college students, sprung The Deadly Nightshade...
Bra Burners Do Fernwood
12 January 2006
They generated a lot of attention because they were a bunch of girls playing guitars and drums and stuff, and they were written about in the New York Times, as well as Life and Look magazines.
17 August 1975
by David Black
"Well, hello, Mr. Big -- remember me? You saw me for years, five days a week. I'm your secretary. You called me Rosemary. And I called you -- Mr. Big." The Deadly Nightshade sidles into the song -- sly, back-alley, side-street truckin' music with the hint of burlesque gum-popping, hip-swaying strut and flounce...
Rolling Stone (no online link found)
24 October 1974
A whole melange of folksy/country bluesy styles at its disposal and uses them correctly. It must happen for them.
13 September 1974
Last June 25, a trio called the Deadly Nightshade won itself a good number of fans by performing at Ms. magazine's second anniversary party aboard a packed Hudson River ferry...
The Deadly Nightshade
by Alan Lewis
"Though the group's career seems to have centered on New York, we always thought of the Deadly Nightshade as a Western Massachusetts band. It's where the group got started, and band members seemed to be in and out of the always interesting Pioneer Valley music scene. ...I have a vivid memory of seeing the Deadly Nightshade on television; and I believe I was actually introduced to the band's music by its appearances on the national television broadcast, Sesame Street."