Oh, the leather

Posted my From the Vault post over at Sami’s Scribbles, a great old Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman duet called Stumblin’ In. I used to looooooove Suzi Quatro, matter of fact I still do. She looks mighty good for her age and is still rockin’ out. But that early stuff? Absolutely blissful. 48 Crash, She’s in Love with You, The Wild One, they were excellent songs. Pop songs, basically, not all that much different than other pop songs. So what was it about these particular song I loved so much?

I realised the difference was attitude. I loved Suzi’s attitude. As a young girl whose main other choices of music lyric often revolved around men who treated their women badly and the women who couldn’t live without them, I can’t tell you what it meant to hear Suzi scream out ‘I’m a red hot fox I can take the knocks’ or ‘if you can’t give me feelings with old fashioned meaning then just stay in love with yourself’ . And the leather… drool. I wanted a leather jumpsuit so bad I nearly ached. But alas, this was never forthcoming.

I believe in the power of subliminal influence. I believe children absorb what’s going on around them, the hidden messages they receive from advertising, television and music, long before they can ever comprehend the meaning of it all. It has an impact, for better or for worse, one that all the lecturing from parents or school teachers can’t shake. This is why it distresses me whenever I hear a modern song with a woman singing about being beaten down by a man she can’t help but love anyway or how she uses her body to get what she wants because this is suddenly supposed to be the definition of feminine power. Our femininity is powerful, yes. But misused it is a detriment to our collective sense of self; a denial of the truth that we are more than our bodies, more than our looks or our age.

There were so many female musicians who taught me lessons I still carry with me today, that helped make me what I am (I guess you might call that a woman with attitude :)). Aside from Suzi there was Joan Jett, the epitome of cool ‘80s rock. Cyndi Lauper, who showed it was possible to be totally, wackily different and still be a success. Madonna, who taught me about sexual identity and what it means to have one, irrespective of whether there was a significant other in your life. I love these women for what they gave me. My attitude.

So what about you? Anyone to add to this list?

Have a great weekend,

Sami

(stepping off soap box now)