The title of this series was inspired by none other than impresario Bill Graham, who on the album Cheap Thrills introduced Big Brother and the Holding Company as “Four guys and one great, great broad.”
Readers of The Psychedelic Series know that I do not share that opinion of Janis Joplin, so in defense of the truly great broads of music, I decided to celebrate their contributions with a series. The original series explored the work of sixteen women artists from the United States, the U. K. and France.
The experience of researching the lives of those women led to my decision to abandon the blog for almost a year. Most had experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or some other life trauma. I needed some time to explore my own status as a woman in our modern world, acknowledge the brutality and discrimination many women face, figure out how to cope with it and identify the things I could do to change the situation.
The current version of Great Broads is largely a synthesis of two series I wrote on women in music. Later I added several standalone reviews of great women artists as well as the collections Early Girl 7″ Hits and Sexcapades. Many of the women I wrote about produced remarkable work while overcoming the institutional sexism of the music industry, societal stereotypes regarding the female role and their own personal demons.
Graphic: Young Woman with Lyre, Leopold Schmutzler