Don't put your
daughter on the
by BARBARA MOSS
It's been said for years that "It's a man's world". In
the present era this is not strictly true, for there are hundreds of
thousands of women in various professions holding positions that were
previously thought to be attainable only by males.
The almost furtive
entrance of the female dance band musician has created slight confusion
in the minds of her male counterparts-if not profound disturbance.
There are probably
a hundred female musicians (discounting our extremely talented and competent
sisters in the Classical field) in the United Kingdom. To my knowledge,
only five are in male bands.
The point is that the female musician trying to make a living in the
dance band field is battering her dear little head against a very large
I prefer to think
that we are not wanted in male bands because musicians like to curse
and swear quite freely on and off the stand, and feel that a female
interloper might inhibit this practice.
The general attitude of the majority of male musicians towards female
musicians is one of amusement. Most men think that we are kicking the
traces over until we can manage to catch a nice, rich American from
one of the Bases that girl bands are more or less forced to frequent.
Male musicians, sadly, delude themselves
are on the scene mainly for pleasure or benefit-or both.
Not that all girl
musicians are dedicated to their art. Some are in the business for a
good time. But so are some male musicians. I am quite sure that the
female musician is no less virtuous than the male.
just as true that many girls are dedicated and want to be just as proficient
on their instruments and on the stand as their male rivals. But will
girl musicians ever get a chance to prove this dedication and proficiency?
purely on principle. Another went so far as to declare that all girl
musicians are diabolical. Later he owned that he had only ever heard
one girl musician, a solo trumpet player. I agree she is diabolical,
but what does that prove?
I have a few friends up the 'Street' and many of the boys are genuinely
helpful in all kinds of ways-buying your drinks, taking you to parties
and so on. A girl might even be offered a gig if she looks human.
But she also has to contend with this:
"This is Barbara, she's a musician."
"Oh really? What do you play - xylophone?"
Or: "I never kissed a girl trumpet player before." This makes
me wonder if he's been going round kissing male trumpet players.
On learning that you play in girls' band, the wag enquires: "If
I dress up and wear a wig and put on a couple of falsies, do you think
I could get in your band?"
What a scream. He can be funnier as he warms up: "Do girl musicians
take their instruments to bed with them ?" And, in case you haven't
"Are you a lesbian or something?"
You may think with the majority that girls are not proficient musicians.
If true, whose fault is it? A musician can go so far with one band,
then hits a period when he cannot improve further without significant
change. It is imperative for a musician to tread new ground to enable
him to broaden his scope and to bring new ideas to fruition, to maintain
and improve technique, to learn, Un-fortunately, the girl musician's
career begins and ends with Ivy Benson.
There is a rumour going around about a girl married to a musician. She
works in male bands because he won't take a job without her.
Well, that's the answer. I'll marry a musician to get work and raise
lots of little musicians.....But
of course, I'll drown all the boys!
from "Crescendo" magazine 1963
Why is it that if
a girl does manage to obtain an audition with some mediocre male band
that she is required to be as competent on the trumpet as Stan Roderick
and as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor? And I'm not kidding!
male scorn, girl musicians acquire an enormous inferiority complex,
damaging their confidence and affecting their playing.One male musician
(I like him, so help me!), told me candidly that he wouldn't have a
girl in his section even if she played like