Put your hands together for Music Monday, people! Whoo!

Rock on -- it's Music Monday, y'all.

(Pssst... for more musical musings, check out Soccer Mom in Denial. You'll be glad you did!)


So you want to be a rock n roll star?
Well listen now, hear what I say
Just get an electric guitar
Take some time
And learn how to play

~ The Byrds

Picture it... 1988, a club -- dark, smoky, kinetic. Electric. Air sticky with sweat, cigarettes, hair spray, pot, Drakkar Noir, Obsession.

New York, maybe.

No. Definitely.

New York.

A band takes the stage. Keyboards. Guitars. Drums.

The drummer counts off the beat. Instruments start to move, creating sound. Breaking into the density of the air. Cutting off the murmuring conversations.

Out of the darkness comes a voice. Low, husky, strong. Sexy. Attitude dripping from every syllable.

Midnight gettin' uptight
Where are you
You said you'd meet me now it's quarter to two
I know I'm hangin' but I'm still wantin' you...

Joan Jett?

La Benatar?

Patty Smythe?


It’s me.

Albeit only in my dreams.


True confessions: Deep down, in the most private places of my imagination, I've always wanted to be a rock chick.

With an ass and hips that demand to be clad in black leather. (Definitely in my imagination. Treadmill, it's you and me, babe, on this one...)

A discreet tattoo. Located someplace that’s for me to know and you to find out. Or maybe a piercing. (I have a trip coming up to Vegas, where tattoos and piercings and dreams are always possible. 24/7. Hmmm...)

Dark, wild and wavy fabulous hair. (Ooooh, check! This I have already.)

Lots of black eyeliner. Layers of mascara. Deep purple lips. (Hell, I can do that easy-peasy...)

Tambourine in hand, keeping time on my rhythmic hip.

Soulful intonations into a microphone. Being in synch with the music and its players.

Part of a whole.

Yet still individual.

Oh yeah.

Rock on.

Wait. Better think about the vocals. The real foundation of a chick singer in a rock-and-roll-band. The thing without which all the physical trappings would be for naught. The reason I’m up on that stage in the first place.

Consider, if you will...

...the dramatic delivery of Grace Slick

When the truth is found to be lies
and all the joys within you dies
Don't you want somebody to love
Don't you need somebody to love
Wouldn't you love somebody to love
You better find somebody to love


...the edge of Chrissie Hynde

In the middle of the road
Is trying to find me
I'm standing in the middle of life with my plans behind me
But, I got a smile
For everyone I meet
Long as you don't try dragging my bay
Or dropping a bomb on the street


...the soulfulness of Cass Elliott

But you've gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along


...the raw emotion of Liz Phair

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you
It's inevitable... it's a fact that we're gonna get down to it
So tell me...
Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you


...the pureness of Karen Carpenter

Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down


...the attitude of Debbie Harry

One way or another, I'm gonna find ya'
I'm gonna get ya', get ya', get ya', get ya'
One way or another, I'm gonna win ya'
I'm gonna get ya', get ya' ,get ya', get ya'


... the sheer majesty of Pat Benatar

Well you're the real tough cookie with the long history
Of breaking little hearts, like the one in me
Before I put another notch in my lipstick case
You better make sure you put me in my place

In reality -- my voice is nowhere near the caliber of a Benatar or Mama Cass or the divine Karen Carpenter. (Hey now! I can actually carry a tune pretty well. I’ll sing something for you sometime to prove it... just ask me.) But here, in this fantastical context, I can sound like any one I damn well please.

So why in the world have I been sporting this fantasy for so damn long -- even now, into my Woman of a Certain Age years?

Maybe it’s because it’s something radically different for me -- from the way I’ve lived my life and am living my life.

Maybe it’s because this image of myself as a Rock Chick brings to the surface elements of who I want to be. And who I am, somewhere deep within.

Maybe it’s because even in fantasy, the rush of such an experience is exhilerating, heady, seductive. Hot.

It’s rather nice to know that the girl who sang into her hairbrush, harmonizing with Tom Petty on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” is still around. A little older, a bit wiser -- but still finding the rhythm around her intoxicating and infectious.

I’ll likely never make it on stage with a live band. Closest I’ll get will probably be a drunken night of karaoke. But you damn well better bet that although I’ll be crooning into a mike in front of some more-than-slightly intoxicated friends -- in my mind, it’s CBGBs, baby. Standing room only. And I’m the featured attraction.

Music is the traveler crossing our world
Meeting so many people bridging the seas
I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band.
We're just the singers in a rock and roll band.
I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band...

~ The Moody Blues


Why, it's Clark! said...

You should come over to the Proud Lion Pub in Tampa on Thursdays for karaoke! I know for a fact they have "I Hate Myself..."

Lilacspecs said...

I used to date a guy who played guitar and djembe. He had a gig once a week playing drums in a little bar in Indiana, PA with a singer/guitarist/songwriter named Leslie Addis (she's amazing). I just hung out and helped break the set down at 2 in the am, but hell yeah I felt a teeny tiny bit like a rockstar (or at least a roadie) and it was fantastic. One of the best times of my life.

citizen jane said...

Clark, I might just have to do that one Thursday night... especially knowing that the oft elusive (at least in the karaoke joints I've been to) "I Hate Myself for Loving You."

And Lilacspecs, I totally get that. Once upon a time in another life, I did the same sort of thing for a small theatre company. Breaking down a set in the wee small hours is a very cool thing...

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I would be doing the Pat Benatar thing all the way! I used to be a CBGB's goer most every weekend. Back in the DAY.

Great post! And yes, great music choices. But where's Janis???!!!

citizen jane said...

While I like Janis -- and such a voice -- I had to go with Grace Slick. Don't know why, actually.

Maybe I need to amend this...

Luisa Perkins said...

So much goodness packed into a single post! Good times.

SusanD said...

So glad you mentioned Liz Phair. So underrated, as "Exile in Guyville" is still astounding.