While I am on vacation right now, it is actually the best time to write as I, for once, have time and beauty all around me. So here it goes!
This wrap up should have been done a week ago, again, I have to say that without time, energy and inspiration, it can be quite demanding and straining. And the last thing I want to do when wrapping up a week on Ladies Rock is to half-ass it.
So, while here in Monterey, California, I sat on the porch, drank coffee, and had the cool air fill my lungs and between the birds chirping and trees swaying, the words filled my head again, ready to be put down.
Women in rock are such a great gift to the world. It is one of those things where it isn’t until you start looking for them, that you appreciate how rare and talented they actually are. Then suddenly you find yourself pulling for them, like pulling for the underdog team. Of course, sadly, I have to mention, while I was writing about women in rock (Austin edition) this week, we lost some good ones to the ‘other side’:
Poly Styrene — a true pioneer in rock and punk. As the front woman of X-Ray Spex, she was truly experimental and influential in the world of not only punk but in rock. She played with sexuality, words, and previous images of women by fronting a very influential (and very ‘girl power’ punk band) X-Ray Spex. She lost her battle to breast cancer this week at age 53. It is a sad loss, especially as she just released her newest album, Generation Indigo at the end of March this year. She was an absolutely beautiful woman of rock.
Another death this week (actually on Tuesday) was of singer-songwriter Pheobe Snow. She had a very successful career, spanning many genres of music with so many credits, though it is more than likely you have not heard of her, but you have heard her work. She has written so many commercial and theme song jingles and collaborated with many artists over years, and her most famous single being “Poetry Man” in 1975. She passed away from complications from a cerebral hemorrhage.
While some generations of women in rock are passing, it is hopeful to see new generations of women in rock blossoming. I am feel so lucky to be involved with Girls Rock Austin, a non-profit that basically builds women empowerment and confidence in young girls by teaching them instruments and encouraging the love of rock music. They go to camp in the summer and form bands, friendships, and sometimes those bands become real performing bands! There have actually been a number of sucessful young female bands that started at Girls Rock Austin. It is pretty cool. It was started in Austin by guitarist Lady Rocker, Emily Marks, who is the ‘Slash’ in the all girls Guns and Roses cover band in Austin, Paradise Titty. Totally awesome, right?
For more information on the Girls Rock Camps in Austin, and Girls Rock Austin, check them out at www.girlsrockcampaustin.org I love volunteering and getting to know many influential women in the Austin community this way. I wish I had had this opportunity when I was younger, but I’m glad that I can help a younger generation find their footing a lot quicker than mine came to me.
I also attended my first WIMPS meeting last week (see my interview with Rose Reyes for more info) and it was a total blast! I had a great time with such influential women of all genres, and ended up sitting next to, and hitting it off with, Ms. Carla DeSantis! I could not believe it after we talked then she told me her name! I love Austin!
Women in rock are a rare breed. Agressive in their music and their passion, but probably some of the nicest and most down to earth women you will ever meet. Especially in Austin. All they want, for the most part, is to share their love and passion and themselves to the world in hopes of gaining respect and fair attention. Rock doesn’t belong to just men. Women rock it, too. It inspires me to see women actually ‘living the dream’ without sacrificing themselves or their gender/feminity/sexuality/respect.
Never have a been more proud to be a women and love rock. Thanks, ladies, for blazing the trails that allow me to enjoy the music I love and play. YOU ROCK!