Talking to Derby Girls about Joan Jett

Last weekend, I took my new derby persona, P Giddy, on the road to Santa Cruz. I also took my family. We live about 2 hours from Santa Cruz, and my persona did not adjust until I walked into the new Kaiser Permanente without the kids … and Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation played. If P Giddy had a patron saint, it would be Joan Jett, though the Wilson sisters influenced his style guide.

Santa Cruz hosts Sin-City-4979

Women’s Flat Track Derby is many things to many people, but derby is more Afternoon D-Lightning than Starland Vocal Band. At it’s core, derby is Rock and Roll… and I love rock and roll. To prepare my children for their first bout, I showed my kids the I Love Rock N Roll video by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.  The video starts with Bad Reputation, so the kids learn TWO JOAN JETT SONGS.

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

P Giddy and Mace (Photographer and son)

My son, who turns 7 this May, might love Joan Jett more than I do. He watched I Love Rock N Roll more than my daughter listens to Taylor Swift. His mother asked how I knew he would like Joan Jett. I explained by asking her, “How did you know he would like cupcakes?” But even I had to admit, I was surprised by his appetite. He keeps screaming that he loves Rock and Roll… and Wait! Here is the guitar! I think he even likes the black leather jacket. Some things are more difficult to shake.

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

I probably knew my son would like Joan Jett and women’s flat track derby, because I remember being introduced to Heart and the Wilson sisters when I was not much older than he is now. My mom’s friend Dolly played songs about fish (Barracuda), a dog and a butterfly. IT WAS MAGIC!

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

My kids are not the only children crazy on derby. Other children attend bouts. Kids with pacifiers cheer for their favorite players. Kids in their forties bring their children.

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

Military personnel attended last week’s bout too. People in wheel chairs watch derby. Tattoos are not required, but allowed. At the Santa Cruz bout, many people wore clothes supporting two police officers who were recently killed. Derby might be alternative or underground, but it is also community based.  Derby is inclusive.

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

Derby is also exciting, especially when a bout is close. The Santa Cruz Derby Girls hosted the Las Vegas Sin City Rollergirls at the Kaiser Permanente Arena  on Saturday March 16, 2013. More than 2,000 people watched as the Boardwalk Bombshells defeated the team from Las Vegas, 153-124. Santa Cruz dominated early, but Sin City closed the first half strong. The lead changed a few times in the second half before Santa Cruz won.

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

If you have never seen derby, view my photo gallery and you can see that derby players respect each other. Even the losing team thanked the officials. The winning team also celebrates. (Often, winning teams forget to celebrate… not in derby, almost everyone celebrates.)

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

If you have ever read Rob Sheffield’s book “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran,” you know where I borrowed this post’s title. While I loved Sheffield’s book, I would rather talk to derby girls about Joan Jett than Duran Duran.

My son is too young to understand many of the adult themes in Rock and Roll, but he understands power and emotion. He knows leadership when he sees it, and I am grateful that he has the opportunity to see the variety of women role models that women’s flat track derby provides. Sure, I am grateful that my daughter attended derby too, because I want her to find her voice. I want her to be a leader, and I did not find my voice by listening to Duran Duran.

Final Note: Even Duran Duran fans are welcome at derby.

Comments

comments

27 Responses to “Talking to Derby Girls about Joan Jett”

  1. Bryan Farley says:

    Evie Carter, Something for your morning reading… perhaps you can add a few people in the next comment line so that more people will see and reply. Let me know what you think… or just say nice things 🙂 Thank you again!

  2. Bryan Farley said:

    Evie Carter, Something for your morning reading… perhaps you can add a few people in the next comment line so that more people will see and reply. Let me know what you think… or just say nice things 🙂 Thank you again!

    at 6:37 am on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  3. Enjoyed the post. Looks like fun!

  4. Enjoyed the post. Looks like fun!

  5. Bryan Farley says:

    Carrie White Mihalkanin said:

    Enjoyed the post. Looks like fun!

    at 7:02 am on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  6. Carrie, it is a blast. There is a league near you in San Diego. I want to watch them some day… maybe we can go together. If I remember correctly, you travel to Los Angeles for work… the L.A. team is really popular.

  7. Carrie, it is a blast. There is a league near you in San Diego. I want to watch them some day… maybe we can go together. If I remember correctly, you travel to Los Angeles for work… the L.A. team is really popular.

  8. Regan Eymann says:

    Bryan – Thanks for the post, I appreciate the unconventional nature of your write-up. Your last paragraph about the variety of role models that are in roller derby makes me feel proud to play this sport not only for my son but also my daughter. Thanks again for the photos too!

    Sincerely,

    Regan aka Shamrock N. Roller, #8

  9. Bryan Farley says:

    Bryan Farley Photography said:

    Carrie, it is a blast. There is a league near you in San Diego. I want to watch them some day… maybe we can go together. If I remember correctly, you travel to Los Angeles for work… the L.A. team is really popular.

    at 8:37 am on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  10. Alice says:

    Great shots Bryan! You captured the intensity, and fun, of flat track.
    Love that song too.

