Something strange happened in pop culture the day the Spice Girls covered a song by The Waitresses, a late-70s, early ‘80s new wave gem from Akron Ohio, but we aren’t going to talk about that.

Lead singer, Patty Donahue (above) quit the band and was briefly replaced with Holly Beth Vincent of Holly & the Italians. The surrogate singer only lasted two weeks in the band before Patty rightfully reclaimed her throne.

Contemporaries of Devo and the Pretenders, the Waitresses didn’t get as much commercial exposure and subsequently were a little lesser-known by the rest of the world, but their songs hold up. Tracy Wormworth (who also plays bass for the B-52s) keeps the whole crew together with a danceable rhythm and also happens to gives the best grins every time she makes an appearance in their music videos. Sassy singer Patty Donahue quit the band during the recording of their last album, then rejoined before it broke up for good, and then did some backing vocals with Alice Cooper. 

Active between 1978-1984, the band not only featured two badass women, but also Billy Ficca, the drummer from Television and Mars Williams of the Psychedelic Furs! Talk about stacked bills, talk about a lit house, talk about dream-teams. Good job, bandleader, member curator dude Chris Butler (I feel like it’d be kind of rude to mention almost every single person in the band except the creator). 

However, in my biased opinion, Tracy & Patty are the best part. Check out the video for “I Know What Boys Like” below. 

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Jen B.

Jen B. Larson occasionally contributes music writing to Please Kill Me and Victim of Time. She also authors fiction for Disappearing Media and sings, screams, and shreds in the bands beastii and the late Swimsuit Addition. Bankrolling her creative habit by teaching at an arts high school in Chicago, she spends her free time researching for and drafting her first book, which is forthcoming on Feral House Publishing. Follow the Instagram @conspiracyofwomen for features of cool women of early punk.

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