Carol Lloyd, a gay icon and trailblazer for female rockers, died on February 13 after a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Lloyd is best remembered for her lead vocals with the funk band Railroad Gin, whose hits include the seminal 1974 classic “A Matter of Time”, which hit number 1 on the charts.
Her eponymously named group The Carol Lloyd Band also made history by being the first rock band to play at the Sydney Opera House.
With a raw voice and a rebellious attitude, Lloyd was often compared with Janis Joplin.
As a champion of gay and lesbian rights and women’s rights, Lloyd reigned over Australian rock during the conservative era of Joh Bjelke-Petersen Queensland governments in the 1970s and ’80s, becoming a counter culture hero. She spoke up for the disenfranchised, and was committed to shepherding in a new generation of female voices. She helped empower young people to stand up for human and civil rights.
After Lloyd’s passing, Queensland Music Festival, with support from Arts Queensland, APRA AMCOS and Hutchinson Builders and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, announced the Carol Lloyd Award. This award will be presented to an emerging female singer-songwriter. Katie Noonan, among other, sits on the judging panel.
Lloyd was remembered at a public funeral service on February 20, at St John’s Cathedral in her hometown of Brisbane.