Gretta Harley

Gretta Harley Fronting Maxi Badd, 1992

Gretta Harley, …and they became slaves…, at CBGBs 1988

Gretta Harley grew up on Long Island. As a child, her Barbie dolls gave rock concerts, and she created solo plays in the family den to the music of Jesus Christ Superstar, Goodbye Yellowbrick Road and Deodato. In the 4th grade her parents took her to the original Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar which she believes set the course for her life. Her consistent begging for a piano paid off at age 8 when Gretta began studying the instrument. She wanted to play classical music, and also wanted to write her own music. She taught herself how to play the guitar and started writing songs with alternate tunings at age 12. By the time Gretta graduated High School she was playing music 5-6 hours a day and performing classical recitals. She was heavily influenced by Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Patti Smith, Led Zeppelin and Beethoven. Gretta moved from New York City to London England in 1983 where she studied movement theatre and travelled around Europe. She moved back to Manhattan, and in 1985 began a journey on the other side of the music industry, working with Daryl Pitt, the manager of Michael Brecker, Andreas Vollenweider, Steps Ahead and other jazz artists. She started a punk rock band. In 1989 Gretta followed a friend on a camping trip to Seattle. She never left. Gretta met Tess. Lotta  and they formed Maxi Badd. They changed their name to Danger Gens,  and created a plethora of music, signed a deal, toured the country, and dove head first into the 90′s Seattle music craze. Gretta worked at C/Z Records from 1992-94. She was involved in the Washington Music Industry Coalition and JAMPAC. In 1993, Gretta co-founded Home Alive with eight other women; and she co-produced the Epic/Sony release, Home Alive: The Art of Self-Defense. She continued to play in bands through the ’90s including Skin Horse, Eyefulls, Monstro,and the Stevedores until she suffered a severe hand injury, leaving her unable to play for 7 years. She went back to school and earned a degree in music composition (summa cum laude) at Cornish College of the Arts, where she now teaches music, music for theatre, and interdisciplinary arts. Gretta also runs a private music school and is a certified Dalcroze teacher. Gretta has composed and directed music for over 2 dozen plays over the last 10 years. She is happy to be playing music again. She is half the project (with Sarah Rudinoff), We Are Golden. Gretta is also co-creator of  These Streets. We Are Golden plan to released a full length on Fin Records in 2013.

Big Black Marble Eyes


Band Title Release Date
Maxi Badd Mr. Sneakyman 1991
Maxi Badd Giddy 7″ 1993
Maxi Badd Al/Alice (unreleased) 1993
Maxi Badd Various Artists: Warm and Fuzzy Feelings 1993
Danger Gens Various Artist: A Far Cry 1993
Danger Gens Life Between Cigarettes 1994
Danger Gens The Fireman 7″ 1994
Danger Gens Evil Bed Set 1995
Eyefulls Eyefulls Demo 1995
Gretta Harley Various Artist: Home Alive – The Art Of Self Defense 1996
Stevedores Stevedores 1997
Monstro Monstro 1998
We Are Golden We Are Golden 2007

Gretta’s Film credits include:
Film: Wes Hurley- Waxie Moon In Fallen Jewel
KING 5: Hostages at home
Live at Puss Puss Cafe with Exene Cervenka
Leggo My Dildo- Karen Jaroneski
Beauty Sleeps Walter Cabe

More Photos


%d bloggers like this: