Sarah-Jane Owen

Who’s That Girl?

So excited that Rude Girls: Women in 2 Tone and One Step Beyond will be released on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2023! Before then, I wanted to take a moment and discuss the cover, since I have had a few people ask me about the woman in the photo. The cover features none other than Sarah-Jane Owen, guitarist for the Bodysnatchers and the Belle Stars. This photo was taken by Toni Tye whose iconic photos of the 2 Tone era also grace the cover of Rhoda Dakar Sings the Bodysnatchers’ album, seen below, as well as one of my other books, Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation, also seen below.

Sarah-Jane Owen features prominently in Rude Girls: Women in 2 Tone and One Step Beyond and her stories of how the Bodysnatchers formed, touring with the Specials, the Go-Go’s, Madness, and Bad Manners–it is not just part of history, but it’s as close to being there as you can get! There are also plenty of photos in the interior of the book, many of which are exclusive, including this one that didn’t make it into the book. This is from the personal collection of Penny Leyton from the Seaside Tour. That’s Sarah-Jane Owen in the blue shirt, top right–see any other familiar faces?!

For more on Toni Tye’s photography, check out her website at