Sunday, October 24, 2010

Melissa Ferrick, the brave one

This is for all you hard core Melissa Ferrick fans out there. (You know who you are.) And if you are not yet a fan, you should be. Our girl Melissa Ferrick has been tearing things up for more than twenty years, and she was an out performer long before most everyone else. She is also mesmerizing on stage—even if in recent years she is listing toward playing the elder eccentric. She's still charming and cute and vaguely dissolute. You should make an effort to see Melissa Ferrick perform live whenever you can. The girl is intense, and she is a first class, Berklee-trained musician.

I admit, she's my homegirl. I've been keeping track, losing track, and keeping track again of Melissa Ferrick for a couple decades, so, yes, I am biased. (But, ironically, when I met her many, many years ago, I was not familiar with her music.) Lately, I love her more than even. Just the other day I came across Melissa in my hometown newspaper, The Boston Globe, being interviewed with other Bostonians about their experiences as gay youth. In the article Melissa describes being harassed in the Harvard Square T station when she was a teenager. (This photo, at right, is of her at that age.) Someone hit her, shouting, "[expletive] gay freak.’’ She said: "I was terrified. I felt completely powerless and lonelier than I have ever felt. No one did or said anything. No one asked me if I was OK. No one stood up for me. It became very clear to me that I was alone in this." From there, she came out, stayed out, performs out. We should all be so brave.

Melissa Ferrick is currently touring on the East Coast with Ani Difranco. She'll be in Massachusetts and New York next month. You can check show dates here.

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