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The Phoenix New Times, July 23-29, 1998

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The Original Spice Girls
By Serene Dominic


The Sgt. Pepper movie wasn't all sugar and spice and all things nice to its female lead roles. Being a Pepper girl did absolutely nothing for the singing careers of Olivia Newton-John knockoff Sandy Farina (Strawberry Fields), sexy soul sistah Dianne Steinberg (Lucy) or vampy disco divas Stargard (Lucy's Diamonds), a trio in various stages of undress in the Pepper movie who somehow managed to escape Prince's evil clutches in real life. Strawberry Fields spends most of her screen time either reviving Peter Frampton or being abducted, bound and gagged. Lucy and the Diamonds are seemingly always being pimped out by BD Records to bring in a new signee, even though their own musical careers are supposedly skyrocketing. In Pepperland, the Year of the Woman is a bigger fantasy than cellophane flowers of yellow and green.


That's a shame. Largely unknowns, these also-rans never stood a chance against the powerful Pepper curse. It's doubtful that any record bearing their name on its spine cover ever escaped a manufacturing plant after 1981. As a public service, we'd love to turn you on to the post-Pepper musings of these fine women.

Maybe they're housewives in Des Moines now, barefoot, pregnant or else just married to some Mean Mr. Mustard and starving for attention. Or just maybe, they've kept it going all these years, singing in supper clubs and community theaters. Perhaps this here blitz of media coverage (significantly more press than any of these releases ever got the first go-round) is all Sandy, Dianne and Stargard need to jumpstart their careers in the '90s.


But what do I know? I'm the only fool who still believes Connie Francis will surprise us all and come back in a big way any day now.

(Click on the album covers to hear cuts from Stargard, Dianne and Sandy's post-Pepper releases.) If your browser does not play these .AIFF files, please download the free QuickTime player.

The Pepper Legacy


Pepper Spray
It was 20 years ago this week that
Sgt. Pepper dropped a bomb on movie theaters, so where's all the rerelease hoopla?

Our Guests at Pepperland
The stars came out that night for the
Pepper finale
(with video)

Go E-Mail Alice
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