As much as previous generations of musicians are an inspiration to current young bands, this has been the case at a time where many of todays’ Rockers haven’t even been born yet. When in the late 70s a British girl by the name of Jody Turner took her admiration of the very successful The Runaways, it took but a day to start a band of her own, recruiting her sister Julie as member number two. This was the Birth of Rock Goddess.
As another addition school friend Tracey Lamb joined in on bass guitar, Donnica Colman on keyboards and Jackie Apperley on rhythm guitar to complete the first line-up. The girls rehearsed intensively and, through a friend, managed to place a track on a sampler album, which circulated in the London music underground. Meanwhile, John Turner, Jody and Julie’s father, who ran a record store and was managing the band used his connections to get the band their first gigs. Finally, after the production of a four tracks demo tape and an appearance at the Reading Festival in 1982, the band obtained a record deal with A&M.
However, after the release of the album, Julie’s finally allowed to go on tour and the band tours as support act of Def Leppard. Another black page in their history is the departure of Tracey Lamb. But before Tracey quits the band, they decide to hire a fourth member to fill up the sound a bit. Her name’s Kat Burbella and she’s the second guitar player. After the tour with Def Leppard, Rock Goddess gets the chance to do a tour with Fastaway. Tracey decides to stay until the tour is over, but the Turner sisters have to find a replacement soon, because they’re planning a second album. However, Tracey Lamb doesn’t disappear from the scene long. Her departure was forced due to musical differences, so the story goes. Colman’s substitute Tracey Lamb (along with second guitarist Kat Burbella, with whom she formed the band She) finally leaves the band on ending up on the Girlschool roster.
The band shows up with ‘stand in’ bassplayer Kelly Johnson of Girlschool during a German TV appearance. In ’83 tho’, Rock Goddess present Dee O’Malley as Tracy’s replacement. It’s also Dee, who handles the bass on their second album, called ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, produced by Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest). The LP was released with two different covers. One with a band photo and another one with a drawing on the cover sleeve. Also the songs are slightly different. ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ and the Gary Glitter cover ‘I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock And Roll’ are on the American version, whereas on the European pressing (with the drawing) these songs are being replaced by ‘No More’ and ‘Seen It All Before’. The Gary Glitter cover is the first single taken off the album c/w ‘Hell Hath No Fury’.
The promotional tour for ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ brings the girls on the road along side Y&T and IRON MAIDEN. The same year, Jody Turner is to be heard as a background vocalist on the Tank LP ‘This Means War’, together with Mick Tukker (White Spirit) and Denise Dufort (Girlschool). In ’84 and ’85, they recorded some songs; first with Chris Tsangarides (who also played keyboards on ‘Hell Hath No Fury’) and next with Paul Samson. Unfortunately, none of these recordings have ever been released on vinyl. In France however, the band is still very popular and they support Spider and Saxon in ’84. Dark clouds pack together for the Turner sisters in ’86. Their deal with A&M expires. Also, bass player Dee O’Malley gets pregnant and she leaves the band to become a full-time mother. Then in ’87, the French label JID brings out the ’85 sessions the band did with Paul Samson. The album’s called ‘Young And Free’ and it’s released in France only. The only single from the album, ‘Love Has Passed Me By’ c/w ‘Just In’ was already released in ’86. It shows us a very commercial sounding Rock Goddess.
As die-hard fans grave to own the album, it is but a glimpse of a once successful band. With the release of ‘Young And Free’, Rock Goddess support Samurai in the UK, but they get almost yelled away for the commercial songs they’re playing from their new album. After the departure of Dee O’Malley, the band finds a new bassplayer in Julia Longman (ex-PDQ) and keyboard player Becky Axten is added to the band as well. After a tour of nearly half a year, in the fall of ’87, the story of Rock Goddess ends abruptly, when the band gets disbanded.
In ’88, Jody Turner returns with sister Julie under the name of The Jody Tunrer Band. However, this time it’s not an all-female outfit. The band is completed with Phil Manley-Reeve on bass and Ex-Mammoth bassplayer Gavin Taylor. Live, they play songs like ‘Kiss Yourself Goodbye’, ‘The Game Is Up’, ‘I’m No Angel’ and ‘The Blonde Is Dead’ (a tribute to Marylin Monroe) and the only Rock Goddess song, ‘Will You Take Me Home Tonight?’. They change their name into Turner, but the band disappears very quickly. Until somewhere in ’94, when we see Rock Goddess in a comeback line-up. Of course Jody Turner sings and plays guitar, but Julie is the missing link. The band is completed by Aki Shibahara (bass), Nicola Shaw (drums; formerly Sisterhood) and Izabella Fronzoni (guitar; formerly Ice Age). The last thing, we can track down, is this line-up changed their name in ’95 into Braindance (UK). After a name change, the group disbanded again in 1995, after playing their last gig at the Thomas O’Becket public house. They reformed in 2009 to play the Hard Rock Hell music festival in Prestatyn, Wales, but split before they had a chance to perform.
Inspired by Metal Maidens, Metaladies and Decibel Magazine.