As I promised Gracie a while back, the whole issue of women & music has been chafing my ass a lot lately.
I’ve been a musichead all my life. I love music, I love bands, I love seeing live shows. I’ve been to more concerts than I can count; the list I kept when I was a teenager blows even my mind, these days, as I rarely get out to see a show anymore (since Betty isn’t big on concerts, sadly).
Moreso, I love aggro rock, & always have. I’m a punk at heart, and while I have my love of New Wave and Caberet, there’s nothing like a good garage band as far as I’m concerned. Loud, out of tune, I don’t care. Just bring it on, and with major cock attitude, too.
So I watched when Betty found a “100 Best Hard Rock Bands” show in VH-1 the other day, because I was curious about how they’d mix metal and grunge and punk and glam. I’ve never been a metalhead but I’ve had friends who are, but grunge and punk and glam – well, HELL YES.
What puzzled me not at all was that Carmen Electra was the host, even though that doesn’t make any sense at all, since she’s famous, of course, for being one of Prince’s finds, and has otherwise become a professional Pretty Face. What was weirder is that all the voiceovers – you know, the smart bits about the bands – were done by a guy. I’m sure she has talent, I just don’t know what in. Anyway, she was wearing a leather minidress and reading blandly from the teleprompter – there’s nothing quite as ridiculous as someone delivering the phrase “Rock On!” with no passion whatsoever – and I got more and more aggravated by her presence.
Because they were interviewing people like Lita Ford and Penelope Spheeris (director of the Decline of Western Civilization movies, amongst other things; in other words, a woman with real rock n roll bona fides). I couldn’t understand why Carmen as host, when there’s all these cool rock women around, and then it hit me: oh, Carmen is there for the audience. You know, the guys who like rock. You know, cause it’s only guys who like rock. You know, cause women like me don’t exist. Neither does the woman I met in St. Louis who told me every cigarette she couldn’t have caused her to turn up her Black Sabbath that much louder on her headphones.
Women in music are scantily-clad Rolling Stone covers (please notice the paucity of women on the covers, & the paucity of their clothes when they are), pretty girls in leather minidresses that can’t deliver a “Rock on!” with any conviction whatsoever. They’re the ones who sleep with the bands, with the roadies. They don’t actually know anything about music; they’re only in it for the boys.
Anyway, Carmen Electra tires me. It’s not her fault. It’s a million years of rock & roll history. No matter how many Jordans, or Poly Styrenes, or Chrissie Hyndes or Wendy O. Williamses or Joan Jetts, aggro rock will always be the domain of the boys. And you know, FUCK THAT.