Back in 1975, Enid Williams (Bass, Vocals) and Kim McAuliffe (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals), both from South London, formed an all girl rock covers band called ´Painted Lady´. After playing the local pub scene and numerous line-up changes (Deirdre Cartright, Kathy Valentine, later of The Go Gos), Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort came on board and in April 78 they changed their name to ´Girlschool´ and hit the road touring venues around France, Ireland and the U.K.
In December 78 they released their first single ´Take it all away´ on the independent ´City Records´ label which led to interest from Motorhead´s management and a support slot on the Overkill tour in the spring of 79. After signing with Lemmy´s record company Bronze later that year, the band released their first album ´Demolition´ alongside the singles ´Emergency´ and ´Race with the Devil´ in the spring of 1980. Tours around Europe and a support with ´Uriah Heep´ followed and in 1981 they teamed up with Motorhead again as ´Headgirl´ on the classic single ´Please Don't Touch´ (St. Valentines Massacre) which went silver and reached no.5 in the U.K. The album ´Hit and Run´ was released in March, going gold in Canada and a sellout tour of the U.K, gigs with Black Sabbath and Rush and a Friday night headline slot at Reading Festival followed.
After playing Japan in 1982, Enid left and was replaced by Gil Weston of The Killjoys and Girlschool recorded their third album ´Screaming Blue Murder´, hitting the road in the U.S. to play stadiums alongside Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, The Scorpions and Blue Oyster Cult. In 1983 the band went back into the studio with Noddy Holder and Jim Lee of legendary band Slade for their fourth album ´Play Dirty´, charting in the U.S.
After Kelly left to live in L.A. she was replaced by Cris Bonacci on lead guitar and singer Jackie Bodimead on lead vocals for the 1985 album ´Running Wild´, released on Mercury records alongside a live video from the Camden Palace, London. In 1986 Girlschool signed to GWR records and reunited with original producer Vic Maile for ´Nightmare at Maple Cross´, minus Bodimead and now back as a four piece with Kim on vocals.
The following year Gil called it quits and Tracey Lamb (Rock Goddess) took over on bass for their next album ´Take a Bite´. Kim, Cris, Denise and Enid teamed up with punk singer Toyah Willcox under the name ´She Devils´ for the Women in Music festival in December 90 and summer 91 saw Lydie Gallais replacing Denise on drums under the new name ´Strange Girls´ for a three track demo, U.K. dates and festivals in Germany as support to the Beach Boys. ´92 saw the band releasing the album ´Girlschool´ with Jackie Carrera on bass and in ´93 the return of Kelly and Tracey resulted in extensive touring and in March ´95 the CD ´Girlschool Live´.
In 2000, original bassist/vocalist Enid and lead guitarist Jackie Chambers joined and in ´02 they released the ´21st Anniversary – Not that Innocent´ album, recorded three years earlier with the previous line-up, now with the addition of two new tracks, ´Coming your Way´ and ´Innocent´. Since releasing their latest album ´Believe´, Girlschool have been playing headline gigs, festivals and with Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister and support to Motorhead on tour in the U.K.
The band headlined the first day of the 2007 Rock Of Ages Fest, which took place at The Palace live music venue, in Tamworth, Staffs.
2008 saw the release of new material Legacy and a DVD for the 30th anniversary of the so far longest running female rock band in the world.
For six years, Kelly Johnson battled spinal cancer before her death on July 15, 2007.