Pepper McGowan biography

Pepper McGowan

Adult album alternative, Musical Artist

1975 –


Who is Pepper McGowan?

Pepper McGowan is a self-taught singer/songwriter/pianist from Cleveland, Ohio. She has been compared to Tori Amos and Suzanne Vega as well as mid 1970's Elton John and vocally Regina Spektor. The Cleveland Free Times describes her as "vivid and confessional without being whiny. She sings stories ore than songs of the shit that real people put each other through, seeking no absolution for telling the truths." McGowan was emancipated as a minor, and is a licensed and certified astrologer. She also has authored a novel and contributed to several poetry journals. When she suffered a stroke in 2005, Pepper returned to photography and accompanied her friends on tour to document the events being unable to perform her music for several years following the incident. McGowan has been a contortionist in a sideshow, a lifeguard, a bartender, astrologer, and self-described Cat Lady. The Chicago Tribune described her style as "clumsy yet deft, the banter between songs makes it well worth the trip as well...." Pepper describes music as "something that happened to me," having had no plans to take her unwritten diary and share it in public. A club owner heard her, then booked her that week. Following the suicide of her brother Bobby, Pepper McGowan ventured across the country and zlong the East Coast, as a member of Indiegrrl, she was given opportunities to play in cities where she gathered a loyal, grass roots fan base. In early 2001, McGowan began to show signs of instability that were becoming more severe. She had a successful showcase at CMJ music conference, The sudden death of a close friend mere weeks after losing a cousin on September 11th brought her decision to admit herself to a psychiatric hospital where she was diagnosed for the second time with BiPolar disorder. McGowan has struggled with the disease for the past decade, but has given much energy and time to speak out for the rights of the mentally ill, to remove the stigma, and is a strong supporter for NAMI. She is currently working on a project that she plans to release "when it is time for itself."


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"Pepper McGowan." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Jan. 2021. <>.

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Nov 20, 1975
Also known as
  • Pepper Acton
  • Pepper McGowan and the Lamps
  • Spiritualism
  • Roman Catholic
  • Polish American
  • Italian American
  • Irish American
  • Mexican American
  • United States of America
  • High School Diploma, Eleanor Gerson School
    (Specialized in Salutatorian)
    (1988/08 - 1992/06)
  • Photography
Lived in
  • Buffalo
    (1979/03 - 1979/05)
  • New York City
    (1995/10 - 1996/11)
  • Los Angeles
    (1995/06 - 1995/09)
  • Cleveland
    (1975/11 - 1979/03)
  • Chicago
    (1997/06 - 1997/08)
  • Cleveland
    (1979/05 - 1992/07)

on July 23, 2013

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