Birtha was an American all-female rock band of the early 1970s. Formed in Los Angeles, the band consisted of Shele Pinizzotto (guitar), Rosemary Butler (bass), Sherry Hagler (keyboards), and Olivia “Liver” Favela (drums).Each of the band members contributed lead vocals and harmonies.
Pinizzotto, Butler, and Hagler grew up in Los Angeles and played together in bands during their high school years. They were joined by Favela in 1968, at which time the group began playing clubs along the West Coast from California to Alaska. Over the next three years, Birtha worked on improving their craft and by 1971 they started to write their own material. Most of the band’s songs were composed by members of the group, but there was occasional outside songwriting help from Mark Wickman and Gabriel Mekler.
Birtha signed a record deal with Dunhill Records in 1972 and released their debut self-titled album, produced by Mekler, later that year. After the album’s release, Birtha toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The group achieved some notoriety when, during a UK tour with The Kinks, publicity flyers for the shows stated, “Birtha has balls”. When Birtha made return visits to Los Angeles, they would often play Whisky a Go Go and The Troubadour, as well as a club in Glendale called The Sopwith Camel.
In 1973, Birtha released their second album, Can’t Stop The Madness, produced by Christopher Huston. The band continued touring and was on the road for more than 250 days a year, performing with such acts as Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, Poco, Black Oak Arkansas, Cheech & Chong, B.B. King, Three Dog Night, James Gang, and more. The band broke up in 1975.