Thus, the history of rock would be a male affair. Concerts boosted with testosterone, music that doesn't fit well in pants that are too tight, the destinies of meteoric heroes. Women would only be muses with enamored eyes, secret icons, or manipulative muses.


It is true that to break the lock on the door of rock (and prevent it from being closed again), the pioneers had to dare, and smash the image in which we wanted to confine them.

(Not all of them succeeded, “man power” discouraged some who had to take other artistic routes too early, more authorized by the musical establishment). And let's recognize that from Janis Joplin to Patti Smith, from Nico to Nina Hagen, they didn't go there with the back of the guitar.

They and the others have finally given themselves the right "to be men like the others", the right to be what they were, right down to their excesses and their musical genius, to transgender games and to the trance.


It was thanks to his My Rock (created in 2005) around Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan... that Jean-Claude Gallotta met these pioneers of rock, these fighters, sometimes these warriors. He also placed two of them among the male sequences of his first opus: Patti Smith and P.J. Harvey.



The first singer to loosen the macho vice was Wanda Jackson, in the 1950s, where she rose to the level of Elvis Presley. Some of this generation have managed to break through the “glass ceiling”, the glass ceiling that prevented women from gaining the notoriety that was their due: Aretha Franklin, “the queen of soul”; Janis Joplin, who will know the curse of the rockers by dying at the age of 27 two weeks after Jimi Hendrix and nine months before Jim Morrisson; Joan Baez, committed and tenacious, whose pure voice has accompanied all the great pacifist struggles of the half-century; Brenda Lee, child rock prodigy, nicknamed “Little Miss Dynamite”; Marianne Faithfull, the sulphurous icon at the time of the Rolling Stones who, having survived the decades, has today reached the dimension of a myth; Patti Smith, singer and poetess, loving and provocative, literary and mystical; Nina Hagen, whose post-punk excesses should not overshadow her exceptional vocal contribution; Siouxsie and the Banshees, considered the inventors of gothic rock; finally, Tina Turner, the panther, the fiamboyante, much more than a superstar, a symbol of courage and rage.


Rarer, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Parisian punk, muse of the New York scene, meteor disappeared in 2004; Karen Dalton, Bob Dylan's favorite singer, between Billie Holiday for vocals and Jimmy Reed for guitar; Nico, singer of the Velvet Underground in her early days, marginal and eccentric, with a chanting voice, nihilistic to the point of self-destruction.


So, a men's rock and a women's rock? No, because the whole history of rock is marked by androgyny, that is to say by this desperate quest for the union of the masculine and the feminine. Mick Jagger, Patti Smith, David Bowie, P.J. Harvey, Lou Reed, Nico... and others were its heralds by blowing up the tight gendered corset in which the bodies suffocated before the arrival of the Rock. My Ladies Rock will therefore tell the same story as My Rock, opening onto the same musical and cultural landscape, but seen from the opposite side, from the window which overlooks the female side, less exposed to the sun of glory but just as fertile, perhaps even more exciting since today it joins the fight far from over for the cause of women. B.C.




( Let's Have A) Party — Wanda Jackson (Jessie Mae Robinson) © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd > I'm sorry — Brenda Lee ( Dub Albritton)


- Ronnie Self) ©Universal Music Publishing > Sister morphine— Marianne Faithfull (Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger) © ABKCO Music, Inc. and Westminster Music Ltd. Courtesy of Emi Music Publishing > Christine—Siouxsie and the Banshees > (Susan Janet Ballion / Steven John Bailey)©Chrysalide Music Ldt, Dreamhouse Music, Domino Publishing. Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France) > Baby i love you—Aretha Franklin (Ellie Greenwich / Jeff Barry / Phil Spector) © Mother Bertha Music Inc / Abko Music Inc. Courtesy of Emi Music Publishing > My Funny Valentine


— Nico (Hart Lorenz / Richard Rodgers) ©Warner Chappell Music France One for a soul— Lizzy Mercier Descloux (Lizzy Mercier Descloux) ©Ze Records > Love Among the sailors — Laurie Anderson (Laurie Anderson) ©Dificult Music. Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing France > Me and Bobby Mc Gee —Janis Joplin (Fred L Foster / Kris Kristofferson) © Combine Music Corp. Courtesy of Emi Music Publishing >Swing Low Sweet Chariot —Joan Baez (Joan Baez) ©Budde M