A Woman Who Rocked

I always wanted to be a rock and roll star
like Joan Jett, Heart or Pat Benatar
looking kick-ass bad dressed in black leather
grinding my hips against my electric guitar
belting out songs of making things better
 
Yeah, I had dreams of being up on that stage
getting everyone stoked, totally engaged
voice smooth as silk but could scream down the house
wearing boots up to here with a lacy, sheer blouse
 
And have long, silky black hair that I could shake, whip and moan through..
 
I would have done gigs with Joplin, Slick, Harry and Sioux
loving all kinds of music, you couldn’t make me choose
punk, rock, R & B, alternative and even some pop
so much to groove to, including hip-hop
 
Women of music, I looked at with adulation
they were in a man’s world leading their own delegation
Breaking down barriers, advancing the way
empowering girls of life’s potential and sway
 
No nine to five for me..
I wanted to be a woman who rocked
 
Growing up during the counterculture revolution
it gave me a thrill to be a part of the transformation
Yeah, I wanted to be a rocker helping to lead the reform
but instead all I did was lend my support from the sides,
burning my bra, smoking a little weed and then joining an ashram

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart:  Photo Google Images

Workin’ For It…Stuart McPherson over at dVerse Poets invites us to expound on all things related to work:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/06/02/poetics-workin-for-it/#comments

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50 Comments

  1. Ah yes, I think a lot of young people in each generation dream of that fame of being up on stage ‘rockin.’ You captured the dream well.

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    • I’m sure there’s a lot of us out there with the same dream…it was such a time of drastic change..very exciting. Thanks, Mary.

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  2. burning my bra, smoking a little weed and then joining an ashram…haha…that’s not bad at all…smiles..it was a crazy time and a real revolution…think we should plan a rock night in the pub and get you on that stage…smiles

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    • Yeah…not quite initially what I had in mind…haha…but did bring about change in a very different way. Uh, up on a stage..by myself..with all of you looking…?

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  3. I enjoyed the idealism in this, then the dose of irony/sarcasm at the end. Your description of what the bands meant to you says a lot about how much pop culture defines our choices in life and the direction it can/cannot take. I’ve heard others talk about the role that women musicians played in extending the self-image of women. Perhaps, like all things, this is not as neatly a sociological fact as these commentators suggest. There are always good and bad effects of such phenomena, though I think the phenomenon is more about a life lived in terms of needs/wants, rather than morality.

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    • Yes, lots of different reasons for wanting to be a rock babe…some thoughts of glamour are in there, but too I loved the messages that these women were bringing to the forefront and much of that was just the empowerment of having the courage to live your authenticity. I didn’t much think of the possibility of going down in a haze of drugs..like so many have.

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  4. hedgewitch

     /  June 2, 2012

    Hey–that’s more than a lot of people did, and a lot more than a lot will admit to. ;_) Enjoyed this trip down the miles of aisles in music’s memory lane.

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    • Yeah, you’re right…I did ok in spite of not living out my dream of being a rock chick! Glad you enjoyed the trip…thanks.

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  5. I like the aspirations to be a rock star, but sadly, all we can do in the sidelines is scream and cheer as loud as we can ~ Nice take on the prompt ~

    http://a-sweetlust.blogspot.ca/2012/06/working-for-price.html

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    • Yes, especially if you have no singing talent whatsoever! Screaming I could do… Thanks for coming by, Grace.

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  6. I think when growing up we all wanted to be a star.. I would sing with hairbrush.. or skipping rope for a microphone.. you just jogged a few memories there.. 🙂 Hope ou are well Gayle.. Sending you a few Dreamwalker thoughts.. Loved the post Sue

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    • Just came back from one of your posts, Sue…enjoyed very much.

      I’m sure this is a common dream…to have that (seemingly) freewheeling life of a talented singer. Thanks for coming by and for the Dreamwalker thoughts…I caught them.. xoxo

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  7. I love music, but never wanted to get up on stage like that. Saw Heart in concert, though.

