The CONNTRACTIONS BIOGRAPHY
THE CONTRACTIONS -- MARY KELLEY on lead guitar, KATHY PECK
on bass, and DEBBIE HOPKINS on drums -- burned across the
national Punk/New Wave scene from 1979 through 1985.
One of the very first all-female rock bands to establish
a national reputation, their rough-edged music mixed an urban
garage-rock sound with a pop-funk sensibility and grabbed
immediate fan and critical support. The "criminally underrated
trio" according to Ira Robbins from Trouser Press is back
together for a series of reunion gigs including a June 2 performance
at the San Francisco Symphonys Black and White Ball.
The Contractions were born in 1979 when three women from
very different backgrounds came together in San Francisco:
Drummer Debbie Hopkins had been playing professionally since
the age of 15 and was a veteran of many Bay Area rock bands;
Mary Kelley, a guitarist and classically trained French Horn
player was anxious to forge new musical territory with a rock
band; and Kathy Peck, a singer-songwriter was just joining
the local scene and starting out on the bass.
Surrounded and supported by the electric atmosphere of the
burgeoning underground music scene in the Bay Area, The Contractions
played their first gig at the legendary Deaf Club. In their
heyday, The Contractions were headliners at major clubs from
Santa Cruz to Sacramento where they regularly played to sold-out
crowds before hundreds of fans. The Contractions also shared
shows with many of the major bands in the early 80s including
Duran Duran, The Go Gos, the Jim Carroll Band, The Blasters,
Oingo Boingo, X, Black Flag, Chris Isaak, and many others.
Highlights of the Contractions live performance career include
two self-supported national headlining tours encompassing
more than 65 cities. Without any major label to support their
efforts, the energetic trio self-released two singles, "Rules
and Regulations" and "Breaking Up (Is Not Hard to Do)" in
addition to an album "Something Broke" in 1984.
After the group disbanded in 1985, bass player Kathy Peck
co-founded Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.)
and still serves as its executive director; Debbie Hopkins
studied for her degree in physical therapy and now practices
in the Bay Area; and Mary Kelley received a graduate degree
from St. Johns College in Santa Fe, New Mexico while still
continuing to pursue her musical career in New York City,
Europe, and now again in the Bay Area.
The Contractions reunited this year for the first time in
more than decade with a special benefit performance at the
Paradise Lounge. The trio also contributed their song track
"Rules and Regulations" to the H.E.A.R. THIS CD compilation
which features an international roster of punk and rock bands.
*For more information contact: the Contractions
What the Critics Said About The Contractions "...a hard hitting
trio, blending infectious rhythms with lyrics and themes touching
on the avantgarde." L.A. WEEKLY
"Unlike almost all other bands composed exclusively of women,
the Contractions totally downplay gender issues. They are
neither overly feminist, sex-image-oriented or self-conscious,
finding the ideal alternative by simply being an excellent
rock band. . . solid playing and an earthy sound." Ira Robbins,
THE NEW TROUSER PRESS RECORD GUIDE "
...(there's) danger in their music, music that is on the
edge and constantly shifting." Toronto's SHADES
"Through out its all original set, the trio combines a backstreet
gestalt with power, a bit of melodic strangeness, and a love
for changing time signatures. Combined, it renders a colorful
blend, and one sparked with an original bent. Bonnie MacKinnon,
MUSIC CONNECTION "
The Contractions are a band, definitely not trend followers,
their music defies any real attempt at categorization." DAMAGE
"From these days have come a very energetic performance
band that through the passage of time have become dedicated
to their craft. Their sound has matured into a more cohesive
unit. They are not kids anymore, they are women with a message."
Susie Leon,THE QUAKE
*For more information contact:
For Bookings and email list Contact Contractions
Kathy Peck and Mary Kelley of the Contractions