In Fallopian Rhapsody: The Story of the Lunachicks, the extremely raw yet hilarious book about life on the road for the all-female punk rock band, vocalist Theo Kogan dishes out some of the wildest and most outrageous stories in rock literary history. She still has plenty of stories left over that didn’t make the cut. Before Lunachicks rock this year’s Riot Fest, we talked to Kogan about baring her soul, abortion rights, and the time Peter Frampton snuck her in to an Ace Frehley gig.
RIOT FEST: I love this book. You can just fly through these stories. They’re crazy. Calling it Fallopian Rhapsody is so perfect.
That just made the most sense. You know, women fighting our way through everything and for our rights, not thinking that Roe would be overturned a year later.
It was almost like a premonition.
It’s eerie and unfortunate, honestly. It feels like the Democrats don’t have the rage and fight, and maybe I’m totally wrong. I know Nancy Pelosi does. I know Elizabeth Warren does. We need people to protect us. It’s so obvious that this is a eugenic thing, and it’s a racist thing. It’s just so about control and white supremacy, and it’s so fucking fucked up… I can’t. We’re all enraged.
How do you and the other members cope with all of this?
It helps to know that we are some representation of strength, and women being powerful. We always, in our own way, have been incredibly political. People talk about feminism—we’re feminists just by being ourselves. It’s like the old ladies you see at marches, who are like, “I can’t believe I’m still fighting for this shit.” [I was] talking to my mom, who remembered when it was illega,l and had an illegal abortion. I can’t help but try to be more positive.
It’s devastating to think these old white guys can just vote on this.
It feels to me like an apocalypse. On top of that, it’s global warming. And you can’t go in the water, because there are sharks, and now monkeypox. And COVID is, like, crazy. What. The. Fuck. Is happening?
Do you have any stories from the book that didn’t make the cut?
There were more drug stories. There were boyfriend stories. There’s a lot. I can’t remember, there’s a really gross one that I don’t think was in there, but maybe it was?
Was it the one where you were on your period? And you can’t get off the toilet?
Yes. Thank you for remembering. [Laughs]
I’m sorry. Are you ever embarrassed, like, “I can’t believe everybody knows that now.”
I was like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m putting this out into the world.” This is fucking horrifying. [But] I’m glad to share it. It’s important to share these things, because there’s so much stigma around all of that. I’m so into talking about perimenopause and all that stuff, because people don’t talk about it. And even giving birth—nobody ever shows people birthing a placenta in a TV show. There were times I used to get my period so bad on tour that I would vomit.
That sounds like the period from hell.
Me and Syd—Syd was getting hepatitis. And she was in one room, puking. And I was in the other room, puking. These are things that women on the road have to deal with.
I don’t understand why anyone would fuck with you guys. You wrote about shoving bubblegum into guys’ hair at shows who were being disrespectful.
We’re at a show, and this friend said something sassy to Syd, and she just took his face and went whack, like a loving slap on both sides. It was hilarious. And then the guy went and bought her a t-shirt.
Yeah, exactly. It’s part of growing up in New York and being who we are, ultimately.
I wanted to ask you about a story in the book, how Peter Frampton got you in to see Ace Frehley after the club wouldn’t let you in.
We were all so cute and dressed up, and we were sitting on this car looking all mopey and sad. And he was like, [British accent] ‘What’s wrong, girls?” “We can’t get into see Ace!” He was like, “Well I’m Peter Frampton, and I’m gonna get you in,” and literally walked us up, talked to the guy at the door, and we went in and he left. It was amazing.
What was it like meeting Ace?
Oh my God, I was so obsessed with him. I was like, sort of stunned by this person being my idol. But he was super nice. Signed my jacket. I was just starry-eyed. Which is so funny now, because in the ‘90s, he would come to some of the clubs that I worked at. Not to see me, but he would show up there like wasted literally, like almost had to be ferried out and it was like, “Oh, there’s Ace again. He’s a mess.” Funny how that happened.
How is the relationship with everyone in the band these days?
Really good. So amazing. It’s sort of a rebirth and a beautiful thing, the love and trust and joy of being together. We’ve known each other for longer than we haven’t. And it’s incredible. I feel very lucky because I know a lot of bands don’t get along like this. It’s special.
Your friendships reminded me about the Go Go’s, a tight group who later had band issues, and everyone went their separate ways. But they came back full circle.
We got to tour with them too. It was so much fun.
Who’s been your favorite group to tour with?
Definitely them. Luscious Jackson were super, super fun. Touring with Rancid and NOFX and the Offspring was very fun, but a very different vibe. Also, playing with GWAR… that was actually probably one of my very favorite bands to play with, because it was just so fucking fun. It felt like we were cut from the same cloth and just all loved horror and humor.
Why do you like playing at Riot Fest?
There are so many young people now who never saw us who are so excited to be there. I remember being a teenager and seeing these punk bands that would have reunions that I thought I would never see. We have a duty to represent.
Who do you want to hang out with?
Back in the day, I was not into Nine Inch Nails, but now I really love them. I’m actually a huge fan of Atticus Ross and Trent’s soundtracks. I would love to meet Trent. I want to meet the Linda Lindas, certainly. The Misfits. I’ve met the Yeah Yeah Yeahs before, so I’d love to say hi to them.
Lunachicks will perform at Riot Fest 2022 on Sunday, September 18 on the Roots Stage. Tickets are available here.