The Other Fab Four

The Remarkable True Story of the Liverbirds, Britain’s First Female Rock Band

Coming Soon


By Mary McGlory

By Sylvia Saunders

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$39.00 CAD

When John Lennon told the four members of The Liverbirds—Britain’s first female rock band—​that girls couldn’t play guitar, they proved him wrong. This is their story.

The idea for Britain’s first female rock band, The Liverbirds, started one evening in 1962, when Mary McGlory, then age 16, saw The Beatles play live at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the nightclub famously known as the “cradle of British pop music.” Then and there, she decided she was going to be just like them—and be the first girl to do it.
Joining ranks in 1963 with three other working-class girls from Liverpool—drummer Sylvia Saunders and guitarists Valerie Gell and Pamela Birch, also self-taught musicians determined to “break the male monopoly of the beat world”—The Liverbirds went on to tour alongside the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and Chuck Berry, and were on track to hit international stardom—until life intervened, and the group was forced to disband just five years after forming in 1968.
Now, Mary and Sylvia, the band’s two surviving members, are ready to tell their stories. From that fateful night in 1962, when Mary, who once aspired to become a nun, decided to provide for her family by becoming a rich-and-famous rocker, to the circumstances that led to the band splitting up—Sylvia’s dangerously complicated pregnancy, and the tragic accident that paralyzed Valerie’s beau—The Liverbirds tackles family, friendship, addiction, aging, and the forces—even destiny—that initially brought the four women together.


On Sale
Mar 12, 2024
Page Count
320 pages

Mary McGlory

About the Author

Sylvia Saunders and Mary McGlory are founding members of The Liverbirds, an all-female rock band from Liverpool active in the 1960s. Their feminist memoir of music and friendship, recounting their rise to success, will be published in 2024 by Faber in the UK and Grand Central in the US.

Learn more about this author