Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

Stuck Rolling Phone


(my first blog post ever.  written in response to Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Artists of All Time issue with no women on the cover)

Stuck Rolling Phone

I wanna see mick jagger in a tight red sequined dress

shaking his narrow ass

singing about life under his girlfriend’s thumb

I wanna see Bob Dylan in a blonde wig and full makeup

get respected as a genius

while not allowed to write a single lyric

singing trite romantic rhymes like




I wanna see Paul McCartney figure out how to get to his Fab Four rehearsals

while he does all the childcare

since            of course    Linda’s career comes first

Please understand

I never planned to be filled with ranting feminist fatasies about the music industry

thought I was just going grocery shopping

saturday morning     10:45

working mom rushing to the checkstand

left the baby and my partner

gotta get one more item

where’s the organic shortening?  No not Crisco    Damn.

out of stock

rushing back to them when

I get arrested by bright red

Rolling Stone cover

100 top musicians of all time

laid out lightweight brady bunch style

three rows/eight photos

every single artist on cover a man

every sullen brooding rock face

every smiling pop face

every neck an adam’s apple

every upper lip mustached/shadow/shaven

every one





I pull out camera phone

to document this mockery

snap photo of cover

snap another of my female face scowling beside

bright red outrage

two rows of masculine musicians

before I rush back to screaming

toddler and stressed partner

I slam dried mango and organic onions

into recycled bags

wish I had bought the shortening

any lubricant

cause women are always getting screwed by the music business

we get it rough   whether we like it like that

or not

so to Rolling Stone

I say

you can’t find one woman to rep for 100 best?

ready to flash a redheaded Rhianna’s cleavage

or Lady Gaga’s bubble covered ass

but no question of estrogen when questing for excellence

like they say about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

he got the props as a dancer

while she did everything he did

only backwards and in high heels

the truth is

you can’t measure men’s and women’s musical careers

by the same yardstick

because the elevation of women in the music industry gets restricted to

tall hair/spike stiletto heels/and push-up bras

only when Michael Jackson sings


billie jean was my lover

the kid is my son

and I’ll be quitting music for the next ten years to raise him

only when James Brown sings

it’s a woman’s woman’s woman’s world

only when masses of teen boys giggle in the music store

crushed out on Ani DiFranco

only when the butches get as much play as the femmes

only when the estate of Elvis Presley pays the Estate of Big Mama Thornton for stealing Hound Dog

when the industry makes reparation for chewing up Lauryn Hill

when managers and producers acknowledge

they should have sent Amy Winehouse to rehab

instead of just making a mint off her singing about not going

only when we invent a time machine to go back

and give Julliard genius Nina Simone the career she deserved

will I be fully satisfied

if I had a sword right now

I would bow before queen of soul Aretha Franklin on one knee

ask her to knight me

so I could rage into battle to defend her honor

Her regal face should have graced the cover

Among the other music royalty

Rolling Stone, how dare you desert the queen

And I would storm the doors of Rolling Stone

in armor made by the albums of my top 100 women musicians:

Annie Lennox/India.Arie/Billie Holiday/La Lupe/Anna de Leon/Erykah Badu/Sheila E/Zap Mama/Queen Latifah/Angelique Kidjo …

Who’s missing?  Who’s missing.  I know somebody’s missing from my list because I’m writing this at 4:11 AM, the hour when working mothers find time to write…

I’d rock Meshell Ndegeocello/Des’Re/Bonnie Raitt/Joan Armatrading/Chaka Kahn/Violeta Parra/Coco Peila…

picture the glint off my breastplate of cds

vinyl around my hips

cassettes and 8-tracks clanking below the knee

big ass speakers on my back

an iPod in each hand blasting my way in


Find out what it means to me!

armored with Brenda Russel/Bessie Smith/Imani Uzuri/Sade/Deva Mahal/La India/MC Lyte…

F*** rolling stone.  They’ve proven themselves unequal to the task of picking the best.

Who’s on your list?


One comment on “Stuck Rolling Phone

  1. SBBoston
    April 2, 2013

    May I suggest an angry Skin from Skunk Anansie, especially their early incarnation? She’d go straight for the troath

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 25, 2011 by in Uncategorized.


Upcoming Appearances

No upcoming events

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,802 other subscribers

Aya wins first place Independent Publisher Awards for UPTOWN THIEF, THE BOSS, THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS

%d bloggers like this: