BY KELSEY BRANNAN
After entering D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) to view the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibition, I encountered Lady Gaga’s childhood piano (1966)—the same piano that enabled her to rock and queer the minds of music lovers around the world. But she did not create this vision of change on her own. It was built by the foremothers of rock: Ma Rainey (1920s blues), Wanda Jackson (1950s rockabilly queen), The Supremes (1960s girl group), Tina Turner and Cher (’60s), Patti Smith (’70s), and Madonna (’80s), to name few. And, some of these trailblazers are still recording and touring today.
The display of the changing ways of female rock is massive, and NMWA organized the exhibition into eight eras: (1) Suffragettes to Juke-Joint Mamas: The Foremothers/Roots of Rock; (2) Get Outta That Kitchen, Rattle Those Pots and Pans: Rock and Roll Emerges; (3) Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Early 1960s/Girl Groups; (4) Revolution, the Counterculture, and the Pill: The Late 1960s; (5) I Will Survive: The 1970s—Rockers to Disco Divas; (6) Dance This Mess Around: Punk and Post Punk; (7) Causing a Commotion: Madonna and the Pop Explosion; and (8) Ladies First: The ’90s and the New Millennium.
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Tagg Magazine is a print and online resource for LBT women in the DC Metropolitan and Rehoboth, DE areas.