Mothers That Rock!
by Pedro Lopez De Victoria
Motherhood is an art unto itself–to create life, cultivate it with love, and remember which Capri Sun flavor is preferred, can, in some ways, be seen as an endeavor of superhuman proportions. While we honor all mothers today, it wouldn’t be Freeway if we didn’t throw a spotlight on the particular portion of mamas who have brought into this world unforgettable musical contributions, such as:
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Starting off with an outlier, Tharpe is notable because her only child is none other than Rock ‘n’ Roll itself. In his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash admitted to her being his favorite singer from childhood. She’s been cited by Little Richard as his greatest influence, and Chuck Berry, who said that his career was just “one long Rosetta Tharpe impersonation.” Pioneering the very essence of rock with her gospel-inspired guitar playing, she had a chance to tour and blow minds around the world with her sound, which combined Delta Blues with New Orleans Jazz. People often commented that she “played like a man,” to which Tharpe often replied: “Can’t no man play like me. I play better than a man.” The Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll certainly held no punches!
Voted “The Coolest Mom in Music” by iHeartRadio, Gwen Stefani is a legend in her own right. Leadwoman of ska-heroes ‘No Doubt’, Stefani is an all-around powerhouse. In addition to her status as a fashion icon, brilliant vocalist and songwriter, she launched her own fashion line in 2011. All this, bear in mind, takes a back seat to her raising her three children, Kingston James McGregor, Zuma Nesta Rock, and Apollo Bowie Flynn. Somehow, this marvelous mom still finds time to tour!
The essence of 90’s angst, Morissette made a name for herself with her hit album Jagged Little Pill, which sold more than 33 million copies worldwide, one of the best selling records of all time. Her unique mezzo-soprano vocals are as adventurous as her big rock sound, and she continues to make new work, revealing 23 new songs on her 2018 tour. With her two children, Onyx and Ever, she still manages to tour and keep that angst alive and well. Also, as recently as March 2019, she’s announced that she has another child on the way!
We would be remiss to not mention rock ‘n’ roll hall-of-famer Patti Smith, the undeniable godmother of punk rock. Known as the “poet laureate of punk rock” Patti Smith is known for her hit album Horses, and her collab with “the Boss”. Perhaps less well know is that she has two children, a daughter, Jesse, and her son, Jackson (who went on to marry The White Stripes drummer Meg White, another notable rock goddess!). An absolute Renaissance woman, not only has she reaped literary awards and has appeared in films and television shows, she just recently released a film of her own that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival!