Hey, Ho! Let’s Go! The New Girl Rock’N’Roll Underground
On the west coast, in Los Angeles, instead of playing at the camp, we held an event at a bookstore in Echo Park called Stories in an area that looked like a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. A band called Cool Moms headed by Alison Wolfe (formerly of the band Bratmobile) who volunteers at the Rock’N’Roll Camp For Girls Los Angeles Rock joined us. Cool Moms brought the camp to us sharing real girl rock power onstage. Exene Cervenka read an excerpt from my book and sang some songs and everyone was not only impressed by her presence onstage but off stage in support of all involved. Many female rock stars like Exene, Joan Jett and Patty Schemel have been involved in the rock camps throughout the country and not only donate their time and support, but money, to help these camps flourish.
Patty Schemel, drummer from Hole, and subject of the movie Hit So Hard: The Life And Near Death Story Of Patty Schemel, spoke to me about why she got involved in the camps.
A friend of mine who knew about the camp asked me to be a part of it and, of course, I accepted. It has been so great to be a part of empowering young women and being a drum instructor. We not only teach girls how to play an instrument and form a band but give them support and encouragement to try new things. We teach them to communicate with each other in a positive way. It’s been amazing to see the transformation when a girl uses a drumbeat I’ve shown her earlier in the day during drum instruction on a song that she is writing with her new band. That moment that she takes the idea and creates a song with it. To see the excitement of the girls after they play their showcase, after they get off stage, is priceless.
On tour we also met women like October Crifasi who started a guitar schools that allow girls to go further with their pursuit in learning the guitar beyond the basic instruction. October shared with me why she started Girls Guitar School:
I mentored for other guitar programs but they always decided in the end that creating a new arm to their existing school just for girls and women was not something they had time or resources to commit to. When I lamented this to a few parents of my private students, several told me they agreed with my vision. They wanted me to start an ensemble program for their daughters based on my research and proposed curriculums. Voila. Girls Guitar School was born.