My first single is up for sale on Bandcamp. The site allows three free spins before purchase.
I got heavily into rock music at around the age of twelve. That’s when I got my first record. It was American Fool by John Cougar, before he radically transformed into John Cougar Mellencamp, and long before he went Cougar-free.
What I’m really talking about here is the post-Johnny Cougar era.
I already loved all kinds of music at this point. From my mother, I picked up albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and Carole King’s Tapestry that remain among my favorites today. Flipping through my brother’s records, I discovered Abba, The Police and David Bowie. The whole family loved Elvis and that doo-wop/vocal group stuff from the 50’s & 60’s.
But this new music felt different. It felt like mine. Looking back, I suppose a few main things set it apart. First, it was driven by loud, distorted electric guitars. Second, the vocals often relied more on attitude than on pitch perfection. Finally, my parents hated it, and my brother didn’t care for it much either.
In retrospect, I also connected readily with ‘guitar rock’ because it was performed almost exclusively by men. As an adolescent male, I had plenty of role models upon which to build my own dream of rocking out. In the 1980’s, when it came to women strapping on electric guitars and getting in people’s faces, there was Joan Jett, and well… Joan Jett.
Thankfully, that has changed in my lifetime. The 90’s brought us Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey and bands like The Breeders, The Donnas, and Sleater-Kinney just to name a few. The flood gates opened, and since the turn of the century, we’ve been racing toward a tipping point when it comes to women and girls playing electric guitar. In fact, when it comes to guitar-based rock and roll, it’s clear to me that women are keeping the music alive.
Here are some current favorites: