The Dishrags, or Dee Dee and the Dishrags ( named after their favourite Ramone) as they were originally known, were one of the first punk bands to come out of Vancouver, and might just be the first all-female punk band in North America. Made up from three High School students, Jade Blade, Carmen Michaud and Dale Powers, who started playing together in 1977, and unable to find gigs in their native Victoria, the band relocated to the more metropolitan Vancouver, where there was already a vibrant music scene.
Singer guitarist Jade Blade, was only 15 years old when the Dishrags played their first show on July 30th 1977 at the Japanese Hall supporting her cousin’s band, The Furies, in what is now considered to be the city’s first punk show.
After recording two tracks for the compilation “Vancouver Complication” music critic Stewart Mason wrote,
“If they had never made another recording, the Dishrags would remain beloved in punk-fanboy circles for the track ‘I Don’t Love You’. 103 seconds long and built on an insistent, scratchy guitar riff and a positively crazed drum part played primarily on the ride cymbal, ‘I Don’t Love You’ is as clangorous and primitive as U.K. second-wavers like the Slits or the Desperate Bicycles”
The Clash invited them to be the opening act for their 1979 Vancouver Show, a show which also included a set from Bo Diddley, and as way of thanks, The Dishrags even finished their set with a rendition of “London’s Burning”.
With a line up change, in 1980 the band recorded their final “Death In The Family” EP with producer Chris Spedding, but the band petered out soon after.
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun in 2014, Jill Bain/Jade Blade looked back on the break-up with nearly a quarter of a century’s worth of hindsight;
“Honestly, I think it ran its course,” Jill Bain said. “I don’t think it would have been a good idea to carry on. It was something that worked really well when we were young and excited.”
In 2010, having reformed and been the subjects of the documentary “Bloodied but Unbowed” the three original Dishrags, talked to the punkmovie.com about the early years in a clip which also features live footage from the time.