How Undersung Rock Pioneers Ace of Cups Got the Band Back Together After 50 Years

Casey Sonnabend
Ace of Cups

In 1960s San Francisco, the Ace of Cups -- a five-member, all-female rock group -- counted Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix as fans. Nearly 50 years after disbanding, the Cups are finally releasing their debut album on Nov. 9.

Here are their tips on how to bridge that gap.

Don't Take Shit

The Cups always shared core ideals. In the ’60s, when a club owner asked them to play topless, they refused, joking that they’d play naked instead.

Keep In Touch

Most of them haven’t lived in the same spot for decades, but they “kept having reunions,” says drummer Diane Vitalich. “We never stopped playing.”

Confront Tension

“Hurting each other’s feelings happens,” bassist Mary Gannon says. “But keeping this relationship alive means being forthright and honest.”

Stay Engaged 

Their ’60s protest heyday is history, but guitarist Denise Kaufman says current agitators like “the Parkland [Fla.] kids” inspired the Cups’ album. 

This article originally appeared in the Sept 15. issue of Billboard.