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Bedsit Disco Queen

Tracey Horn


As the token girl! I liked the idea, so I kept quiet about the fact that I couldn't play yet, and got my dad to give me a lift over to Dave's house.

I learned a few of their songs, and they were, if not madly enthusiastic about my guitar-playing, at least tolerant of my ineptitude, and three days later Dave rang to tell me I was offi­cially in the band, which was called Stern Bops.

And did I mind being let into the band as the token girl? No, I don't think I did. In fact, I thought there was a certain sex appeal to being the only girl. Clearly being onstage with a guitar was sexy anyway. But standing next to a load of blokes just enhanced the sexiness if you were the only girl. I was also quite clear that this was a good way to get a boyfriend who was in a band, one of my current ambitions, and indeed that did happen, as pretty soon I started going out with Ade, the bass player. But even that wasn't the whole story. When it came to boys in bands, I didn't want just to go out with them, I wanted to BE them.

The very next Saturday after being invited to join, I went over to rehearse at Dave's house and then we all went out together in the evening to see The Specials and Madness at Hatfield Poly. This was the 'being part of a gang' that I'd been hoping for. Lucy O'Brien wrote in her book She Bop: 'Being in a band gives you instant power. No wonder boys love it.' She was talking about her own experience of being in a teenage all-girl band, but I found that being the only girl in a band had the same effect. Almost overnight it seemed my status had improved, and I was Someone.

Over the half-term holiday I spent every day rehearsing with them, and after a few days plucked up the courage to show them some lyrics I had written. These included 'Trendy Last Wednesday', in which I drew a cunning link between the fickleness of pop fashion and the inconstancy of boyfriends.