By ERIC SCHELKOPF
She has opened for Slash and been called a 21st century Joan Jett.
In fiery fashion, The Fabulous Miss Wendy is proving that a female can wield the guitar with as much power as a man. She recently played in Chicago as part of the national Femme Fest 2013 tour.
I had the chance to talk to Wendy, www.thefabulousmisswendy.com, about her current activities.
Q - How has the tour been going?
It has been going absolutely wonderfully. We have been well-received at every single city we have gone to.
Q - Why do you like being part of a festival like this?
I love Femme Fest because it is all about girl power, and the fact that rock 'n' roll isn't a man's world any more.
Q - Do you still find yourself fighting for credibility?
Whenever I tell someone I play guitar and I shred on it, they look at me like I'm from the planet Mars.
It is difficult as a girl to get credibility, because I think a lot of people tend to write off girls as guitar players just right off the bat.
It's the great thing for me, but it is also kind of like my Achilles heel at the same time. It's a mixed bag, and I don't feel like a female guitar player, I feel like a human guitar player.
Q - So it's a novelty?
It kind of is in a way, but I don't think it should be. And in the future, I don't think it will be. The evidence in that is that there are more little girls picking up guitars than little boys.
Q - Because you yourself picked up the guitar at age 10. What attracted you to the guitar?
My older brother very much got me into rock 'n' roll music. He actually tried to teach me how to play when I was 5, but I was just so little, my hands couldn't even get around the guitar.
He played a lot of music for me that I wouldn't have necessarily heard otherwise, like grunge music and punk music, and all kinds of stuff. And he played guitar, and I just wanted to be like my big brother.
Q - And now you have this new album, "No One Can Stop Me!" that is going to be released nationally in July. You raised more than $5,000 through Kickstarter to help fund the record. Was that easy to do?
By the time it was all said and done, it was about $14,000 to make the record. Kickstarter is very, very common these days.
The reason I did Kickstarter was because a lot of people were telling me, "Wendy, you should do Kickstarter." And so I finally decided to listen to everybody's advice.
It's so wonderful. It's kind of bringing the world closer to unity, because it's encouraging cooperative efforts and entrepreneurial endeavours.
I ended up writing a lot of songs for people who gave $100.
Q - Kim Fowley, who managed the group The Runaways in the 1970s, produced the album. What did he bring to the table?
I was so happy to be working with Kim, and I also felt validated that I really did make the best record that I could. I tried so hard to make a good record, and it just felt great that somebody like Kim Fowley thought it was good.
Q - I guess he also called you a 21st century Joan Jett.
Sometimes he also calls me Joan Jett's daughter. It makes me feel great. I just have so much love and respect for Kim.
Q - Do you consider The Runaways or Joan Jett to be inspirations?
I do. They are the originators of girl rock. Nobody really came before them, to speak of. I think Joan Jett is still the queen of female rock 'n' roll.
Q - What did you learn from the experience of opening for Slash?
I learned so much. Slash is such a nice guy.
I remember the first night that I played with Slash, there was probably about 4,000 people in the audience. I dedicated the song "Crazy F..... Up B...." to all the ladies in the audience, and I heard 2,000 girls scream.
And that's when it just me that I was playing in front of 4,000 people.
Q - Did you feel that you had made it?
I felt that I was definitely on the right track. I feel like success is a lifetime process. I don't feel like success is just something that happens one day, or it doesn't.
I think that in order to be successful, you really have to apply yourself as a career artist for your entire life.
You just have to be dedicated, and keep going.