Archive for March, 2008


Welcome to Girls Like Us The Blog!

March 22, 2008


 I wrote GIRLS LIKE US: CAROLE KING, JONI MITCHELL, CARLY SIMON — AND THE JOURNEY OF A GENERATION to not only explore these three remarkable singer-songwriters’ lives and work, but also to tell the rich, vivid story of their generation (my generation) of American women. When I’ve talked about this book — and its subjects, the comments I’ve gotten have, gratifyingly, told me I’ve — as several women have said — “hit a nerve.” A next blog will be devoted to the women of the generation (yay, team!) — and, after that, we’ll have many more topics (including my conversations with great guest-writers: I have a lot of talented friends), but this one is devoted to how important, in so many ways, these three women have been to so many.  How to count the ways? Well, for starters…  * A writer in her thirties said , “I absolutely worshipped Carole King in grade school and Joni Mitchell in high school. “ * A yoga teacher in her mid-40s said, I listened to lots of Carly Simon records when I was a kid.  She looked so cool, lanky and sexy on her covers — like someone I’d never run into in the suburbs of [my Midwestern city] When I was a freshman…and for some reason I cheated on an exam. — just couldn’t resist looking over the shoulder of one of my smarty pants classmates and copying down her answers.  Now, I think it was mostly a cry for attention.  I felt awful about it and really liked the teacher. He seemed approachable so I decided to confess and see how that
went.  At the time I was listening a lot to Simon’s `Boys in the Trees’
album and really liked the song “In a Small Moment”. The idea that it starts
with a small lie and then another and then another and that’s how it gets
out of hand.  I didn’t want to be one of those people.  So I packaged up a
note and recording of that song as an explanation and apology for my actions and dropped it off in his office.  I got the reaction I wanted.  He became curious about me and I knew that I’d never do it again.  And I didn’t.”
 * A psychotherapist of 62 said, “Joni Mitchell’s `Ladies of the Canyon’ got me through my first divorce.” * The head of a major 9/11 victims’ consortium fund — a woman in her 50s — said, “I loved Carole King — people told me when I played the piano I sounded like her.” * Countless women have said that Joni’s Blue “saved my life.” * A fact checker in Manhattan said: My older was always playing the piano when we were growing up….One of my best memories is sitting with her at the piano and singing songs together.  We’d sing lots of show tunes which my father loved and then she’d get the Carole King songbook out.  Carole’s songs were so singable and made you feel good when you sang them.  `Where You Lead,’ `Natural Woman,’ everything from Tapestry. I also felt very hip singing this with my sister.  When my sister turned 50 a few years ago I didn’t know what to get her for her birthday, but then I knew that I had to get her the Carole King songbook.  * A 44-year-old international women’s foundation worker in Berkeley said: “That picture of Carly on the cover of `No Secrets!’ — when I was in junior high and saw that, my friends and I thought we all wanted to look like her!” They’ve all looked behind, from where we came. Come on — you do, too! Go back through the rich and royal-hued tapestry of your life and, in comments to this blog, share your stories of how important these women, and their songs, were to you. After all: This blog, like this song, is about you! Cheers, Sheila 


In Bookstores April 8th!

March 17, 2008

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation

Girls Like Us jacket cover