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Bicycles Girl Groups Drum Sets
So it turns out the girls of Menstrual Cyclists, that mystery group from Arizona State first mentioned here in the comments section of a previous post, rode bicycles.
Somehow, the idea of a girl group riding around on a couple of Harleys or even Hondas seems a little cooler (sorry, girls).
Anyway here’s the full story from one of the members, also entered in a previous comment section and reprinted here for anyone who missed it, a true tale of musical obscurity that definitely belongs in a book somewhere:
Hi everyone! My name is Tessa and I was a one-time member of The Menstrual Cyclists. My friend Mike (I hope he doesn’t mind me using his real name!) asked me to check out this site and give a little history of the band. I have to admit, I was a little stunned when he told me, I haven’t thought about those days in a long time and it seems a little weird that anyone would remember us. But I read the posts and it seems only one person really knew who we were, so I guess it all makes sense now!
As to the band, we were “formed” in the fall of 1997 at Arizona State University. I was a freshman living in Hayden Hall and my new roommate Jenna, told me she meet some other students who were interested in trying out for the freshman talent show as an all-girl band. I played piano for years so I volunteered to be the keyboard player. As luck would have it, we never really got our act together to be in the talent show, but a few of the girls suggested we should try and perform at some of the local frat houses. Of course this was really just a way to get into some of the off campus parties, since freshman rarely got invited to those! The initial members looked like this: (I’m not including any last names here since I haven’t spoken to some of these people in years and I’d hate to have someone track them down from this website!
Jenna- bass guitar
Melanie- lead guitar
Of the five of us, only Melanie was a music major. She was the person most responsible for the band, she found places for us to play and tried to get us to practice at least three times a week, which we rarely ever did. Erin had the voice of an angel, but the rest of us were rank amateurs. Aside from our playing, the other problem for the band was that none of us had a car since freshman (or which there were four of us) weren’t allowed to have one on campus. I’m not sure who came up with the name of the band, but it was somehow related to us deciding to ride bicycles to the places we would play. (I still laugh when I think of poor Heather carrying her drums on her back—at least she was in shape!) Thankfully, the next year Erin got a car and we stopped riding bikes. It was just as well because I was getting tired of hearing all the new nicknames we’d picked up, like the Rag-time Band and Dykes on Bikes! By 2000 Melanie had graduated and we knew the band couldn’t last without her, which was fine since none of us really considered music a career we expected to get into anyway. During those three years we performed about twenty times at local frat houses and bars off campus. It was fun, but not something any of else except Melanie took seriously.
In 2002, I had graduated and was working as a cost accountant when I got a surprise call from Melanie to tell me a guy named David Duncan wanted to use the name after he heard about it from a former Arizona State alumni. Melanie told him he could use the name as long as he gave open auditions to the former band members. I declined naturally, but Melanie was picked up as the lead guitarist. However, she told me later they only played six gigs and broke up when it became clear David was only interested in promoting his wife’s career and really thought of the band as studio musicians. The article someone mentioned earlier that said they were dominating college towns in southern California was, at best, some wishful hyping by an editor or writer!
So that’s the story, if you want to know anything else, just post a question and I’ll try and answer it!
Tessa has graciously offered to answer some more indepth questions for a future post and we’re trying to set up a connection now to get things rolling. Tessa, if you’re reading this, you can contact the n10ah editorial department here.
Photo Credit: bigfoto.com