Veteran British female hard rockers GIRLSCHOOL have been forced to cancel their previously announced German and U.S. dates due to due to problems encountered while trying to obtain the necessary work permits to play the U.S. shows. The group's official statement in the matter reads as follows:"We are absolutely devastated that we had to cancel these shows due to the incompetence of the powers that be. The people that we had trusted to do their jobs and the bureaucracy of the American embassy really sucks. "We have spent four days at the embassy this week where we were told that our visas had all been approved and that they would try and hurry them up so we would get our passports returned to us before we were due to leave for Germany on the night of August 30th. We then spent two days on the phone begging for our passports to be returned to us but were told that it takes three-five working days. "Well, as you can imagine, we couldn't believe it after we had been told that they would courier them back to us [as soon as possible]. We have had to cancel all the shows and are extremely disappointed that we have let our fans down. "To any bands that are applying for a U.S. visa, make sure that you apply at least six months before you go; that way you can be sure of getting your passports back in time. "Once again we would like to apologize to the German and American fans — and the concert promoters. Hopefully we will see them soon if we ever get our passports back." On August 20, GIRLSCHOOL played a special one-off tribute show to the group's late guitarist Kelly Johnson at the Rock And Roll Kabaret held at the Soho Revue Bar in London. GIRLSCHOOL was joined on stage during their seven-song set by former members Cris Bonacci and Tracy Lamb (who played the whole set in place of the absent Enid Wiliams) and VICE SQUAD frontwoman Bekki Bondage. Check out photos from the event at Komodorock.com. Kelly Johnson passed away on July 15 after a six-year battle with cancer of the spine. Along with Johnson, the classic lineup of GIRLSCHOOL included Kim McAuliffe (guitar), Enid Williams (bass) and Denise Dufort (drums). The band was an integral and major force in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement, beginning with the release of its debut album, "Demolition" (1980), and continuing with the follow-up efforts, "Hit 'n' Run" (1981) and "Screaming Blue Murder" (1982). Johnson originally left GIRLSCHOOL in 1984 after recording the band's fourth album, "Play Dirty", and moved to Los Angeles where she lived for the next 10 years. She rejoined GIRLSCHOOL in 1993 and moved back to the U.K. From 1993 until 2000 Kelly, Kim, Denise and Tracey Lamb toured Europe and the USA and recorded a live album in March 1995. Kelly decided to quit the music business for good in 2000 after recording her final album with GIRLSCHOOL, "Not That Innocent: 21st Anniversary" (2001). For more information, visit the Kelly Johnson MySpace tribute page.
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