Monday, December 30, 2002

Where art thou, Melissa Auf Der Maur?

Melissa Auf Der Maur used to be the bassist of Hole, filling in after Kristen Pfaff died of an overdose. Billy Corgan recommended her for the slot. But since Hole have pretty much been on hold because of Courtney Love's desperate attempts to become famous (and her long-standing disputes with Geffen Records), she left to go solo for a while, but was promptly picked up by Corgan to fill in as bassist in Smashing Pumpkins when D'Arcy Wretzky went off to pursue her up-to-now non-existent acting career. She was only their tour bassist, since D'Arcy played bass on the band's last album Machina. However, Auf Der Maur appeared in the videos post-D'Arcy: The Everlasting Gaze, and Stand Inside Your Love.

She is the sexiest woman in rock.

And thank God she was in the Hole videos, too. Whenever it wasn't a pure-Courtney thing, anyway. Let's see: Malibu, and Violet, which I just saw earlier and prompted this entry. With her fiery red hair and freckles, just the way she straddles her big-ass bass, she is one of my #1 Crushes. She sings back-up sometimes, and it's obviously much more interesting to watch her instead of Courtney Love (especially in Malibu), and I think I actually prefer her being a back-up singer/bassist than if she were to become the frontperson of a band. Part of her mystique, I guess, is in being in the background, but being more compelling than the foreground. Does that make sense? I remember once, Ric Ocasek played on Conan O'Brien, and I didn't give a shit, but when they started I noticed he'd gotten Auf Der Maur to play bass for him and I went apeshit, trying to hook up my VHS to record it (but, alas, failed; I was missing a few cables).

So here's the thing: where art thou, Melissa Auf Der Maur? Ever since Smashing Pumpkins dissolved, does anybody know what she's been up to? She's not in Corgan's new band Zwan, and she's not in the Virgins, either (James Iha's post-Pumpkins band with Evan Dando of the Lemonheads). She's one of rock's national treasures, a damn good bassist with a damn good voice and killer looks, to boot. Mikey and I are big fans of her in Everlasting Gaze, what with that dress, the angles, and her moves. There's one part where she stamps her foot on the floor as if dashing the hopes of all lovelorn rock-geeks. Interestingly, she looks cutest in that shot where she's obviously concentrating on playing.


I tried googling her and all I could find was that she's been doing odd projects, at one point doing a fashion show with a puppeteer, and then gigs with friends like Paz Lenchantin.

Paz is another fine bassist, and also a hot rock babe. I've only seen her in pictures and that beautiful A Perfect Circle video "Judith" directed by David Fincher. But I think she's left A Perfect Circle already (not too big a deal since it was a side band anyway) to join Billy Corgan's Zwan. Man, that Corgan sure has a fine eye for the fine ladies. I suppose it's to make up for his bald pate. I remember being very impressed in high school to find out that the bassist of the Smashing Pumpkins was a woman (D'Arcy Wretzky), and one that wasn't butt-ugly. She's quite cute, actually, but sometimes her make-up can make her look haggard (Ava Adore).

So that's three fine ladies of rock, all bassists. Who are the others? Among guitarists, Carrie Brownstein immediately comes to mind, though other people may disagree with me. However, after seeing Sleater-Kinney perform twice in Boston, I was smitten. She had a broken toe and still played like a whirling dervish, jumping and spinning and striking rock goddess poses and strutting her stuff. I emptied an entire roll of film on her one night. Whatta performer. Thinking about it, the way a woman moves with a guitar can be a beautiful thing. It probably says a lot about her personality, too. And if you think about it, the cable from the guitar to the amp is a kind of leash, so it has that restraint/wild thing going for it. Hoo-hah. Or am I just thinking about this too much? I still think Juliana Hatfield's a babe. Dolores O'Riordan, but I hesitate to mention her since the quality of the Cranberries' music has taken a sharp nosedive since To The Faithful Departed. Shirley Manson definitely knows how to move, but up close she's actually not that beautiful. We've got the Fatal Posporos, all fine ladies. Kitchie Nadal is filling out nicely. I'm still in love with Bjork but her age is now undeniable.

Who are your suggestions?

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