Black Widows (Mighty Lambchop's Heavy Metal Nails # 12)

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Good morning!

Today we begin nearing the end of this lovely stroll through the world of heavy metal. I haven't discussed every subgenre but I feel good about what I've been able to share. I certainly hope you've enjoyed it so far, your comments have been really great and very encouraging!

I refuse to let this end without discussing the contribution of women in metal. Being both female and a metal fan, I've always been excited about other women in metal. I'm super excited that more and more women are in the scene and making music. I hate to be cheesy, but yeah, we have come a long way.
That said, I want to focus on my very favorite women of heavy metal. I'm showing my age a bit but without these women, I don't think there would be quite as many women in metal today.

Doro Pesch

Dorothee "Doro" Pesch is a fucking metal legend. She's tiny with a huge voice and completely unashamed of being metal. Doro began singing with a couple of underground bands in her native Germany in the early 1980s until Warlock formed in 1982. Warlock was quite successful and toured with Judas Priest and Dio as well as playing the Monsters of Rock festival. Which makes Warlock the first EVER female fronted band to play at the festival. That's pretty amazing considering that in the early 1980s, the role of women in metal was still primarily cover model and girlfriend. 
Warlock was no lightweight glam band. They were a serious metal band and they were awesome. Sadly, the band went through a lot of turmoil and Doro was the final original member left in 1987. In 1989 Doro released her first solo album and hasn't stopped yet. She is now celebrating 25+  years in the business.
She's never stopped being metal and certainly never stopped being awesome.
I've always loved the fact that she's always done great Traditional Metal. Another bit of proof that Germany is fertile ground for great heavy metal.

My picks for Doro/Warlock:
Triumph and Agony
Force Majeure
Love Me in Black
Fear No Evil
Burning The Witches is one of my very favorite Warlock songs. Please do check out this love letter to her fans, Herzblut. (Herzblut translates to lifeblood or heart's blood in English.)

Lita Ford with her Black Widow guitar

If you do not know Lita Ford, then I can only presume that is because you are much too young. I forgive you that. And I will rectify that situation for you.

Lita Ford started her career with The Runaways in 1975. (Ed. note: Which also boasted Joan Jett in the lineup. NBD or anything.) Once the Runaways broke up, Lita began a solo career. 1983 saw her first release, Out For Blood. It didn't do well unfortunately. Dancing On The Edge, the next album, garnered a couple of hits.
There is an unreleased album called, The Bride Wore Black that was notable for being co-produced  by her then fiance, Tony Iommi. The status of those recordings remains unclear. Lita has said that she's not sure where the tapes are and if it will ever be released. It's become an intriguing mystery, I hope one day it will be found and released.

1988 was a damn good year for Lita. She was being managed by Sharon Osbourne who engineered a change to a pop metal sound. The self titled album, Lita, was released and was a smash success. You may have heard a couple of songs from it. There was this duet she did with lesser known singer, Ozzy Osbourne, that people seemed to like. (Ed. note: Heh, heh, heh. ;P)
Three more albums came thereafter but not as successful though there was a minor radio hit with the song, Shot of Poison.

In the meantime, Lita was briefly married to Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. They divorced and she married Jim Gillette, formerly of glam band, Nitro. It seemed that Lita fell off the face of the Earth after that. Turns out she and the hubs moved to Turks and Caicos and started a family. She popped up briefly to record a guest appearance on her husband's newest band recording. In 2008, she began performing live at select dates and announced she would record a new album.

Lita released Wicked Wonderland in 2009 and while it was good to have her back, it was very clear that Jim Gillette's imprint was all over it. It wasn't very good. The heavier sound was welcome but the songwriting was uneven and the style not a good fit for Lita. There was also talk of the family doing a reality show for TLC but Lita pulled the plug on that.
She announced last year that she and Gillette were divorcing and guys, it's a seriously fucked up situation.

Lita Ford is a tough one and she's since written and recorded a new album, Living Like A Runaway. I haven't heard it myself yet but I've read really positive things and that it is a "real" Lita album. Personally, I am so glad Lita is back. I adore her. I certainly hope things will continue to improve for her and I hold out hope that she will be able to be with her sons.
Lita is currently on tour with Def Leppard and Poison. You should go see her.

My picks for Lita:
Dancin' On The Edge
Dangerous Curves

This now brings us to my nails:

What I used and what I did:

Index and ring have a base of Sally Hansen Midnight in NY. I used blue painters' tape and pinking shears for the jagged edge. China Glaze Millennium and Color Club Wish List Red were sponged around the tape.
Middle and pinkie fingers each have a base of Maybelline Daybreak. Pinkie has Midnight in NY and Millennium.
My middle finger has Black Widow markings that I freehanded with Kiss Nail Artist Pen in Black. It's not very even for sure but I was pleased to have it come out looking as good as it did.

Both Doro and Lita were among some of the early pioneers in heavy metal and I love them both. Without them, I don't think we would have quite as many women in metal that there are now. I'm so gratified to see more and more women. I remember being able to count on one hand how many women in bands there were and now, now they have websites simply devoted to women in metal.
I love how even the extreme metal scenes have more women involved too. There are women representing every scene from Death metal to the new "core" scenes. The perception of women has been slowly changing as well. Women are less window dressing and becoming more appreciated for their genuine musical abilities.
I'm sad that most women involved seem to either only be singers or keyboardists but this too, will change.

I'm going to take this opportunity to give a special shout out to Benedictum. They are an awesome Trad Metal band from San Diego with one kick ass singer. Veronica Freeman is seriously fierce and she can easily go head to head with any male metal singer. You must check them out.

Veronica Freeman is fucking RAD.

Here's a small list of bands with amazing and talented women in their ranks:
Arch Enemy
Lacuna Coil
Sinergy - Come back soon Kim!
The Iron Maidens - Yeah, they are a tribute group but they are fabulous.

There are many, many more y'all. Here are a couple of more resources:
Female Metal

Here are a couple of articles illuminating how metal is  not entirely female-friendly and still focused on fuckability:
The Never Ending Debate Over Women In Metal and Hard Rock by Kim Kelly - Denotes many of the reasons why I HATE any magazine coverage of "hot" women in metal.

Are You Talking To Me: Respecting Women in Metal by Beth Winegarner  - Trigger warning, author briefly discusses her sexual assault. It pretty much sums up my life in heavy metal. Good enough to buy albums and concert tickets but not good enough to actually be a part of the scene.

One day I will write an essay discussing my own experiences. Today is not that day.

Just remember, girls do like metal and women do rock. Thanks for coming by, have a great day!

P.S. I'm off to California this week. I will be going to see IRON MAIDEN and oh yeah, visiting family. See you soon!


  1. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of heavy metal but I found this post really interesting :D So kudos to you as this says something about your writing!

    1. Thank you very much! I'm really flattered. I was hoping to be able to convey what heavy metal means to me and make it entertaining even for those who don't like the music.
      That really means a lot to me and I thank you again.


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