Saturday, April 17, 2010


I am pleased as punch to be profiled in the very FIRST issue of Mamazina magazine. I was interviewed by Jackie Papandrew. Jackie is an award-winning writer and editor. Her humor column – Airing My Dirty Laundry – appears in several newspapers in the United States and Canada. Visit to read more of her work.

An Interview with Judy Davids
by Jackie Papandrew

Although most of us may dream of being a rock star while we’re singing in the

shower, Judy Davids took it a lot further than that. In 2002, the mother of two picked up a guitar – without ever having had a music lesson – and conspired with other moms in her Detroit neighborhood to form an all-mom rock band. Within weeks, the Mydols were born. The group sings wry songs about life as a suburban soccer mom and has garnered extensive national publicity while touring with other bands, participating in competitions and spending time in the studio. (According to People Magazine, “The Mydols don’t take any lip.”)

In 2008, Davids published a book -- “Rock Star Mommy” -- which bills itself as a “rallying cry for every woman who fondly recalls when she spent more time in mosh pits than Mommy and Me classes.” The book tells Davids’ story of dying her hair pink, donning go-go boots and hopping onstage to rock on. You can read more about The Mydols and Davids at

MM: Tell us how (and why) you became a Rock Star Mommy. Did you really just pick up a guitar and go to it? Any musical experience or contacts in the business? Did you have any notion how far (and how fast) you would go from suburban mom to ‘mydol’?

JD: I was the editor of my sons' elementary school newsletter, and we had student reporters. One of the kids was related to Jack White of the White Stripes. So Jack came in one afternoon, and all the kids interviewed him. He played guitar and sang a few songs, and there was this aura about him. You know they don't call people"stars" for nothing. He was practically glowing. I decided right then and there I wanted to be a rock star. And that's the important part. I didn't want to be a great singer or great guitarist. I wanted to be a "rock star" and that choice made all the difference because to this day I won't call myself a great musician, but I certainly have had my share of "rock star" moments!

And yes, it's true I never had a music lesson in my life until I was 42, and the Mydols only rehearsed 6 times before we performed on a stage. It's all about attitude!

When we started the band, I had really big dreams -- to perform in front of big crowds, play at the best venues and be in PEOPLE Magazine. They all happened. Was it realistic to believe they would? Probably not. But if you don't believe in yourself, who else will?

MM: What did your families think of the whole thing? What about friends, neighbors and strangers? Any reactions surprise you?

JD: My family has been great. This year will be the eighth anniversary of the Mydols so my kids pretty much grew up having "mom in a band." I think the surprise was how many people outside my family supported the idea -- a group of middle-aged moms in a rock band. You know, success is always a collaboration. I couldn't have done this alone. I had friends that booked us. Friends that let us open for them. Friends who recorded us. Friends who wrote songs for us. Friends who took band pictures. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, friends who said they'd learn how to play drums and the bass guitar!

MM: What’s next with the band? Where do The Mydols go from here? Where do you see yourself in five years?

JD: Well the Mydols are going to appear on Gene Simmons Family Jewels this year. We are very excited about that. It's a big break for us. To get ready for it, we have been in the studio recording new songs and working really aggressively on booking shows. Being a Mydol is such a source of happiness and pride for me. I imagine I will continue to do this as long as it remains a positive thing.

MM: Tell us about the book. How and why did you write it? How long did it take to write? Was it a collaborative effort? How is the book doing, and what’s been the reaction to it? Had you done any writing before this book? What other writing projects do you have in the works? You also have a blog – how often do you blog and what about? Have you found it to be an effective way to reach moms and other new fans?

JD: I wrote “Rock Star Mommy” because wherever we went, it seemed folks were more interested in our story than our music. Even when newspapers would write about us, they'd throw us in the Lifestyle section -- not Entertainment. I am OK with that. I always tell people I'm in a Mom Band -- and "mom" always comes before "band".

I wrote the book alone. It took four months to write it. Only when I had finished it did I show it to my band mates. I think I got two small details wrong, and I fixed them. I was pretty happy that my memory of how things happened was consistent with theirs.

It was my first book so I was a little nervous about it but my editor walked me through the process. I didn't have to worry about writer's block because I was just telling my story.

I really enjoy writing. I have written for a few magazines, and I write song lyrics. I also have a blog. I write about just about everything -- but writing about motherhood is my favorite subject. It's cathartic.

MM: Tell us about your children. What do they think of your “gig” as a mom rocker? Do they like the boots? Are they involved with the band in any way?

JD: When my sons were little, they truly believed I was a bigger star than Oprah. They were so cute. If music awards were on, they'd want to know why I wasn't there. Today, however, it's a different story. They are teenagers now, and I think they could care less about the Mydols. It's like pulling teeth to get them to come to a show. On the plus side, however, both are really great musicians!

MM: How do you find time to juggle the band, blog, writing, your family and the other responsibilities of your life? What advice do you have for other mom writers (and mom rockers) trying to manage these things? What about moms who think they could never, ever do what you’ve done?

JD: You know, when you look at a guy like Jack White -- he's a musical genius. He's the whole package. He can sing, play guitar and write great songs. Of course he's gonna be inspirational. Now look at me. I can't sing. I'm a hack guitarist. And I can only write lyrics -- not music. And yet, I have worked with Eminem's producers! How can that be? It happens because I have failed at so many things in my life that I am no longer afraid. So I'll try anything. And I believe I can be anything I want--love handles, stretch marks, screaming kids and all.

I make time to do the things I want to do. And when I try something I am OK with exposing my flaws -- warts and all. I've convinced myself that "warts" are charming.

MM: How has motherhood affected your career – not only in writing the book, but as a musician and blogger? Would you have done this if you weren’t a mom?

JD: Wow. That is a good question. Being a mom is such a part of who I am. I had an office job for years and being a mom sort of sucked. Because I stayed home when the kids were sick, and took days off to go on field trips and never stayed past 5, no one in my office took me seriously. I never once got promoted. On the other hand, my kids always appreciated me and on the weekends I put on pink go-go boots and jumped on a stage and stepped into a spotlight. Then on Monday, I'd start all over -- a prisoner in a gray office cubicle. So now that I think about it, if I hadn't had my kids, I probably would be stuck at work right now, and I'd be miserable.

MM: Who are some of your favorite authors? What about musicians? Who inspires you? Do you emulate anyone in particular?

JD: My favorite authors are David Sedaris, followed my Amy Sedaris. I love their snarky humor. As for music, I love the Ramones, The Replacements, The Cramps. My female music heroes are Laurie Lindeen of ZuZu's Petals and Kathy Valentine of the GoGos. Both women are extremely talented -- they can sing, play and rock and are awesome moms too, but more importantly, they both are really really nice. And in my book, nice counts for everything.