18 August 2014

GRL Talk Book Riff

GRL Talk:  231 Memorable Quotes From ROCKRGRL Magazine
Carla DeSantis Black
Rockrgrl Publishing, 2013 

It’s not easy being a female musician in a male dominated music industry.

When the Gloria Steinem of rock, Carla DeSantis Black (pictured right), founded ROCKRGRL Magazine in 1994, she intentionally set out to “level the playing field for women” and offer a remedy for the blatant sexism she found in every music magazine on the newsstands.   

What began as a black and white photocopy shop special evolved into a full-color, bi-monthly industry bible of sorts that featured interviews with well-known artists like Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

ROCKRGRL was also famous for its gear write-ups and for profiling unsung sheroes like Lady Bo, a Bo Diddley guitarist whom I covered for the final issue. 
The magazine folded in 2005, but in 2013 Black created another important resource for women in the industry.  The limited edition book, GRL Talk: 231 Memorable Quotes From ROCKRGRL Magazine, has a cool CD jewel case cover design and holds 122 pages of quotes set in six different sections.  

It qualifies as a rock and roll keepsake book, but you can also use it as the ROCKRGRL version of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to keep you inspired.  Start with the “Sound Advice” section and read what Ann Wilson has to say about performing.  Maybe it will give you a better understanding of what it means to be a true artist.      

Or, you can go straight to the “The Last Word” the Kickstarter contributors’ section, and meditate on Nancy Wilson’s “RAWK” declaration.   From there, maybe you want to jump back to the “Inspiration” section where Joan Jett talks about the importance of connecting with the audience and Chrissie Hynde comments on the psychology of personal identity. 

Once you’ve filled your muse bag for the day, do what Black suggests in the introduction.  Keep the book in your guitar case and take it with you on road trips.  Refer to it when you need an extra boost to get you through yet another janky promoter’s miscounting of funds (our suggestion). 

Laugh with it, cry with it and don’t forget to do the most important thing:  pass it on to the teenaged girl down the block who just purchased her first Daisy Rock guitar. 

A little inspiration goes a long way.

 Rating:  4 out of 5 guitars

Book launch date: 13 February 2013
Foreword by Gillian G. Gaar author of She’s A Rebel
Book cover photo:  Brett Anderson of The Donnas and
author photo courtesy of Carla DeSantis Black 

Blog Background image provided by the National Guitar Museum, home of one of 
the most successful touring exhibits in the country. 

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