Kelly Johnson – RIP

We were very sad to hear of the passing of former Girlschool singer and guitarist Kelly Johnson. She´d been fighting cancer of the spine for several years and succumbed, aged just 49, on Sunday 15 July.

Easily one of the best British all-female rock bands, Girlschool were part of the heady NWOBHM days and, as such, enjoyed a couple of years success riding that wave. The notorious duet with Motorhead released in 1981 - the St Valentines Day Massacre - is arguably their biggest claim to fame as it hit the UK top five.

Kelly left the band in 1984, only to rejoin in 1993 before quitting the business for good in 2000 and any rock fans old enough to remember her and her Gibson Gold Top Les Paul rocking away should raise a pint in memory.

Our thoughts are with Kelly´s family and friends.

Simon Bradley is a guitar and especially rock guitar expert who worked for Total Guitar magazine and has in the past contributed to world-leading music and guitar titles like MusicRadar (obviously), Guitarist, Guitar World and Louder. What he doesn't know about Brian May's playing and, especially, the Red Special, isn't worth knowing.