Joy Rose is taking a minute to catch her breath. It has been all uphill, in a good way. Its a huge amount of work. Joy is referring to Mamapalooza, her grassroots Mom-Rock extravaganza, birthed five years ago, after her brush with death. 2006 marks two five-year anniversaries for Rose. In 2001, she received a lifesaving kidney from Pam, her best friend since childhood. Says Joy, Our lives are very intertwined. When we were younger, she was in rock band, and I was her fan. Now, Im in a rock band and shes my fan.
That same year, Joy launched Mamapalooza. The feeling of Im here because of somebody else inspired her to do something ‘great which, to her, meant greater than the self.
When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be Broadway star, and a mom. Out to fulfill ‘part one of that goal, a few decades ago, Joy armed herself with a BFA in theatre and music, and moved to New York. Only, there was a glitch in her plan. She got side tracked with rock and roll.
Her band, Housewives on Prozac, emerged in 1997. They arent on Prozac, but their musical blends of rock, disco, and blues, with humorous lyrics, lift the spirits of domestic divas, everywhere. (Is there a mom alive who wouldnt head-bang to Eat Your Damn Spaghetti! or happily hum to Fuzzy Slippers?)
Housewives on Prozac plays over 60 gigs a year, including many fundraisers, particularly for the Alliance of Lupus Research. While playing in my band, I met many other women rock groups. Mamapalooza is about sharing the light, doing for yourself, and bringing someone else along. During the show, women step aside, sharing the stage, giving someone else a chance.
Rose supports women balancing the role of ‘mother with the maintenance of ‘self explaining, Mothers are up for scrutiny, all the time. My message for moms-to-be is that we are breaking ground. I want new moms to feel more free and comfortable entering motherhood. Ive met many empowered women who have a baby and, then, question their identities.
Mamapalooza strives not to be exclusionary. The festival includes an extended circle where women, not only mothers, can share. Some are trying to get pregnant and some have tried in-vetro, unsuccessfully. I also may add a stage for daddies and children. At this milestone, Joy takes a moment to check in with herself. Ive ridden this horse coming back from a traumatic illness. Ive been a Phoenix reinventing myself. She says, I try to keep re-inspired. Im an artisit. There are new messages I want to explore. Im always looking to expand my platform. It will be something musical… involving housewives, moms and women.
Both, her band and the Mamapalooza festival, steer clear of being political or religious, but touch on womens issues. I wrote a song called Mrs. President about a year-and-a-half before Commander in Chief came along.
Ive worked really hard to be the next generation. I am writing my own fairy tale, sprinkled with glitter and the wave of a wand. Joy says her experiences are what I hoped for, and more wonderful than I imagined.
Like Country, Christian, or Alternative Rock, Joy believes Mom Rock is here to stay! With dozens of shows around the country, Joy is optimistic about the future. We want Mamapalooza available in every community that wants to host it.
In addition, Mamapalooza has a ChickChat radio partnership www.chickchatradio.com, and six bands participating in the Mamapalooza are being filmed for a TV docu-drama. Joy even plans to launch a Museum of Motherhood, saying, We hope to break ground in five years.
Joy, 49, sports pink pigtails and a couple of tattoos. She is mother to three sons: Brody (17), Blaze (14), and Ali (12), one daughter, Zena (11), two chickens and two chinchillas. She lives in a suburban house in Westchester, NY and drives a car with lettering that reads: Housewives on Prozac – not just a band, a way of life.
Joy defines the Music of Motherhood with the music of a family, described this way: When you hear your babys heartbeat for the first time, it sets a little drum background to life. When its born, it wails. Its the first primal scream. Vocals.
The cacophony of a family begins, with varying speeds, rhythms and volumes, Soon, a whole song is created.
She feels it is important to let your kids know you can keep creating. A goal begins with a vision. Observe your deepest wishes. Dreams come true. Joys next fantasy is to host Mamapalooza at Madison Square Gardens, and pack the whole place. With a sprinkle of glitter, a wave of her wand and her accomplishments-to-date, it is safe to assume that dream will come true.
Visit www.mamapalooza.com for more information.