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Hired Guns

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Hired Guns: Portraits of Women in Alternative Music is a look across several decades of the music industry through the experiences and careers of a selection of professional female musicians. Those women profiled are members of influential, acclaimed bands and touring musicians with major acts; they each represent important music scenes and movements, having respectively emerged from and thrived in seminal moments of music such as the California hardcore punk scene, the Minneapolis alternative boom, and much more. This book presents a frank and unique female perspective on the music business, charting their professional challenges and triumphs, providing an insight into the machinations of the industry, and offering a glimpse into the education, work, and lifestyle required of such professionals.

This book is the collaboration of musician Amanda Kramer and author Wayne Byrne. Together they conduct candid interviews with their subjects and compose an insightful cultural and historical discourse, drawing readers into the artistic, social, and industrial contexts of several seminal musical movements as they give voice to these female road warriors who have enthralled millions of fans across the world while remaining largely anonymous to the public. Kramer and Byrne now bring them center-stage to tell their story.

This book features a foreword written by L7 bassist Jennifer Finch and comprehensive chapters on the following musicians…
Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Tears for Fears, Indigo Girls)
Sue Hadjopoulos (Joe Jackson, Simple Minds, Cyndi Lauper)
Clare Kenny (Sinead O’Connor, Orange Juice, Shakespeare’s Sister)
Susan Miller (Frightwig, Bad Posture)
Tracy Wormworth (The Waitresses, Sting, B-52’s)
Joy Askew (Joe Jackson, Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel)
Sara Lee (Gang of Four, Robyn Hitchcock, Thompson Twins)
Lori Barbero (Babes in Toyland)
Caroline Dale (David Gilmour, U2, David Gray, Page and Plant)
Angie Pollock (The Lightning Seeds, Goldfrapp, Peter Gabriel)

Published: Feb 22, 2024


Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgements Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Foreword Jennifer Finch
Introduction Amanda Kramer
Chapter 1
Gail Ann Dorsey Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 2
Clare Kenny Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 3
Susan Miller Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 4
Tracy Wormworth Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 5
Joy Askew Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 6
Sara Lee Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 7
Lori Barbero Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 8
Caroline Dale Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 9
Angie Pollock Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Chapter 10
Sue Hadjopoulos Amanda Kramer, Wayne Byrne
Postscript Wayne Byrne


The approach of Hired Guns: Portraits of Women in Alternative Music offers a distinct view of these ten musicians’ lives. Instead of the usual hype one expects, Kramer and Byrne encourage their subjects to tell their stories from lived experiences so that we may better understand how they navigated the world without the added self-promotion or publicity machines that we all court for our commercial success.
To read this collection is not simply to read about ten random lives of recording and touring musicians but ten impactful lives of dedicated souls who beat the odds through their unique blending of resilience and effort.

From the Foreword by Jennifer Finch