Petra — The Founder & Producer of the B/sider


Petra’s Story from A to B

Once upon a time, I got this crazy idea that I could make my own music in my spare time. So what if I was thirty and had zero experience as a musician? I knew how to DIY stuff. Thus, in the manner that a person learns to bake zucchini muffins, I started a band. I didn’t care if we sounded terrible at our first downtown gigs in New York; I had a blast screaming Sixties covers in Japanese, wearing dresses made from pink bubble wrap. Who knew this would all lead to a record deal with Sony and fucking stardom in Japan?

I wasn’t trying to be famous…anywhere. It was just an enviable stroke of luck, because when SONY is backing, anything can happen, and everything did: My face appeared on a billboard the size of a bullet train.; our fans screamed outside the TV studios in Tokyo; we felt like The Beatles! I knew I’d made it when Keith Richard’s favorite drummer, Charlie Drayton, showed up to record tracks for our original songs. Trust me – being *big in Japan* is totally underrated. 

The non-stop-party rocked an entire decade of my adulthood. But just weeks after my fortieth birthday, everything came to a screeching halt: the world slipped into the great recession, I lost my band, my job, and the five-year-fiancé who called me an old maid. It wasn't the happy ending I'd envisioned for my glam fairytale: I thought I’d be closing deals and havingitall like a modern, grown-ass woman. But I was suddenly signed up for having NADA...exception the deepest dive into loneliness and pain.   

My sad flameout had no encore, but starting over as a midult was when the crap really hit the fan. I didn’t have a problem with my age, but apparently our culture did. Algorithms decided I'd expired; they disqualifying me from desirable jobs and dating anyone in my own generation. I watched my value plunge further with every day I woke up not a mother. I felt duped as a person. Slowly it dawned on me — Hollywood and the bro-ocracy want us all to believe this gigantic lie — that a woman’s chances of being wanted and worthy should be measured in dog years.

None of this is OK.

But in the spirit of raising a little hell, I’m dragging this taboo off the shelf and onto the turntable for a spin. Coming of middle age in America shouldn’t have to be such a scratched record for those of us who don't fit the mold. It’s the twenty first century and our society has left single women over forty without a context broader than a list of pathetic clichés: cat lady, cougar and spinster.

I am not buying it.

So here’s my alternative – I’ve started The B/ Sider, a movement to erase the shame and hone some pride. B/ Siders are not only hidden gems, we are spearheading a cultural phenomenon. Our voices have been quieted in the mainstream.

 Let's turn up the volume on this revolution! 

Yours Fiercely,