Scarlett Sumac's Blog

NOVEMBER 13, 2010 6:37PM

Notes from a Rock n' Roll Muse

Rate: 27 Flag

Sometimes this voice is raspy, sullen, and shy. She says she won’t come out to play today. Other times she struts like Jumpin' Jack Flash. She has a statement to make, a performance at stake. She feels a quickening like before stepping out on stage. Like a wild cat just released from her cage.  She lets the words be free from preconceived notion. No approval or applause necessary, no narcissistic need to satisfy.


She knows if it speaks to you, you will hear it resonate within. She doesn’t expect you to understand unless you want to. She plays dyslexic scrabble and turns the gram-o-phone up loud. As a girl she laid by the hi-fi-delic stereo and imagined a miniature concert inside the speaker. Inside the velvet undergound her riff played on and on.


No stage fright, she bends over with her denim rock n’ roll ass and plugs in the antique white Fender Strat and tells the whole world ... 


Hey, Hey, You, You Get Off of My Cloud ...


She kneels and feels the ecstasy of the solid body electric. She tells the truth. The electrical current is wound through the strings. She finds home at the fifth fret. She combines the A minor penatonic scale and plays a melody in time with the beating of her heart. She exhales stretching the fascia over the muscles and bones of her rib cage, the curve of her breast.


The skin she resides in is her own, no reveling in Revlon, no plumped up collagen lips, no masquerade, no wolf in sheep’s clothing, no fashion parade, no emperor’s new clothes, no debutante ball. This ain't no dress rehearsal. This is it. The time is Now.


There’s nothing like it in the world; nothing like the exhilaration, the sonic buzz.  In this moment you will answer for nothing, to no one. In this terrain there is no counting of votes or casting of  ballots. Here the muse knows the solitary companionship of One. The tribe can wait while the writer wrestles with words. The hush of intimate communication trumps and precedes the mass, the media. It all starts here. Whispering within and walking where love has not yet dared.

Sometimes those who know the darkness are closest to the light, like a moth fluttering near the bulb, like the Phoenix, like Icarus' scorched wings from flying too close to the sun. Like VanGogh fearing to steal its radiance.


The muse knows the Virgin Mother, Mother Nature’s fortunate son, Mary Magdalene and Proud Mary. She hears Garland and Holiday. Channels Grace Slick, Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde. She knows Brando, and Elvis and Hud. She has lived In the Heat Of the Night, On the Waterfront and East of Eden. Far beyond the drama and boredom of Wisteria Lane and Melrose Place.


She hears the harmonica blowin’ in the wind and the sound of the drum beat now calling ...


Copyright Scarlett SuMac 2010.



Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Patty! this ain't no dress rehearsal is my new mantra... love this sexy rock and roll rant Scarlett.
Absolutely Rita. This ain't no dress rehearsal ... no goin' over the lines, well, maybe we'll go over the line!
I think I posted the wrong kind of rant for this evening. Oh well ...
I can only imagine the rush of that kind of performance. Even in my whimpy singer/songwriter experiences -- coffee shops, small bars -- the feeling is incredible. To be someone with actual star power, to be would be too much.
Great piece and hope I see the day to see you once again get on stage..:)
rated with hugs
Belle: Now don't diminish your singer/songwriter experiences. If for you the experience was incredible most likely you made your patrons feel the same.

Jeanette: A little bit of Patti lives in all of us that love her. :)

Linda: Yup, before I'm too old. Ian Anderson said "you're never too old to rock n' roll, if you're too young to die." So I guess there's still time.:)
You fuckin' nailed this!
Whoa. This is a very cool post. Very cool.~r
"Sometimes those who know the darkness are closest to the light...."

Beautiful. Let's just say it has a certain resonance.

AND you had a Strat. I am envious. Well ... sort of. I'm an acoustic guy, really -- four, six and 12-strings. Favourite riff of all time is the opening to "Night Moves" (if only 'cause I can play it pretty good).
Rated for including my favorite rock phrase of all time--Hey, Hey, You, You Get Off of My Cloud ... Keep rocking in the free world.
God Scarlett! Frankly I do give a damn! So good! Yay YOU!
Hey Scarlett, just back from a night on the town and man, did this piece ever hit the spot. I recently finished Patti's auto-bio of her early life getting started with Mapplethorpe and have a renewed interest in reacquainting myself with her music. Thanks for the push start. Plenty of Lou Reed/Velvet influence on this track.
Great post, great song. The time is now.
scanner: had a good hammer
Joan: are you wearing your Italian boots? :)
Boanerges: G-F-C-F-G? still have the Strat btw ...
Dr. S: "I live on an apartment an the ninety-ninth floor of my block": ... Hey, hey, you, you...
Persistent: ...thank you Ms. Muse
Abrawang: Haven't read it yet, just excerpts but I should ... yes Lou & the Velvets
my psyche: Oh yeah backatcha :0
How's this a rant? Loved it! Rock on Scarlett.
Loved it, Scarlett. Makes me wanna hold my telecaster, buy a new set of Fender Bullets and just play, pretend I'm playing lead or rhythm for . . .

Wanda Jackson or,
Carole King or,
Linda Ronstadt or,
Lucinda Williams or,
K.D. Lang or,
Natalie Cole
Exhilarating. Virtuoso performance. Can't single anything out, because it's all great, from beginning to end. Brava!
Words compact, precise and evocative. Very well done. I feel them. No rocker/poet ever was as genuine as Patti..
You still GOT the Strat????? Whoa. Hope you get it out and play it often. And, yeah, that's the progression -- looks simple, but the rhythm is what sells it. Well ... that and the lyrics.
Trilogy: I was jumping on the rant bandwagon and though it defies the definition, I was positioning this as a positive rant. Make sense now ?:)

Michael T: Yup, Fender bullet. Wanda Jackson is way cool. She is the rock a-billy queen. And Lucinda, you could rock out with her too! Thanks for the drive-by.

AHP: See, you're still a young lad.:) Glad you liked the flow. Writing like this is fun.
Guess who is slated to be our commencement speaker in 2011?

:-) :-) :-)
@No, but I posted a picture of them on my post. :)
@green heron: nice to see you. you lucky duck. Patti's your commencement speaker! right on. well, she certainly is an America artist. be sure to get her autograph. xo
Made me want to pick up my white Strat, dust it off and join you! Made me like Patti's version of that song better than the Byrds, too (it's a fine song, better punchier and without the crowd noise on the original.)
Chrissie Hynde was my girl...but Patti...yes...indeed, she was also a source of strength for me. They were, those women you mention--Gracie Slick, too, and earlier than the others--another way to be, for me. I grew fierce from them. And oh, so wild...
Late to this rodeo, but a great song.
wow, what a fully realized voice you have going here!
Luminous: Anytime but let me get some practice in first ... ;0

Token: Cool comments make it through after all ...

Keka: Yes, we need our fierceness ...fiercely.

Damon: Doors to the rodeo wide open ... welcome. Here' a seat ...

Caroline: A voice I should exercise more often ...
These girls all rock.....Thx for sharing their cloud.
Loved it, Scarlett. Particularly like the bit about "imagined a miniature concert inside the speaker." I could hear this working well as a spoken piece set to music or backing sounds.