Alix Dobkin, Whose Music was by Women for Women, Dies at 80
Released in 1973, Lavender Jane Loves Women by Alix Dobkin and her band, was the first album recorded and distributed by women for women. It was, says Dobkin, “the very first album by, for and about lesbians in the history of the world. From then until now, I have focused on the lives, concerns and perspectives of women who love women.” She started her own label, Women’s Wax Works, to do it.
Starting out as a folk star playing Greenwich Village clubs with Bob Dylan and Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ms. Dobkin turned to writing songs like “View From Gay Head” (“Lesbian, Lesbian/Let’s be in No Man’s Land”). Her lyrics sketched out a lesbian separatist utopia and also poked fun at its vernacular and customs, as she did in “Lesbian Code,” which contained lines like “Is she Lithuanian?,” “Is she Lebanese?” and “She’s a member of the church, of the club, of the committee/She sings in the choir.”
Says Phillip Zonkel in Voice News, “Dobkin was a women’s music pioneer who kicked open the closet door…Dobkin advocated for lesbians, women-only meetings and independent thinking.”