The Deadly Nightshade


About The Deadly Nightshade

Founding members of the mid-'60s all-female rock band the Moppets, Pamela Brandt, Anne Bowen, and Helen Hooke reunited in 1972 to form a folk-country-blues trio, Deadly Nightshade. Together until the early '80s, the group utilized a vast array of guest musicians in the recording studio. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1975, featured contributions by Michael and Randy Brecker, Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg, and Felix Cavaliere, who served as producer. Students at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts when they formed the Moppets in 1966, the three women continued to work together for more than a decade. After the breakup of the Moppets in 1967, they played together as Ariel until 1970. Two years later, Brandt reunited with her former cohorts to perform at a women's music festival in western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley, planting the seeds that grew into Deadly Nightshade. While their debut album was criticized by Rolling Stone as "granola feminism," Deadly Nightshade scored with its second effort, F&W (Funky & Western), which spawned a minor hit single, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" b/w "Dance, Mr. Big, Dance." The success was fleeting, however, as the group disbanded shortly after the album's release. Since the breakup of Deadly Nightshade, Hooke has remained active as a musician, playing with such bands as the Femmes and Helen Hooke & Red Boots. Brandt has become a highly respected feminist writer, collaborating with Lindsey Van Gelder on two books -- A Gay and Lesbian Travel Guide to Europe and The Girls Next Door. ~ Craig Harris


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