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Carole Pope (1952- )



Dublin Core


Carole Pope (1952- )


Lesbian, songwriter and musician, anti-diva. All that was in the future when Carole Pope moved from Manchester, England to Canada with her parents when she was a toddler. She has kept moving ever since. The peripatetic nature of her upbringing and her involvement in the Yorkville scene of the 1960s exposed her to a variety of life and musical styles. It also fostered her desire to be a songwriter and in 1969, shortly after meeting Kevan Staples, they formed their first band: O (as in The Story of 0) which lasted long enough to be filmed for the world fair in Osaka.

Beginning in 1971, they performed as an acoustic duo, The Bullwhip Brothers, experimenting with sexually threatening material and developing a growing following. Carole became enamoured with the leather -bondage image in the gay community, the inspiration for the band "Rough Trade" she and Kevan formed in 1974. The band was an immediate hit. The music, songs and Carole's provocative stage performances ushered in the New Music era in Toronto and a sexual adventure in music and fashion that was a welcome diversion from the norm. By 1979 it was the Canadian band.

With her songs, Carole "seduced the nation's youth and struck a chord with young hinterland homos-to-be" across Canada. Rough Trade attracted much media attention and Carole wrote songs for a variety of stage performances (including Divine), films such as "Cruising", and many other venues. In 1983 the band opened for David Bowie's Canadian tour. Carole received several music awards, including two Junos in 1981 and 1984.

Rough Trade broke up in 1986 and Carole and Kevan went solo. She moved to Los Angeles but makes periodic trips back to Canada, where older gays and lesbians have not forgotten her music and the new generation is rediscovering her. (2002 Induction Statement)

Compositrice, musicienne et anti-diva; les images du cuir et du servage l'ont inspirée dans son groupe Rough Trade, créé en 1974; par ses chansons, Carole " a séduit la jeunesse du pays et a touché une corde sensible des gais en herbe " partout au Canada.


George Whiteside


Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archvies




Medium: colour photograph

Dimensions: 28 x 35.5 cm (W x H)




George Whiteside, “Carole Pope (1952- ),” CLGA Digital Collections, accessed June 20, 2018,