Project Description

Pamela Robin Brandt

February 6, 1947 – August 2, 2015

Pamela Brandt

Pamela Brandt

Her early musical career in highly-arranged bands, like The Deadly Nightshade, that she helped create, convinced Pam that learning to fake it would be fun. She spent the next dozen years freelancing on the New York City country music circuit, playing two to five nights a week with “different strange bands” — some, such as King Vito and the Bronx Cowboys, very strange.

She, along with AIDS activist, soprano, and fellow song writer Michael Callen, formed the mixed lesbian and gay original rock band Lowlife. In their four years together, the five-piece “politically correct rock and roll sleaze” band played CBGB, the Pyramid, the Saint, Limelight, Studio 54. and most of New York’s other best known 1980s clubs.

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau praised one of Brandt’s original songs as “a particularly direct and poignant AIDS-inspired anthem”, and another sillier number as “charmingly early ’60s enough to explain the group’s peculiar though very positive ‘girl group’ rap.” The New York Native cited her “driving can’t-stop-the-beat bass.”

The Deadly Nightshade

The Deadly Nightshade

After moving to Miami, Pam joined the female hard rock band Cactus Rose. In her day job as a journalist, she was primarily a food critic, and co-wrote two books: “Are You Two…Together” (a book of lesbian/gay-oriented travel essays for Random House), and for Simon & Schuster, “The Girls Next Door: Into the Heart of Lesbian America”—which features a chapter on the Michigan Women’s Music Festival.

On Sunday August 2, 2015 Pamela died suddenly and unexpectedly of a massive heart attack in her home in Miami. It is incomprehensible that we will never have the chance to make music with her again.

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Read more about Pam’s life in the Miami Herald.