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This post is a tribute to Jan Ashton, born Jan Errico (she changed her name to sound more British, apparently), who is one of few female drummers in rock history. There aren’t many pictures of her online, despite her looks, but the photo above is from the booklet to Not Too Old to Start Cryin’ on Sundazed.  She deserves to be as famous as Mo Tucker, even if she did her drumming sitting down. Jan was also a great folk-style singer and co-wrote several songs for the bands she was in: The Vejtables and The Mojo Men, both from San Francisco. According to an online source she was the cousin of Greg Errico, drummer in Sly & the Family Stone. Sly, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, worked for the Autumn label, producing both her bands as well as the label’s class act The Beau Brummels.

Jan was set to release a solo single in 1966: “I Still Love You” b/w “Cold Dreary Morning”. The a-side was a new recording of the Vejtables song, and for both songs she actually had The Vejtables backing her. The songs appeared on Feel the Vejtables, credited to the full band. “Cold Dreary Morning” also appears on Someone to Love – The Birth of the San Francisco Sound (part of the Nuggets From the Golden State series) under her own name. The same comp also includes another solo recording, the impressive “About My Tears”, presumably from the same session. Hear it below! Jan is still performing, but now as a karaoke DJ.

Jan Ashton – About My Tears

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January 28, 2011

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