A couple of weeks ago (‘kay, maybe a month and a half, but who’s counting?) my dear friend Monica said to me (I’m paraphrasing), “You’ve warped (shaped) my daughters… Erin is a Doctor Who convert and Emily keeps stopping me on hard rock songs.”

A.) I didn’t do nuttin’.

B.) All three of Monica’s children are individuals of amazing taste and refinement.

C.) Emily– metal and hard rock needs more WOMEN!!!  Here’s hoping you are one of the select few.– Get your neck muscles ready.  Head banging LOOKS easy- but it’s not for the faint of heart– or those who lack of muscles.

Grasshopper…I’m happy to give you a lesson.

Metal is a strong genre that requires strong women, as math and science are CRYING out for the feminine.  This is a universe of ying AND yang.  How far do you REALLY think we can go without the female take on ANY of the sciences… OR metal???

The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Okay, so, we’re dividing this into TWO groups- those you may stop your mom as she is flipping through classic rock stations and those that you might find on YouTube or “That Metal Show.”  The newer stuff is a little more obscure, what with this inexplicable love of hip-hop. (Gag.)

This isn’t going to be your typical Heavy Metal/Hard Rock top ten.  Any idiot can Google that.  No, this is mine.  Music is subjective… a million people can listen to the greats and you’ll get a million top ten lists.

As God intended.

But, I can put forth the classics as I see them…

In no particular order (NOT ranked), here are five can’t lose rock faves:

1.)  Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love by Van Halen 1978, The Van Halen Album  While many of my favorite bands are British, you can NOT look at the American scene and not acknowledge what the Flying Van Halen Brothers and their extraordinary front man, Diamond Dave, brought to the Rock Table.  The album cover says it all.  Hot rock… to be reckoned with.




2.)  Promises In The Dark by Pat Benatar… yes, Emily, women DO rock. Step up, bang your head and represent.  Listen to this chick SING.



Benatar Rocks

Benatar Rocks

3.) Greatest concept album EVER… yep, The Wall, Tommy, whatever, looking at you.  In 1988 Queenryche released Operation Mindcrime and blew our collective minds.  Here’s Eyes of a Stranger… see Nicky bleed. You’ll  bleed with him and for poor lost Sister Mary.


Operation Mindcrime

Operation Mindcrime


4.)  Because I’m huge on girl power this one moves from the Honorable Mention Slot to the big leagues.  Go Joan Jett with her 1982 hit, Do You Wanna Touch from the album Bad Reputation.  If you don’t love the guitar riff here… not sure I can help you.


Joan Jett- Women rock!

Joan Jett- Women rock!

5.)  Now, I have a ton of songs I WANT to include… do I go for the lesson?… Or go with the heart. Duh- this is ROCK- heart ALWAYS wins.

The song that broke me into metal, the song that changed everything.  Yep, you know it… Scorpions No One Like You.  Just sit back, listen to the guitar soar and know that metal lives, breathes, has a soul, and always and will always… ROCK… as should you!


Scorpions- always rocked, always wil

Scorpions- always rocked, always will

Heck, I liked it so much I married someone who looks an awful lot like Matthias Jabs- less hair of course 🙂 Sing it, Klaus… play it, Rudolph.  Everyone… head bang, one, two, three and repeat.  I should teach a class.

Honorable Mentions- Songs that rock… but, hey, I couldn’t pick them all:

Knocking At Your Back Door, Deep Purple’s Blackmore plays Jaws, only way better.

The Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin

Forever, Y & T

– Last in Line, Dio

Okay, our second half… class, please stand, stretch, neck roll… everyone ready???  Here’s more music of hard rock and metal, but of TODAY.  Did I mention neck roll??? Because, it’s very important.  In the heat of the moment one may not feel the strain on the neck and shoulder muscles, but believe me, you will the following day.

Emily, I hope and pray that you will be a metal chick.  Not a date the guitar player chick.  No, metal needs, as does the whole world, a strong confident woman who knows herself and what she wants.  We need women with goals.  Never underestimate the impact of one woman– a woman with passion.  Empires have toppled and will topple again.

Follow your bliss… and rock one… always rock on.

Stretching done? And onward we surge…

Again, in no particular ranking, here are some of my favorites from recent years.  Feel free to head bang along.  Share them with the kids…

1.)  Classical bombast, epic themes, lush keyboards?  Oh, honey, Nemo has it all and tragic scope to cap it all off.  Gorgeous, beautiful, ridiculously lovely music, this is beyond metal.  It is simply fantastic!


"Nemo" by Nightwish

“Nemo” by Nightwish


2.)  Sort of cheating as far as “new”… lead singer Glenn Hughes is referred to as “The Voice of Metal” as he has appeared on Whitesnake and Deep Purple albums, among others.  He certainly has the pipes to back up that kind of fanfare.  Still, these rock legends, including members of Dream Theater, Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Bonham and Black Sabbath, are making NEW music, not playing the golden oldies and THAT needs to be applauded.  Besides, Jason Bonham is just three years older than me and has done an admirable job cleaning up his act while continuing to rock– and I dig that, too.





3.) Ah, Emily, baby girl… I struggled with this one.  I knew it had to to be Iron Maiden.  Yet, which song to choose?  The Trooper would have fit in the classics category.  I considered The Rencarnation of Benjamin Breeg from the A Matter of Life and Death Album of 2006.  I considered a dozen others.  The thing is, Maiden is a still a vibrant, creative force.  They are NOT done.  New music exudes their creative space.  Their latest album The Final Frontier was anything but Final, proving Maiden’s relevance even today.  I cannot wait to see what they do next.

Until then… let’s go with Brave New World….


Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden


4.)  It’s a video game age, and thus, I give you a video game band.  But, do not sell them short, Dragonforce is as powerful as their name.  Their music flies far beyond Guitar Hero and deserves to be heard, deserves to be loved.  They used Guitar Hero as a vehicle, but do not think that it was all they have to offer.


Totman and Li

Totman and Li

I flipping LOVE guitar!!! So… write your own blog…. I love Totman and Li and I’m okay with that.  Again, (and I cannot stress this enough) follow your bliss, friends.

5.)  Ladies, your femininity is NOT at stake if your male companion can’t handle your strength,  your intelligence, or your amazing air guitar skills.  His insecurities all belong to him– never dumb yourselves down for a guy.  The real men like you smart.  Trust me.  I have been with the most amazing man EVER for more than twenty years.  He knows all my foibles and we have a fabulous time- you know why, it doesn’t faze him.  I bring my circus to the table, he brings his.  At the end of the day- it’s an amazing table.

Never dull your shine for anyone.

The ones worth having will love you and celebrate it.  The others you’ll see in the rear view mirror and not regret.  I PROMISE.

I digressed… again.  Could somebody please watch that????

Where was I? Oh, right, Evanescence, not quite new, but so worth it…





Emily, did I not hit your sweet spots?  Let your mom know what you liked and didn’t like and I can fine tune this list.  We can go harder or lighter.  Rock and metal have a huge range.

Honorable Mention– Looking for newer with a harder edge?  Check out Benedictum– their female singer is AMAZING, but the rock?  You have to want it.  There’s no sugar-coating this.  It’s bang your head or bust, baby.

Rock on, girlie.  Guitar is the soundtrack to my life.  May it be so for you….