August 2005
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Gretchen Phillips

A Tribute to Her Music

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This month's show is a tribute to the music of Gretchen Phillips and her various bands. As the sign to the right whimsically alludes to, this artist has been so prolific, and with music touching so many genres, that if you were driving down the Queer Music Highway it would say "Gretchen Phillips, Next Five Exits."

While she was in bands in High School, her first successful band was in Austin, around 1982, in the mixed band Meat Joy. In the mid-80's she formed two ground-breaking bands at the same time: Two Nice Girls and Girls In The Nose. Those were years of glorious music and extensive touring, and to my mind, those groups were the first to put a lesbian point of view front and center in their music and to take that music into the mainstream. And there was, and still is, much more music to follow.

Gretchen gave me such a terrific interview and her music covered so much territory that the internet version of the show grew to two hours. The "radio version" happened to fall during a station pledge drive, so I had to trim that, with great agony, to about 52 minutes, but I saw no reason why my internet listeners couldn't enjoy all her comments and a much wider sampling of her music. Also please explore the special additional pages I've set up, to showcase her Discography, archival press clippings, and the music of her bandmates.

A great compliment to any artist is when another artist "covers" their song, and I started the show off with probably the first cover version of "I Spent My Last $10 on Birth Control & Beer," as done by Arizona duo Janice Gennevois and Haris Blackwood, under the very fun name, Women In Comfortable Shoes. Their 1992 cassette (above) is almost impossible to find, and also has neat cover versions of "Leaping Lesbians," "Butch Fatale," "My Dyke," and others.

Note: some images will reveal photos "behind" them if you pass over them with your cursor

Part 1
Women In Comfortable Shoes - I Spent My Last $10 (1992)
Meat Joy - My Heart Crawls Off (1984)
Girls In The Nose - Two Lovers/Two Altars (1990)
Girls In The Nose - Honorary Heterosexual Lesbian (1990)
Girls In The Nose - Starpower (1990)
Two Nice Girls - Goons (1989)
Two Nice Girls - Sweet Jane (With Affection) (1989)
Two Nice Girls - Let's Go Bonding (1991)
Poi Dog Pondering, with Two Nice Girls - Rock Me Baby ('92)
Two Nice Girls - Princess of Power (1991)
5 Star Music Makers - Princess of Power (1994)
Two Nice Girls - The Queer Song (1991)
Kathy McCarty & Gretchen Phillips - Blue Norther (1992)
Meg Hentges - This Kind of Love (1999)
Gretchen Phillips - Treacly Brit Pop (1993)
Gretchen Phillips - How Lesbians Get That Way (1993)
Gretchen Phillips Xperience - Pease Park (live) (1995)
Gretchen Phillips Xperience - Gretchen Phillips Says Yes (1995)

Part 2
Gretchen Phillips - Hello, Darling (1998)
Gretchen Phillips - I Can Hear the Angels Singing (1998)
Lord Douglas Phillips - Yesterday When I Was Young (2000)
Lord Douglas Phillips - A Couple to a Few (2001)
Gretchen Phillips - Eau de Lesbianism (2001)
Gretchen Phillips Ministries - Old Camp Meeting Time (2002)
Phillips & Driver - Day After Day (2003)
Phillips & Driver - Lesson (2003)
Phillips & Driver - Secretly (2003)
Phillips & Driver - Could It Be Magic? (2003)
Gretchen Phillips - In Case of Rapture (2005, demo)
Gretchen Phillips - To the Lady C (2005, demo)
Two Nice Girls - I Spent My Last $10 on Birth Control & Beer (1990)

Read the script for the show...Plus there's more photos

Click Here for the Gretchen Phillips Discography
Click Here for the music of her bandmates
Click Here for Press Clippings
Click graphic at right for their 1992 Farewell Tour
  Booklet, including lyrics to many unrecorded songs
See their 1992 Tour Booklet
and, to go the source herself, please visit

Meat Joy

Meat Joy LP

Meat Joy "In Swedish" LP cover

The first album that Gretchen Phillips appeared on was the only release by her first Austin group, Meat Joy, in 1984. According to New Music Express, it was a "...stinging, springy assault on sexual warfare that has to be heard to be believed." For the release the band purchased 1500 blank album covers and and with the help of the Austin community hand decorated every single one.
Gretchen on Casio, backing up John Boy Perkins
At left are two of the many covers for the album. The lower one I spotted in a used record store in Houston (for $60, it's still there..:) and persuaded the store owner to let me take digital photos of the cover and label. I'd love to see more examples of the cover, so if you can send me a scan or photo of others I'll add them to this section of the site.

