Women in Rock: Drivin’ that train
Published: March 7, 2012 in Lively Times Entertainment Magazine
By Halladay Quist
For a moment, I’m in a familiar dream. Big beautiful buses line up behind the stage. The guys in the band horse around in our very own green room. A burly tattooed roadie handles my amp with ease.Standing onstage about to start, I awake to the realization that if I make one mistake, it will be blasted with thousands of watts of power at the fans waiting in the heat to see the Doobie Brothers. With my hands shaking as I run and rerun my solo parts, the probability seems pretty high.I look out in the crowd and catch a wink from a bearded man under a cowboy hat. Time races and all too suddenly the sound guy gives us the thumbs up from stage right. I kick off my shoes and think, well, I’m here, might as well have fun with it.Life on the road is filled with highs and lows. Moving gear is constant, like waves on a shore. I’ve heard that women have a reputation for not carrying their gear, but each time I haul my bass amp, I feel stronger. If I was a man, I don’t think life would be that different, besides the fact that I get compared to Cassandra from Wayne’s World at least every other show.For me, there’s nothing like the feeling of driving a rumbling train that could derail with the slightest mistake, breaking the spell in an instant that is oh-so very hard to win back. I only hope that more women hear the call.And hey, Bonnie Raitt was just ranked 89th in the top 100 guitar players of all time, so there are great footsteps to follow.On another note, it’s good to be back in Missoula. Kudos to the Box Cutters – a hot rock duo that kept the show going through an amp blowout at the Wilma. Another new band to catch: The Best Westerns, like Neil Young with a New Age toe-tapping twist.Pro Tip: 8 million instrumental tracks are used in film and television each year, so it’s a good idea to get a copy of your tracks without vocals and shop them around. Happy hunting!About Halladay: Raised beneath the Swan Mountains of the Flathead Valley, Halladay Quist started singing at a young age. The child of a sexy stewardess and a traveling musician, her first memories are of riding passenger on a long dark highway, her dad teaching her the harmony parts to the songs that kept him awake.
Since those early years, music has been a strong part of her life. It has taken her to Europe, where she performed classical music in Hungary, Poland and Austria, to the University of Montana, where she sang with the UM Jazz Chorale and the Jubileers, and even to Rockin' the Rivers, opening main stage for the Doobie Brothers with her rock band, House of Quist. See where she’s playing next at www.houseofquist.com.