BeBe K'Roche was a popular all-women's band based in Berkeley, California in the 1970's. The band was founded by Pamela "Tiik" Pollet with Peggy Mitchell in Berkeley, California when they decided to expand their duo act, and showed up at a San Francisco women's electric jam at a North Beach bar.
Tiik and Peggy met in 1973 at Kate Millet's Sacramento Women's Music Festival where they both were on the bill and formed an immediate bond. Tiik was performing as a solo electric guitarist/singer, representing her Venice, California band, Lizzie Tisch, (founded by Lois Webb-bass and Sunny Tepper-drums, and including Virgina Rubino, Sherry Ryan Barnett and Gretchen Albright) who were unable to come as a full band. Peggy was playing bass with Sharon Russell's Bay Area band, Sweet Chariot (Sharon Russell vocals, Bonnie Johnson drums, Peggy Mitchell bass) a basically all female funk/soul band, who at the time had a male guitarist. Peggy Mitchell also played locally with jazz-blues pianist David Alexander and had the honor of accompanying him at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Sweet Chariot wanted a female guitarist and invited Tiik to join them by way of a surprise visit and friendly kidnapping in the middle of the night from her Venice Beach apartment. Eventually Peggy & Tiik quit Sweet Chariot and formed a duo. They traveled across the USA playing as Peggy & Pam, with Peggy's son Christopher, 9 dogs and 1 cats. Seven of the dogs were the puppies of Tiik's Vizsla, Neegivi, and were given to loving homes along the way.
Travel Stories Tiik & Peggy's 1974 Road Trip as "Peggy & Pam":
1 - In Washington, DC we performed on the WPFW radio show, Sophies Parlor.
2 - In Boulder, Colorado we got a gig at a small local venue in the same week that Bonnie Raitt was in town. While shopping, not for dresses, we ran into Freebo, Bonnies fabulous bassist, who we met in Hollywood, and told him about our gig. We were honored that Freebo did show up after his show with Bonnie.
3 - In Cheyenne, Wyoming we played in a saloon peopled by cowboys and a few cowgirls. Needless to say it was a "Hoot". They turned out to be one of the warmest and most supportive audiences in the entire trip.
4 - While eating in a Denny's in Oklahoma, the waitor recognized all three genders incorrectly. It went like this.
- To Tiik she asks, "What would you like sir?" I reply, "I'm a woman." To Peggy she asks, "And what would you like, sir?" I reply, "She's a woman, too." To Christopher she asks, "And what about the little girl?" Peggy says, "He's a boy." More coming soon...need to hit the hay.
"Peggy and I traveled together, playing all over the USA, did a Sophies Parlor radio show back in Washington, DC., and came back to Berkeley and formed BeBe K'Roche w/ Peggy on bass, Virginia Rubino on keyboard and Jake Lampert on Drums. Virginia and I were in Lizzie Tisch together in Venice, California."
ORIGIN OF THE NAME - BEBE K'ROCHE
"I made up the name BeBe K'Roche one day when Peggy and I were at home relaxing with some herbal tea and found a bay cockroach in the bottom of Peggy's cup. In a mock french accent and attempt to lessen the gross shock value I quiped, 'Ah!!! Look at ze bebe cock roche' A sense of humor and a passion for numerology turned this into the band name, BeBe K'Roche, which equals the number eleven. Voila! A band was born."
"We did our first recording at Blue Bear Studios in the Bay Area, The Wildside West (Pat Ramseyer's club), and then later with the women owned Olivia records.
BeBe K'Roche was the first electric women's band to record with Olivia. It was a big deal back then because female acoustic acts were all the rage while women's electric bands were rare, and, at that time, of unknowm commercial value. We actually broke up officially before the Olivia recording due to internal conflict. You could say I left my band though it is ot quite that simple. I always considered it "my" band because I started it and wrote most of the tunes, yet in the sense of how we worked in reheasals on each writers tunes we were very much an equal group. Jake and Virginia wrote some gorgeous tunes. With me and my tunes gone they kept the name, Virginia wrote some new tunes, added Jerene O'Brien on guitar to do the Olivia recording and then to tour the album. Some musician friends were brought into the studio also to accentuate the recording. Phyllis "Jasmin" Telfair played flute on the album and you can see all the album credits below. Robin Flower played guitar for the album tour.
LISTEN TO TUNES
I am going to upload our original tunes soon. Come back and listen to the original BeBe K'Roche with 3 of my songs plus the original Kahlua Mama, Understand and Strong & Free."
I will also upload the Olivia tunes.
THE ALBUM - BEBE K'ROCHE
- • Peggy Mitchell Vocals, Fretless Bass
- • Janet (Jake) Lampert, Drums, Vocals
- • Virgina Rubino, Keyboards, Vocals
- • Jerene O'Brien Guitar (Electric), Vocals
- • Naeomi (Matu) Feliciano, Conga, Timbales
- • Phyllis (Jasmin) Telfair, Flute
- • Sandy Stone, Engineer
- • Linda Tillery, Producer