Monday, April 21, 2008

Musical Girls Gone Grandmas

Interesting review this weekend by Janet Maslin in the NYTimes of a book called Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation ,
by Sheila Weller. Maslin calls it "a strong amalgam of nostalgia, feminist history, astute insight, beautiful music and irresistible gossip about the common factors in the three women’s lives." Most interesting to me of course:
[I]t also has a point to make about sexual inequality in the era when these three women came of age. The ambition and posturing that turned middle-class Robert Zimmerman of Minnesota into Bob Dylan, Ms. Weller argues, were much more costly for women, no matter how freewheeling those women seemed. This book illustrates how Ms. Mitchell’s long-held secret about the baby she gave up for adoption was infinitely more punishing than the rambling, gambling male singer-songwriter’s stock way of paying his dues.
And most amusing:
There is something irritating about the very premise of “Girls Like Us,” Sheila Weller’s three-headed biography of legendary singer-songwriters. Maybe it’s the instant-girlfriend tone of the title. Maybe it’s that at least one of Ms. Weller’s subjects, Joni Mitchell, objected to being lumped into the same book with the other two, Carole King and Carly Simon. Or maybe it’s the euphemism. Her book is about women whose musical careers took off in the 1960s, and all are now in their 60s. They aren’t girls. They’re grandmas.
Go grandmas :)