4 Grandmothers Who Still Rock
It’s no news to anyone that gender inequalities abound in both rock music and the journalism that covers it. A recent article from NME entitled “25 Grandparents Who Still Rock” only had three women on its list, so I thought it appropriate to dig up some more grandmothers who still write, record, perform and generally kick musical ass.
Here are my additions to Joni Mitchell, Neneh Cherry, and Tina Turner, who appeared on NME’s list.
Anyone who supports Yoko Ono for anything can generally count on being harassed for it, but a woman who can still arouse such contention at age 80 (check the comments on the YouTube video below) is punk rock to the core in my book. While her own work was never really able to come out of the shadow of Lennon and the blame placed on her for breaking up the Beatles (I understand blame is one of the stages of grief, but come on guys, it was not a one-woman job), Ono’s bizarre avant-garde was a big influence on female punks like Siouxie Sioux. Ono has collaborated musically with artists as diverse as John Cage, Sonic Youth, and Elvis Costello, in addition to Lennon.
Ono released an album called Take Me to the Land of Hell with the Plastic Ono Band earlier this fall that was produced by son Sean Lennon and featured an array of famous guests. Pitchfork said of the album that Ono “barely sounds out of her Twenties” and that her characteristic wail “ache[s] as hard as the spread of a dull blue bruise.” Yoko is a grandmother of two.