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    • Actually my shyness would have nipped that right in the bud…everyone..looking..at me?! I would have loved to have seen Heart in concert…one of my all time favorites.

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  8. poemsofhateandhope

     /  June 2, 2012

    Excellent poem- a great inside into the undiluted dreams of youth….however, just because we get older , doesn’t mean that these kind of dreams have to stop….in fact, one thing that frustrates me is that ‘tipping point’ where adult life suddenly becomes too important to entertain the magic of youth….and what a shame….because as people we can accomplish anything we want to. Loved seeing your thought process in this piece… And hell… Pat Benatar? Hell yes! Love is a battlefield!

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    • I know! When is that damn ‘tipping point’…I didn’t even notice it sneaking up on me. Thanks for a great and encouraging comment!

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  9. smiles…i lived that dream for just a little bit…never made it big but did cut a few demos…we were a metal band though so maybe a bit out of your genre…smiles….its got this kinda sexiness allure to it doesnt it…smiles…

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    • One of my brothers was in a band and did well locally..I would follow him around to some of his gigs…groupie sister. Definitely a sexy vibe to be in the music business…well, maybe not Barry Manilow…just sayin’. Actually I did/do love me some heavy metal… I really do love all kinds of music.

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  10. Haha… giggling at Claudia’s comment… smokinnnnnnn… Loved this!

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  11. I had a rockstar phase as well, and did hit the stage a bit… in the end I decided the life was hard, and there was so much talent and competition. And the hours! I still do songwriting, and let more talented rockers take the stage. Good writing – it brought back memories!

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    • I’m sure it’s a very difficult life..and yes, lots of competition but you were able to get a taste of it..I like that.. Thanks, Sam.

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  12. Yes, I agree with power and presence of the words being presented. I find much inspiration listening to music from that time. I loved the attitude. Nothing wrong with wanting to be that for the right reason. If you have skill use it for the good. I liked this a lot.

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    • So much incredible music from that time..still get inspired by it too. No, had no skill…just a fairy tale dream..

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  13. one of my secret dreams, too! {the other to be a go-go dancer in a cage.}

    love this, Gayle!

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    • Great! Oh, yeah…another secret dream of mine too..a go-go dancer in a cage…I had forgotten..funny. Thanks, Dani!

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  14. Hell, Yeah!!! 😉

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  15. a) i loved heart b) what a job to have c) you seem like you had your fun back then

    Sonnet 24

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    • Sigh..really was just a dream..but I did have fun in those days…lots of music, concerts..personal growth.

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  16. I think there was a time in each of our lives we wanted to be a rock star (country crooner for some of us rednecks). I can definitely relate. Good poem!

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  17. You are rockin’ now! I got pulled into the rhythm and lists of names and the sensuality of this piece. Thank you!

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  18. Hell YES! GIRL POWER! 😀 lol…I dyed my hair black at one point in high school and dressed like Joan Jett…loved Heart, too and remember Pat Benatar’s powerful voice. These are the kinds of female “role models” I looked up to, although, like you, I never considered the alcohol and drugs that ended some of the better women performers. The glamour of the lifestyle blinded me to the realities of it. Anyway, this was a fun read. 🙂

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    • Cool Corina..you were a wanna-be rocker like me! Music had a very powerful influence on me while growing up…thank goodness it was so prevalent in my life..a very positive gift.

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  19. Yeah, grrrrrl! I was a jazzer but still retained that rebellious rowdy streak in songs I wrote, like the one about stripper envy, The Caravan Lounge. I love Patti Smith, Heart… oh, and they are folkie but have ovaries of brass: Indigo Girls. You have the perfect look to carry off the Punk antics. And shortening Siouxie’s first name, rhyming “Sioux” with “choose,” divine! Great stuff, girl! Amy

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    • I like that rebellious, rowdy streak in you Amy…it’s beautiful to witness. My father loved jazz..all music really.. and he played his LPs all the time so I know of the standards of which you wrote recently. That music does transport you to a very cool era. Do love the Indigo Girls too (“ovaries of brass”..very funny)..more than ever there are amazing women artists out there. When my “fringe punk” (not full fledged) daughters were teenagers they kept me tuned into a lot of alternative and punk music which I loved. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Amy..thanks!