  11. Bryan Farley says:

    Regan Eymann said:

    Bryan – Thanks for the post, I appreciate the unconventional nature of your write-up. Your last paragraph about the variety of role models that are in roller derby makes me feel proud to play this sport not only for my son but also my daughter. Thanks again for the photos too!

    Sincerely,

    Regan aka Shamrock N. Roller, #8

    at 8:41 am on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  12. Bryan Farley says:

    Alice said:

    Great shots Bryan! You captured the intensity, and fun, of flat track.
    Love that song too.

    at 4:24 pm on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  13. Regan Eymann said:

    Bryan – Thanks for the post, I appreciate the unconventional nature of your write-up. Your last paragraph about the variety of role models that are in roller derby makes me feel proud to play this sport not only for my son but also my daughter. Thanks again for the photos too!

    Sincerely,

    Regan aka Shamrock N. Roller, #8

    at 8:41 am on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  14. Alice said:

    Great shots Bryan! You captured the intensity, and fun, of flat track.
    Love that song too.

    at 4:24 pm on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  15. Bryan Farley says:

    Regan Eymann (Shamrock N. Roller) You are welcome! Thank you for the wonderful compliments. I am grateful to have found a place where I can be unconventional and appreciated. I noticed that I included the whole collection, so here is the link to the gallery, (http://bit.ly/SCDGvSCRG) between Santa Cruz Derby Girls and Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls

  16. Bryan Farley said:

    Regan Eymann (Shamrock N. Roller) You are welcome! Thank you for the wonderful compliments. I am grateful to have found a place where I can be unconventional and appreciated. I noticed that I included the whole collection, so here is the link to the gallery, (http://bit.ly/SCDGvSCRG) between Santa Cruz Derby Girls and Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls

    at 10:03 pm on March 23, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  17. Stephanie says:

    Since I already love derby, looks like I need to give Joan Jett another chance – thanks for the illuminating post (and awesome photos).

    • bryan farley says:

      Stephanie,

      I was just reading the Rob Sheffield book, “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran,” and noticed that he has a chapter called, “Lita Ford, “Kiss Me Deadly.” The chapter is not really about Lita (it’s more about Debbie Gibson). Regardless, Sheffield is worth reading. The 80’s were a strange time. If I had to list all of the bands I liked, I am sure I would laugh at myself.

      bf

  18. Bryan Farley says:

    Stephanie said:

    Since I already love derby, looks like I need to give Joan Jett another chance – thanks for the illuminating post (and awesome photos).

    at 8:23 pm on April 3, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  19. Stephanie said:

    Since I already love derby, looks like I need to give Joan Jett another chance – thanks for the illuminating post (and awesome photos).

    at 8:23 pm on April 3, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  20. bryan farley says:

    I have been listening to the Joan Jett Pandora station lately… might be a good way to ease into it. Tuesday I heard a Joan Jett version of “Shout” (you probably know it from Otis Day on Animal House… and if you don’t know it, pretend you do!)

    bf

  21. Bryan Farley says:

    bryan farley said:

    I have been listening to the Joan Jett Pandora station lately… might be a good way to ease into it. Tuesday I heard a Joan Jett version of “Shout” (you probably know it from Otis Day on Animal House… and if you don’t know it, pretend you do!)

    bf

    at 8:02 am on April 4, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  22. bryan farley said:

    I have been listening to the Joan Jett Pandora station lately… might be a good way to ease into it. Tuesday I heard a Joan Jett version of “Shout” (you probably know it from Otis Day on Animal House… and if you don’t know it, pretend you do!)

    bf

    at 8:02 am on April 4, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  23. Bryan Farley says:

    bryan farley said:

    Stephanie,

    I was just reading the Rob Sheffield book, “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran,” and noticed that he has a chapter called, “Lita Ford, “Kiss Me Deadly.” The chapter is not really about Lita (it’s more about Debbie Gibson). Regardless, Sheffield is worth reading. The 80’s were a strange time. If I had to list all of the bands I liked, I am sure I would laugh at myself.

    bf

    at 11:04 pm on April 4, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  24. bryan farley said:

    Stephanie,

    I was just reading the Rob Sheffield book, “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran,” and noticed that he has a chapter called, “Lita Ford, “Kiss Me Deadly.” The chapter is not really about Lita (it’s more about Debbie Gibson). Regardless, Sheffield is worth reading. The 80’s were a strange time. If I had to list all of the bands I liked, I am sure I would laugh at myself.

    bf

    at 11:04 pm on April 4, 2013

    [Comment imported]

  25. […] being a father. (I also love photographing roller derby.) This year, I took my children to the Santa Cruz Derby season opener.  (My kids also attended a B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls Bout; I usually photograph the […]

  26. […] post about the bout is one of my favorite too. Another one of my favorite derby posts was titled Talking to Derby Girls about Joan Jett. I probably would not have mentioned it, except to explain how my face blindness works. Since I […]

Leave a Reply