* Pagan Babies
The Pagan Babies were the final and most
successful of the two Bjelland/Love projects, formed circa late 1985 in
San Francisco, California.
Picking up from where former band Sugar Babydoll left off, the Pagan
Babies featured Janis Tanaka on bass and Deirdre Schletter on drums. The
band's style started out similar to that of Sugar Babydoll -- dream pop
and new wave influences -- however, Love and Bjelland frequently spent
time at Tanaka's boyfriend's house where Tanaka introduced the pair to
local band, Frightwig.1
The band rehearsed at Love and Bjelland's apartment in San Francisco and
recorded a demo tape in December 1985. "Cold Shoulders", written by Love
and Bjelland, "Bernadine", written by Love, "Best Sunday Dress", written
by Love and Bjelland, and "Quiet Room", written by Bjelland, were
recorded. The band had also written a number of other songs including "I
See Nothing", "Cold Than Me", "My Angels" and "All Roads Lead to."2
It is rumoured that songs from the demo were broadcast on local radio
when the band distributed the tape.
Soon after, the band began performing shows, although only lasted long
enough to play two. The first show was in a friend's bedroom, where they
played electric versions of their songs, as opposed to the second show,
where they played in a friend's living room with acoustic guitars. It
was later described that both shows -- as well as the band's rehearsals
-- were just about "getting together and screwing off"3,
much like both Sugar Babylon and Sugar Babydoll.
Bjelland then began writing Frightwig-inspired songs -- some of which
would later become Babes in Toyland songs -- much to the annoyance of
Love, who was determined to keep the band a new wave/dream pop group.
Alike Sugar Babydoll, another internal feud erupted between the pair
over their musical differences and Love subsequently left the group. The
night Love left, she was noted as saying "you're never going to get
anywhere playing that punk rock noise."
After Love's departure, the remaining trio of Bjelland, Tanaka and
Schletter performed one show at the San Francisco nightclub, Mabuhay
Gardens under the name The Italian Whorenuns. Soon after this, Bjelland
decided to disband the group and the trio then became The Italian
Whorenuns. Love then went on to form Hole in 1989.
- one demo tape, December 1985
Tracks: "Cold Shoulders", "Bernadine", "Best Sunday Dress", "Quiet
Circulated online in 2005, sourced from a third generation copy of
the master cassette.
A shorter version -- that only includes "Cold Shoulders" and "Best
Sunday Dress" -- circulated in 2009.
A complete version, sourced from a second generation copy, is
"Quiet Room" was officially released in 2004 on The Best of
Babes in Toyland and Kat Bjelland.
References and footnotes
Kat Bjelland, Fuck Yeah. Retrieved on June 25, 2010.
2. Love, Courtney. Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love,
3. Violence & Veils.
Pagan Babies. Retrieved on
December 17, 2007.