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  20. LOL! What fun this poem is. And I can definitely relate. While I did spend lots of my life on stage — it was the long hair kind of performance — symphony oboe. But to be a rock star? Great fantasy, and well done!

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    • Oh, thanks, Madeleine…glad you can relate. I think so many people have this fantasy don’t they. Love the sound of the oboe…would have loved to have seen you up on the stage playing…maybe you whipped your long hair around a little too. 🙂

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  21. Androgoth

     /  June 8, 2012

    You are a little renegade at heart gayle,
    burning your bra and smoking the weed 🙂
    Hey it’s never too late to follow a dream,
    hit the stage next and rock the night away,
    well in moderation of course 🙂 🙂

    Great posting Gayle 😉

    Androgoth XXx

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    • Yeah, I am a little renegade at heart…I don’t know why I chose a more sedate way of life..it makes no sense! 😉 I think it’s way too late to follow this dream…no one wants to see a middle-aged lady up on the stage trying to be a young chickie! And most importantly..I have no singing talent!! 🙂 Total wishful thinking on my part..back in my younger days.

      Thanks for your visit and encouragement…I sure appreciate it, Androgoth. xoxo

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      • Androgoth

         /  June 9, 2012

        How do you mean you have no singing talent? You can say that about seventy percent of the whole industry these days 🙂 Middle aged… I think that middle aged ladies have a lot more going for them than the young chickies, any day of the week 😉 🙂 Have a very sweet rest of evening Gayle and a cracking weekend also 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

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        • If you heard me, you wouldn’t be so indignant! 🙂 But I know what you’re saying…many singers today sound awful outside of the sound booth..where they’re able to “tidy” things up…right? Sort of like airbrushing for vocal chords..if you know what I mean. Thank you..you’re very sweet! Enjoy your weekend, Androgoth!

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  22. Love this, Gayle. We all have aspirations to something more…I know at least I did. I, too, wanted to sing and have but not to crowds of thousands. I admire women who, wether in a group or solo, put it out there in a man’s world. Now, it’s a good time, rocking out in my living room or my car when I’m driving down the road. Rock on!

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    • Thanks, Renee. I’m glad you could relate. It seems many of us can. But really, for me, looking up to those women was very empowering..plus I just loved the music back then. Like you…I can still rock on in the car or at home. The dream has been laid to rest..

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  23. Love These Dreams by Heart. Invincible by Pat Benatar. I think it was the guy from Kiss, Gene Simmons, that called some of today’s artists karaoke singers. Watched an interview with Kelly Clarkson where she mentioned how the studio used to “airbrush” her music. That is, adding and “perfecting” her voice. That’s not real music. Different from something’s that live, unless of course it’s lip-synching.

    But one thing that has bothered me with certain females in the entertainment industry is how they go about to get attention. Music or your acting should speak for itself, not some attention getting antic or the way you dress. The playing field’s still not level, and sometimes they just add to it being that way.

    http://womanwritetwo.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/and-two-breasts/

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    • Well you enjoyed a lot of the same music that I did back in the day. No, it’s not real music when your voice is electronically altered…what the heck’s going on with our world?! Soon nothing will be as it appears… The attention getting bit is managed for female artists too..the look is part of the whole package..for male artists too for that matter. I’m sure some feel uncomfortable with the pressure to present themselves in a certain light..i.e. flaunting sexuality.

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  24. That’s quite a picture you’ve painted here. Appreciate the sentiment. Think it is one many of us shared … but we did our bit in our own way, didn’t we?

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