Friday, May 14, 2010


I was interviewed by Lisa Bakewell of Chicago this week. Lisa is the City Ambassador for Chicago A full-time freelance writer in the Chicagoland area, she enjoys writing profiles, instructional pieces and articles on money-saving ideas. Some of her work can be seen in ALL YOU Magazine, Massage and Bodywork, Pulse Magazine, Fabricator, several other trade magazines and in her local paper, The Herald News. Read the interviw here or go to

Recently, Chicago had the pleasure of talking with Royal Oak, Michigan's Judy Davids, the founder and guitar player of the Mydols, an “all-mom rock band that proves you can do anything--lovehandles, soccer games, screaming kids and all!”

As a mom in one of the first-ever all-mom bands, Judy gives a lot of insight on what it takes to follow your heart…and still be a great mom. “I always tell people we're a ‘mom band’,” she says “and the word ‘mom’ is first for a reason.” Mom first, rocker second, but she’s having a great time doing both…and then some! Here’s what she shared with Chicago

Q. You decided that you wanted to be a rock star at age 42. How did that idea come about? Had you always wanted to be in a band?

A. In 2002, I was the editor for my sons' elementary school newspaper and the organizer of an after school club called the Writers Club. There was a girl in our club who was the niece of Jack White--of the band the White Stripes. The girl's father arranged for Jack to come in and be interviewed by the kids. He was so, so cool. He talked to the kids about music and songwriting and convinced me that I wanted to be a rock star. I am pretty sure that wasn't his intent, but it happened. I signed up for guitar lessons the next day. About 20 years earlier, I thought about joining a band but decided I wasn't cool enough, or thin enough to pull it off. At age 42, I finally found my confidence--love handles and all. I was able to bamboozle three other moms in my neighborhood into starting a band with me!

Q. Your band is the Mydols. Great name! Is it too obvious to ask how you came up it?

A. Well there was a lot of discussion about what to call a band of moms. I liked Hot Flash and Mid Life Crisis but the other moms were a lot younger than me and HATED those names. We had a list of names. One of them was The Pills. When my husband, John, heard it, he suggested "The Mydols". Everyone loved it.

Q. I’m from Southeast Michigan (Ypsilanti), myself, and I went to a LOT of concerts in the late 70s - early 80s--I think it was a requirement, since I was so close to Detroit. Did you attend a lot of concerts as a teen? If so, who were your favorite bands?

A. Oh my goodness. I went to so many concerts. I didn't have two nickels to rub together when I was young but I saw every big act that came through Detroit--Led Zepplin, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan. In college, my husband (who I met went I was 18) and I LIVED to see bands in bars. We saw many bands before they got big like REM, the B-52s, the Vilolent Femmes, the Ramones--the list goes on and on. My favorite bands though were the Ramones, the Replacements and the Cramps (which is one more reason why I love the name The Mydols).

Q. I was able to the Ramones at a bar in Ann Arbor in the early 80s. It was great fun, and I loved them from that point on! Were you able to see them live?

A. Yes, I did see the Ramones in Detroit. I have I friend who was able to trade an oil painting for Joey Ramone's leather jacket. Joey Ramone was really, really thin and the jacket didn't fit my friend, so he gave it to me. (I never told him it doesn't fit me either!) It's one of my treasures.

Q. Which bands inspire the Mydols brand of music? What would you consider your genre?

A. In the beginning the bands that inspired the Mydols the most were other Detroit bands--like the White Stripes, the Gories, and the Dirt Bombs. These bands were our heroes and we were lucky to see them play in small bars. Today we have to inspire ourselves. (My husband got kind of sick of all my "band research" after a while!) We mainly write songs about being moms--so I guess we our own category of "Mom Rock".

Q. Practicing must be tough. How do you make the time?

A. It's very hard. April Boyle (lead singer) has 3 kids. Wensdy Von Buskirk (bass) has 2. And Laura Spern (drums) has SIX kids. I have 2. Our schedules are nothing compared to the 13 kids' schedules. So it is very difficult to find time for practice. We try to have a standing rehearsal every Monday at 6:30, but it gets cancelled a lot.

Q. And concerts…are you gone every weekend?

A. We play about once or twice a month, AND we've gone from a bar band to a family act. We like to play for moms and kids a lot better than staying up until 2 AM in smoke-filled dives. Our music has changed slightly to adapt to our new crowd but we still ROCK. Little kids love to dance and rock out.