Girls In The Nose

Girls In The Nose           Origin of the World

Two cassettes were issued by this group, and they featured slightly different line-ups. The first, "Girls In The Nose," from 1990 included Kay Turner, Gretchen Phillips, Betsy Peterson, Joanna Labow, Darcee Douglas, and Pam Barger. And on 1992's "Origin of the World," Gretchen only guested on one track. The main line-up was Kay Turner, Joanna Labow, Darby Smotherman, Jean DuSablon, MJ Torrance, and Lisa Wickware. See the Discography and Bandmates sections for more complete information on the artists on these releases and the others shown on this page.

Two Nice Girls

Two Nice Girls first album   

If the cover photo look a bit familiar, well, it's a take-off of the
Maxfield Parrish painting, "Lute Players," below.

Maxfield Parrish - Lute Players

Two Nice Girls started out with Gretchen Phillips and Laurie Freelove, and they were soon joined by Kathy Korniloff (but kept the name) and this was the line-up for their first album, "2 Nice Girls" (1989). By the next year and their release of their "Like a Version" EP, Laurie Freelove had left for a solo career and was replaced by Meg Hentges, and Pam Barger joined on drums. This line-up remained until the band broke up in 1992.

Two Nice Girls press pic

Like a Version              Chloe Liked Olivia

cover of Outweek, Feb 1991...see Press section for the whole article

Gretchen Phillips -- Solo and Group Projects

Welcome to My World

Welcome to My World     Welcome to My World

"Welcome to My World" (1993) was a musical shift in an entirely new direction, as Gretchen played with Casio electronia pieces with monologues, etc. The cassette release came first, with she says over a thousand different hand-decorated covers (two shown above). But with the CD release of it, she and photographer Darcee Douglas got creative in illustrating some of the "sins of excess" described in the music.


Do You Ever Wish For More?        Songs to Save Your Soul

Gretchen worked with others on her next releases. In 1998 there was "Do You Ever Wish for More?" with Jo Walston (of Meat Purveyor) and Andy Loomis. That one contained the very not-ready-for-radio "Pease Park." And in 1998 she went country with "Songs to Save Your Soul," with Darcee Douglas and Terri Lord.

Below, still another incarnation...Gretchen was joined by Terri Lord and Darcee Douglas in the trio Lord Douglas Phillips. Their first recording was "Yesterday When I Was Young," for the Dusty Springfield tribute album "Forever Dusty," in 1990. And the next year brought the 4-song release "A Taste of LDP."

       Forever Dusty           A Taste of LDP

Lord Douglas Phillips   Lord Douglas Phillips

In 2001 Gretchen contributed a solo effort, "Eau de Lesbianism," to the Various Artists CD "Calling All Kings & Queens." And in 2002 she was joined by Jo Walston, Andy Loomis, and Shaan Shirazi to form the Gretchen Phillips Ministries. The album was called "Seitan Is Real." Three of the songs from "Songs to Save Your Soul" were carried over, and others included boistrous versions of "Old Camp Meeting Time," "Gospel Ship," and (would you believe?) "Hot Stuff."

Calling All Kings & Queens       Gretchen Phillips Ministries - Seitan Is Real

Phillips & Driver

Togetherness        Phillips & Driver

After all those lesbian bands, Gretchen decided it was time for a dyke-fag album, and her pal David Driver was just the person to help....their "Togetherness" CD was released in 2003.


above, photo taken after our interview session, on July 7, 2005,
with my puppy, Parker, an unwilling subject

And, above, what a treat, Gretchen performed a house concert
in Houston (April 7, 2006)...Click for pix