— “R is for Ronnie Spector” —
Another in the ABC MUSIC series, Ronnie Spector.
I look around me and I don’t see any rock’n’roll at the moment. Instead it’s all choreography and stylists and wigs and stuff. It’s like they’re afraid to let the music breathe. No one has their own identity like the Ronettes did back in the day. We had the skirts with the slits up the side, sort of tough, sort of Spanish Harlem cool, but sweet too. We didn’t have no dancers, we didn’t have no goddamn wigs.
— Ronnie Spector
Telling a Story
The next in my ABC MUSIC series is Veronica Yvette Spector (née Bennett; born August 10, 1943) and hailing from Spanish Harlem (El Barrio), New York City.
Known for her early success with the “Girl group” the Ronettes (1963-69), she is an American singer who has worked with Eddie Money, Southside Johnny, Joey Ramone, Bruce Springsteen, and The Misfits, to mention a few.
Her marriage to Phil Spector (record producer, singer, songwriter) was, according to her biography, one that resulted in years of torment and mental abuse, and imprisonment in their home.
I encourage you to check out her biography, or, there is a podcast out there I found that covers the book in detail. What she’s survived is astonishing.
I like her quote, “…as long as you end up okay.) Currently, a movie of her life is in the works.
This image is based on her early years but I love all her eras and styles. Many have told me this reminds them of Amy Winehouse. That’s likely because I’m sure Amy emulated Ronnie’s style. What’s not to love?
Since Amy’s passing, Ronnie performs, “Back to Black” at her concerts.
As usual I have a Spotify playlist for this drawing. This time the songs are a collection of: The early years with the Ronettes, her later music and collabs (Bye Bye Baby sung with Joey Ramone – my heart!), as well as a Billy Joel song written for her, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood”, also her early influences like Little Anthony and the Imperials, Frankie Lymon,
and please listen to, “Girl from the Ghetto” it’s a powerful bio-song.
Phil Spector died January 16, 2021 of COVID-19 while in prison for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
“I hope your Hell is filled with magazines/
And on every page you see a big picture of me/
And under every picture a caption should read/
Not bad for a girl from the ghetto like me”
— Ronnie Spector “Girl From the Ghetto
Soundtrack to “R is for Ronnie”
Recently I thought I’d share something I started to do: Make soundtracks, or little “mix-tapes” that either directly relate to my piece of art, or, that came to me while painting the piece.
While I work I sing – loudly. I dance too, on occasion. You can think of it as an eruption of emotion into the art. It’s cool actually, pretty cathartic.
Music comes to me. Sometimes it leads me in a way that I know a direction or ‘genre’ I want to head toward. Sometimes it’s a total surprise and comes together at the end. Additionally, by way of Spotify I have discovered so much music, the ways in which one can leap-frog from one musical lily pad to another in this modern era is actually very astounding.
While painting my mind is traveling and sometimes a piece of music will get me to researching, & sometimes it serves as a conduit to learn/find something new. It’s in this sort of spider web-like way that the playlists I make are woven together.
I thought that since I get these sort of, ‘visions of music’, (I don’t know how else to call it) that I ought to create some organized fashion to keep my musical thoughts in order.
These are eclectic collections, and I do intentionally sort the order of the songs, and also tend to insert instrumental pieces for levity.
My Spotify handle is “Deanna, Dammit”
Art playlists will be title “Drawing ____”
In the Details:
•Digital Painting, Yes, this is hand drawn, via an ipad!
•Painting and Text by illustrator Deanna Meyer, of Grease and Grace.
•True vintage fonts used whenever possible.
•Archival quality ink on 100% cotton rag, non-reflective paper for long lasting fade resistance
*Due to differences in monitors or screens, colors may vary in printed form slightly.
— PRINT ONLY, no mat —
Packaged with backing board and protective plastic sleeve.
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Hello, I’m Deanna. Creating little worlds is all I want to do.
I spend my days in my illustration studio, surrounded by herbs and antique curiosities, in rural Pennsylvania. I enjoy many interesting adventures with my husband, daughter, and Shmoop, the “Office Cat.”
Since I was a young child, I’ve been creating. Some of my earliest memories are of drawing historic clothing, making fairy tale paper dolls, and designing my own “book covers.”
The work I make is influenced heavily by my affinity for historic eras: Color palettes, patterns, textures, architecture, typography – the list goes on. From Medieval to Mid-Century, I love it all.
If you don’t want to miss anything, follow IG: #deannameyer for illustration and vintage musings. I’m an artist, herbalist, and mother with Multiple Sclerosis & Endometriosis.
I’m also an official artist of the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project.