Kim McAuliffe, Girlschool, Bio-Interview,Hit, Play,Race,Screaming

Girlschool Guitarist

Kim McAuliffe

FIB MUSIC: What are you up to these days? Anything you’d like to tell our readers about?

Kim McAuliffe: We played quite a few festivals including Wacken Rocks Seaside (May 22nd and 23rd in Auric, Germany) and Hellfest (June 19th in Clisson, France) as well as playing with Hawkwind and finish the year off in style touring with our great mates Motorhead!

FIB MUSIC: Tell us a little about the Painted Lady days playing the clubs in South London.

Kim: When Enid (Williams) and I started out over thirty years ago we had a cover band called Painted Lady with another couple of girls (we couldn’t find any boys who wanted to play with girls!!) One Deirdre Cartwright who was a bit older and a fantastic musician who taught us a lot. She is now a respected jazz guitarist! We’d play in pubs in south London and got quite a following!

FIB MUSIC: What was it like working with Kathy Valentine who later joined the Go-Gos?

Kim: I met Kathy Valentine through an advertisement she had put in Melody Maker (UK music newspaper) and we became friends but we didn’t really do much musically.


FIB MUSIC: In April of 1978 you changed the name of the band to Girlschool. How did that come about?

Kim: Denise (Dufort)used to come and see us and that’s how we met. Enid and I decided we wanted to take the band further. Deirdre (Cartright) wanted to to go off in another direction so we needed a guitarist and drummer, of course, Denise was perfect! Then we heard about a girl who lived the other side of London named Kelly Johnson. We met up at my Mum and Dad’s place where I was living. Enid lives 10 doors down on the same road; she never left and Girlschool was born!!

FIB MUSIC: The first Girlschool single, “Take It All Away” was released in December ’78. What was that first studio experience like? Any funny, cool, sucked, or brilliant moments? Feel free to share more than one.

Kim: A friend of ours started up his own record company City Records and asked if we wanted to do a single. Of course we said yes and there we were one afternoon in Soho in a dingy basement that smelled damp recording our first single! I remember it was a really sunny day and as we came up out of the dark cellar blinking in the sunlight there was John Peel, the great DJ, standing there chatting to someone from the studio who then introduced us to him! He then went on to play our single on his radio 1 show!

FIB MUSIC: Tell us about your early days touring with Girlschool.

Kim: At that time we were touring all over the place in our old Bedford van (which we stole from my Mum and Dad!!) sleeping on our gear and having a riot!!

Girlschool – Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead

FIB MUSIC: How did your relationship with Motorhead come about?

Kim: One day we heard that Lemmy of Motorhead had heard our single and liked it and wanted to meet us! We were a bit scared, I had their first single, “Motorhead”, and they looked a bit scary in their photos to say the least!! He came down to a rehearsal and we clicked straight away, he wasn’t as scary as he looked!! They asked us to support them on their first major British tour – Overkill – and the rest is history!!

FIB MUSIC: What was it like working in the studio with the Motorhead guys? Anything stand out?

Kim: As you can imagine it was a lot of fun and chaos with us in the studio. Phil had managed to break his neck so could only just about manage the tambourine! We were on tour with them in Europe when we found out it had gone to no. 5 and sold 250,000 copies!!

FIB MUSIC: Later that same year you signed with Bronze Records and set out to record “Demolition”. How was it working with producer Vic Maile and whose idea was the “Headgirl” project?

Kim: Bronze Records put us with (producer) Vic Maille and we recorded our first single, “Emergency” and first two albums, “Demolition” and “Hit and Run” with him. We loved Vic and it was his idea for us and Motorhead to record “Please Don’t Touch”. It was one of his favourite songs and Lemmy loved it too.

Girlschool – Screaming Blue Murder

FIB MUSIC: In ’83 you toured with Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, the Scorpions and Blue Oyster Cult.  What come to mind?

Kim: The tour in America with The Scorpions and Iron Maiden was the longest we’ve ever done – over three months!! It was great but we all got homesick by the end!! Iron Maiden had to come back to England for a week in the middle of the tour for some gigs and when they came back to America Steve (Harris) brought us back some Cadbury’s milk chocolate which we had been missing!!

Girlschool Album Covers

“Demolition” 1980

“Race with the Devil” Single 1980

“Hit and Run” 1981

“Play Dirty” 1983

FIB MUSIC: In ’83 you went into the studio to record “Play Dirty”. What was it like working with producers Noddy Holder and Jim Lea?

Kim: Working with Jim and Noddy was another great thrill for us. We had the choice of recording in Los Angeles or north London with Jim and Nod – no contest for us!

FIB MUSIC: In 2008 Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi appeared on your album “Legacy”. Tell me about that.

Kim: When Dio and Tony Iommi agreed to be on our album it was a great honor as you can imagine!

FIB MUSIC: In your career you had the opportunity to tour with many of Rock’s greatest bands. Who was your favorite band to share the bill with?

Kim: It’s hard to say who’s been the best band to tour with but of course Motorhead is probably our favorite; although of course Rainbow and Black Sabbath who we have played with a lot over the years also stand out!

FIB MUSIC: You are transported back to the 80’s and you have to do two things differently. What would they be?

Kim: I don’t really think about how things could have been done differently – just look to the future!


FIB MUSIC: What is your most disgusting habit?

Kim: Me? Disgusting habits? Don’t think so!!?

FIB MUSIC: What is the most masculine thing you do?

Kim: Probably play guitar!!

FIB MUSIC: If there is a God, what is the first question you would ask God when you arrive?

Kim: Don’t know if there is a God but probably “Where were you?!”

FIB MUSIC: Greatest Rock band of all time?

Kim: Led Zeppelin

FIB MUSIC: What were you doing 40 minutes before you sat down to do this interview?

Kim: Having a cup of tea – am now on my fourth!!

Cheers! Kim