I’m All I Wanna Be

This Sunday I went to a screening with my sister of a film that was part of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. If you’re a fan of female-fronted rock music, you should be able to recognise the song lyrics that the title of this post is taken from. And this film is one I would definitely recommend going to see if you are a fan of any alternative music of the early 90’s.

The film I saw was called Hit So Hard. It’s a documentary about the life (and almost death) of Patty Schemel, drummer EXTRAORDINNAIRE of Hole who happen to be, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest female-fronted (and largely female made-up) bands of the 90s. Yes, seeing this documentary last night has made me go on a massive Hole binge. Yes, I have been listening to it very loud. Yes, I have also listened to a hell of a lot of other music that falls under the Riot Grrl, grunge and alternative umbrella. And yes, they have all been largely female-fronted artists and bands.

But anyway, back to my actual blog post. So, I saw the film with my sister, who is a huge Hole fan and the reason I first started listening to them at an age where I didn’t really understand what the lyrics were about and didn’t know what a Riot Grrl was (although there so should have been some kind of doll for young girls like me, I would have LOVED IT!). My sister has had such a massive influence on my musical tastes and as an older sister, (there is 17 years between us, and 16 between my brother and I), she has been a great influence on me as a woman. She also made me some of the most awesome mixtapes EVER including PJ Harvey, Babes in Toyland, Hole, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana and a whole load of other artists that helped to shape my “cool alternative girl” status when I was on my final year of high school and who I could then say I knew of since the early 90’s (even though I was only born in ’86, I had a serious musical education by the time I was 6). I’m eternally grateful for the siblings I have. Both of them have provided me with love and affection and have educated me in ways that parents never could. But watching the documentary brought back a lot of sadness that I and my family have dealt with. I’m not going to go into detail but watching a person’s struggle with addiction and the consequences that comes with it is something very close to me. And with the film showing a large part of how the entire band really struggled with addiction of one form or another, I felt a strong emational attachment to it (yes, Kurt Cobain features in it as does Kristen Pfaff).

But Patty Schemel is more than just a recovering addict. She’s one of the most awe-inspiring women I have come across. And you really need to watch the film to understand this statement. I’m not glorifying her drug and alcohol abuse, or the other things she did in her life that are far from brilliant or nice, but she without those experiences I don’t think she would be one of those people who, after last night, I can truly say I am in awe of and have the utmost respect for. She is a lesbian too which only adds to her awesomeness. And so when the emcee asked her to come on-stage last night, I can tell you that EVERY person in the audience (which wasn’t even sold out!!!) gave her a round of applause that lasted for a long time. Yes, I was in the same room as this awesome woman. I didn’t speak to her or get my photo taken with her or even ask her a question in the Q&A afterwards, but seeing her standing there after watching everything she has gone through in her life and how humble she is about it was amazing.

(LOOK AT ALL THE EMPTY SEATS!!) (This is my image as well, so please credit it if you ever use it. Ta.)

This blog post is actually a little bit all over the place, but my main point is that without the super awesome females in my life like my sister, Patty Schemel and others, I would not be the woman I am today. These women give us the building blocks as young girls to say “I don’t care that I’m a girl, I CAN do everything that a boy can and you know what? I’m going to do it better than they ever could!” So thanks sister! You’re awesome and always will be. And I’m glad that we could share in last night together.

Sisterlove always, Rachel!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(And Ladylove to everyone else xxx)


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