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* 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 Room"

    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 pending transfer.

    "Quiet Room" was officially released in 2004 on The Best of Babes in Toyland and Kat Bjelland.

References and footnotes

1. anonymous. Kat Bjelland, Fuck Yeah. Retrieved on June 25, 2010.
2. Love, Courtney. Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love, pg.66
3. Violence & Veils. Pagan Babies. Retrieved on December 17, 2007.



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