Alibi V.14 No.22 • June 2-8, 2005 

Blue Note

Devil Doll

Colleen Duffy created Devil Doll one late, smoky evening many blue moons ago with the mission of putting sex back into rock and roll. Deciding that the world of music had not heard the truth since Joan Jett and Johnny Cash, and hadn't blushed since Mae West, she grabbed her bass, a microphone and hit "record."

Colleen was born in Cleveland and was raised on Elvis Presley and old movies. After conducting homemade Elvis performances for her neighbors, her life was changed forever the moment she heard Joan Jett's "I love Rock and Roll" on the radio. She picked up a guitar and started tellin' the story.

Colleen Duffy kicks bass.
Colleen Duffy kicks bass.

Several ska and punk rock bands later, she started Devil Doll and a rockabilly/psychobilly radio show on her local college station called "Rockability." The show raged from 1990 to 1995, and Colleen was credited as being the first female rockabilly/psychobilly DJ in the United States. She helped found Hep Cat Records in an attempt to make psychobilly and European rockabilly more accessible in the States. Her dedicated listening audience spanned the country, recording her shows and mailing the taped versions everywhere there was good taste in music. She finally closed the show as a huge success and moved to New York, taking Devil Doll with her.

The long subway rides, rainy afternoons in Union Square and a 4 a.m. closing time provided the beautiful seediness perfect for the Devil Doll story. These captured moments gave birth to some of Devil Doll's most famous lines, such as "I want to kiss you then punch you in the face." Devil Doll eventually moved to the West Coast and now hails from Los Angeles.

Devil Doll is the kind of girl your father warned you about; a punk rock torch singer weaving tales of sex and sorrow, pleasure and pain. She will not apologize and she will not ask for forgiveness. But she will write her name in lipstick in the most unlikely places.

Devil Doll plays at the Launchpad Friday, June 3, with Bernadette Seacrest and her Yes Men and Sin Serenade. 21 and over; a non-smoking event.