Sometime during the mid-1990s, after the success of 4 Non Blonde's grunge-lite hit What's Going On? but before she became known for writing & producing hit records for Pink, Christina Aguilera, Courtney Love et al; Linda Perry discovered a band so great she decided then & there to set up a record label to unleash their music on the general public ...
This band was Stone Fox. You probably won't have heard of them. They are the San Francisco rock scene's best-kept secret & their diverse career lasted between roughtly 1990 and 1998 producing 3 studio albums and 1 reissue/compilation. The band consisted of Jorjee (vocals), Yvette (guitar), Kim (guitar) and Janis (bass). The band had numerous drummers throughout their career.
The album Perry worked on with Stone Fox wasn't actually their first album - they released Burnt on an independent label in 1992. This self-titled album was released on Perry's Rockstar Records in 1996 & it is one of the best albums I have ever heard! Whenever I tell other people about it or play the songs to them - they never really 'get' it, I don't know why. From the Barbarella-esque artwork (a scantily-clad female space explorer being sized up by robots) on the sleeve and the cute flaming heart cartoon adorning the CD itself, to the diverse range of sounds displayed on the songs themselves - this is a CD no record collection is complete without.
Sometimes sounding like a straightforward female rock act on songs such as Coke Whore and Tiny Box of Lies whilst showing a more tender side on the heartbreaking HIV+, as well as displaying a tongue-in-cheek 'deep south' attitude on the very catchy Poach - Stone Fox really do escape any kind of pigeon-holing - their music is a mix of punk/rock/blues/country and more!
In 1997, Stone Fox moved to Bad Taste Records and released an album called Dirty Pillows, complete with a blood red Carrie-style cover image. (Despite many Ebay bids & e-mails to online record stores, I have yet to get my hands on this album & can't tell you what it sounds like!) Punk queen Exene Cervenka even joined the band for the song Something to Brag About.
Around this time Stone Fox supported legendary metal gods Metallica at one of their fan club shows - apparently Kirk Hammett was a fan - whether the girls successfully won over the Metaliheads, however, remains a mystery.
In 1998, the Man's Ruin record label released the album Totally Burnt - this was a reissue of Stone Fox's debut album Burnt with additional tracks culled from early demos & live shows. Particular gems from the album are the laid-back rockabilly of Embalm Me & the 50s doowop of Candee. Despite the poor quality on the demos & live tracks, it is possible to tell that Stone Fox were a truly diverse band who mixed a range of musical styles with a hard rockin' attitude.
Exactly when & why the band disbanded after the release of Totally Burnt is a mystery but I am thankful for the 3 lovely records they bestowed on us & urge you to check them out.
Band members have gone onto various projects with other girl-rock luminaries. Kim Pryor plays guitar in Auf Der Maur - the ex-Hole bassist's solo project. Janis was part of punk girl group Auntie Christ, before joining L7 - and now appears to be playing bass for Pink! Since joining ex-Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur's solo outfit, guitarist Kim Pryor's profile has increased somewhat - there are a number of fan sites set up to provide a comprehensive list of her musical work, and feature a lot of Stone Fox info. To my knowledge, there was only one Stone Fox fan website (EDITORS NOTE: This now appears to have disappeared). For more information on Exene Cervenka, visit http://www.exenecervenka.net/
In the fields where she lay in the grass all day, mixed with green and the red while she contemplates a man, should I bother to love him cause he'll only bring me down. Ah hold my water till the last note. An, my hooves have grown tired from the shit that I see, if I breed will he bring me up to ecstasy. Ah hold my water till the last note. Ah kick up my heels like a billy goat, I don't mind bleeding or smelling like a fish, but I think he should bring me nautical gifts, since that day I have sent away for license to Mary so my love will never die --- Two Solid Weeks of Menstruation 1996.
ARTICLE BY SOPHIA.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2005.