Faced with a shirinking audience for their signature blend of cartoon bubblegum pop, the legendary Josie & The Pussycats decided to call it quits in January 1974. Despite rumors to the contrary, it was an amicable split where the members of the trio unanimously decided it was simply time to “move on.”
Valerie Brown (bass guitar, tambourine, vocals) embarked on a quite successful solo career, scoring a series of Top 40 disco hits before moving into the production side of the business and starting up her own label, Valcat Records. She sold off the business to EMI in the mid-1990s so that she could concentrate on her philanthropic work, though she occasionally performs on the casino circuit when the mood strikes her.
After a brief but percussive affair with Ginger Baker, Melody Valentine (drums) relocated to Berlin. There she became a founding member of Der Bashundklanger, an experimental industrial-noise outfit which had a tremendous influence on what would be known as the “postpunk sound.” In 2002, she was denied re-entry into America due to criminal charges related to the release of 1976′s forty-minute opus “Baader-Meinhoff Ja Ja Ja Kaboom.”
As for the Pussycats’ frontwoman, Josie McCoy, the perky singer-guitarist decided to hang up her axe and settle down with Alan M. Mayberry, her longtime boyfriend and a former Pussycats roadie. What Josie didn’t realize is that underneath Alan’s rock’n’roll veneer beat the heart of a staunch patriarchal traditionalist.
Josie did her best to cope, hoping that time and domestic life would mellow her husband’s attitude. Instead, Alan grew even more demanding with each passing day.
Melody and Val wondered about the guarded, nervous tone of Josie’s voice during their occasional phone chats, but Josie assured them that everything was just peachy. The other two ex-Cats were busy with their own lives, however, and the phone calls became more infrequent before stopping altogether.
Josie, meanwhile, occupied herself keeping up with Alan’s requests to “not look like such a fat fucking pig,” “keep those stupid brats quiet while I’m having a beer,” and “make a Goddamn meal worth eating for once.” Then, in the spring of 1988…
The Midvale police had their suspicions about Alan’s unexpected demise from a massive coronary. Especially perplexing was the strange pentagram-shaped scar formation on Alan’s cardiac tissue and the mysterious payment of $1000 made by Josie to one Mistress Alexandra Cabot for something called “Ye Shitheel’s Just Reward.”
Cabot, an heiress turned local occult “guru,” had been a former romantic and professional rival of Josie. This raised red flags among the detectives assigned to the case, but the autopsy of Alan’s body turned up no evidence of foul play and the matter was closed.
Josie has since remarried (to a mop haired ex-Mod named Scooter) and has resumed her musical career as an acoustic folk artist on the Midvale coffeehouse circuit. Her son, Alan Jr, is currently the frontman (under the name “Ajax Lifecleanser”) for Ligmentary Pus, a neo-grindcore act recently signed to Alexander Cabot’s Obnoxious Rich Bastard label.
Recommended Listening: Josie and The Pussycats – You’ve Come a Long Way Baby (from Stop Look & Listen: The Capitol Recordings, 2001)
As the tobacco industry co-opted feminism, kiddie-targeted bubblegum pop co-opted the tobacco industry’s obnoxious ad slogan. The circle of unethical branding is now complete.
Great song, though.
Recommended Reading: The Best of Josie & The Pussycats