November 16, 2020

Tanya Pearson: Women of Rock Oral History Project

Please Kill Me has a lengthy interview with Tanya Pearson, director of the Women of Rock Oral History Project @ Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She i s working on a book and a documentary:

I think it’s still really hard for women to achieve any kind of historical longevity because their stories don’t fall into that stupid ‘sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll’ narrative, which to me is really tired and boring and it’s not accurate.

I’ve learned a lot about myself. As someone who was a really depressed, drug addict with no self-esteem, I just didn’t think I could really do anything. But I feel very capable. People ask me all the time, “How do I start a project, what do I need to do?” It sounds really dumb, but anyone can do it. If there are other women who want to start a project like this, I’ll help you. It just takes a while to work, but the more the merrier. I wish we could saturate the internet, saturate Netflix with stories of women, stories of female-fronted bands, stories of queer women in music. That’s my dream.

When women do stuff, there’s still this weird culture of competition. That doesn’t exist for men. … I mean, how many men have written books about Bob Dylan? Do we need another Bob Dylan biographer? And all of those guys aren’t fighting each other because they want to be the singular Bob Dylan biographer. It’s dumb. People pit women against each other for no reason when we could really be helping each other. It’s fucking stupid. It drives me insane.


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