Q. Is your family supportive? Your kids? Your husband? (I can’t say that mine would be thrilled…)

A. Yes. My husband is the greatest. He loves our music and he's our biggest fan. I started the Mydols when my kids were 9 and 6. They are both in high school now. So they grew up with mom in a band. For them it's not such a big deal that I play guitar. However, the Mydols just shot an episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which will air sometime this spring. And they probably wouldn't admit it, but I can tell that impressed them.

Q. I did read that the Mydols are going to appear on Gene Simmons Family Jewels. How did that come about? Are you excited? Have you met Gene Simmons before?

A. I guess Gene had somehow heard of us, so we met him in Detroit. He came right into our lives--this larger than life figure. To say it was exciting is an understatement. It was thrilling beyond belief. I don't want to say too much. You will just have to watch the show.

Q. How do you balance your “mom duties” while being a rocker?

A. It's not as hard as you would think. We all put our families first. It's nice, you know, that we are all moms because we are all very understanding. We'll probably never win a Grammy because we don't practice as much as we should, but our kids are all really well-behaved and normal. I always tell people we're a 'mom band'--and the word mom is first for a reason.

Q. Obviously, you’re a goal setter and, by appearances, it seems that you love to LIVE your life. What do you attribute this to?

A. I attribute my success to growing up in a small house with a stay-at-home mom who didn't give us everything we wanted. We had to sort of create our own fun and use our imagination. I got really good at that. Maybe even too good. I am borderline dillusional. I don't have to see something to believe it--I just have to believe it and then I SEE it. I saw the Mydols in PEOPLE magazine two years before it happened, but it happened.

Q. Do you have any beliefs about goal setting?

A. My goal setting secret is to tell a lot of people what it is that I want to accomplish. I think when you do that others will hold you accountable. It's kind of funny--all the good things in life we won't do for ourselves--but we will do them for other people. Also, I heard once if you just write something on a piece of paper you are twice as likely to actually do it. But most importantly, you have to believe in yourself. If you don't, why would anyone else?

Q. What other media/venues have you done? Which are your favorites? Why?

A. We have been written up in everything from People Magazine to the Wall Street Journal and have appeared on shows like CBS Sunday Morning and the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. We've performed in LA, Oakland, New York, Nashville, Chicago, Cleveland and more. My favorite place to play is in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. For some reason we are treated like stars there. We've played in front of 2000 people in St. Paul and have been and radio and TV there. Weird, huh?

Q. You wrote Rock Star Mommy. Did you enjoy writing the book? What were you hoping to convey to other moms in your book?

A. I wrote the book because people were always so curious about us. They made me wonder about myself. Why did I do this so late in life? Was I going through some sort of mid-life crisis? I think the answer is, I did it when I was ready. In my twenties I was too hung up with what other people thought of me. Your so-called friends can be so cruel when you are young. The good news is that, as you get older, your friends stop competing with you and start supporting you. I wrote the book because I wanted to thank all our friends and fans that made it possible for us to live a dream.

Q. I read that you’re everyday persona is different than your on-stage persona. True?

A. Yes! By day, I am the CEO of PostEgram. PostEgram is making it possible for those without a computer or the desire to socially network online, to keep in touch with their loved ones. I crafted the idea after noticing my mother-in-law, who does not have a computer, was missing out on family news and photos that are posted daily on Facebook. PostEgram uses an application on Facebook® Platform that gives users the ability to transform their personal updates and photos into a full-color printed newsletter, which is then delivered to the mailboxes of family and friends. My mother-in-law was our first customer.

Q. Do you consider The Mydols a success?

A. Are we succesful? Well, we don't have any gold records hanging in our studio--we don't even have a studio-- but we have had more than our fair share of rock and roll moments.

Q. Do you get any grief from other moms about being a rocker? If so, how do you handle the criticism?

A. I have never heard any grumblings. Perhaps that is because my amp has made my deaf!

Q. If you had one thing that you’d like Chicago moms to know, what would it be?

A. I want women to know that it really is never too late to follow your heart. And for moms, I want them to know that being a mom is the hardest job in the world. It takes long hours, creativity and patience.

If you love motherhood, being the CEO of a company is a piece of cake. I know. I just started a new company with my partner Ken Bloink. Ken is amazing. Really smart and talented, but he is 28 and has never been a mother. Honestly, I teach him something new everyday.

The Mydols have a new CD that just came out. It's called "Family Rules". It has 10 great songs that kids will love and moms too. (Even Dads will like it.) It's available through or Amazon.