My Top Ten Rock Memories: (Rock Icon Saturday June 1, Sky Arts, 8pm)

brian car

So tomorrow night on Sky Arts, 8pm, I’m coming out of the closet as a fully-fledged metal head.

This shot is of me getting into a race car with Brian – one he’d reassuringly told me was called “The Widowmaker” right before I got inside. I’m trying not to hyperventilate.

You haven’t lived til you’ve been fighting the G-forces on a Florida racetrack with your life in the hands of Newcastle’s biggest megastar.

So to celebrate, my top ten memories in rock (that I’m prepared to print, anyway)….. click post to read!

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Peter and me this summer at Coachella, headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whom he co-manages. It was a pretty awesome backstage, with visitors including legendary producer Rick Rubin and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, whose son Patrick is a fan.

As you will note, I am wearing a white body from TopShop with a picture of a black tiger on it. I also wore a pair of shorts and FitFlops.

There’s something about rock and roll, and heat, and rock and roll combined with heat, that makes you think you can get away with anything. I kept that TopShop body in my drawer for years after buying it going “What are you thinking? You are 39. You cannot wear a body with a tiger on it.”

But I did wear it and I looked great in it.

Elsewhere I’ve blogged that exercise is the fountain of youth. Well, I want to add rock to that. It keeps you young, and fit, and connected with the purest part of yourself, the animal pleasure in both music and belonging to a rebel tribe. So we wear black leather and studs and tiger bodies.

On stage, Flea and Anthony Kiedis were bouncing around with quite extraordinary athletic ability in front of the sea of worshipping fans that stretched out as far as the eye could see. Peter lifts. Brian Johnson from AC/DC, and his wife Brenda, who looks 25 years younger than she is, work out fanatically too. They showed me their gym. He works, he drives, he races cars faster than speeding bloody bullets, he pumps iron and he can still sing his guts out in any gig or world tour. AC/DC’s Black Ice tour grossed almost a half a BILLION dollars. $441 million dollars. US, that is, not Australian. 

The fitter you are the harder you can rock. Hey, listen, Axl Rose used to be sexy. Not so much any more. And his stagecraft is as bloated as his chin. Come to think of it, all the musicians I know work out like the devil. You ever seen Rob Trujillo from Metallica, who I toured with as a 22 year old back when he was in Suicidal Tendencies? The dude is cut. 

I think fitness and rock go together these days because both bespeak a huge zest for life. Knocking you out with those American thighs…

What Men Want – Dress

So what do men want from how you dress?

Of course this article comes with all the normal caveats; some men are different, some want tattoos and biker leathers, that’s all true. But what do most men want?

I think the answer is simple enough.

1. they like their women feminine. Consider wearing dresses if you usually stick to trousers. A dress these days is rare enough that a woman in one always looks elegant. It says “I bothered”.

2. They like you and want to see you. This means fitted clothes that flatter your shape, including plus size. No hiding away. Men are more visually stimulated than women and are attracted to the female form, so display it by form-fitting clothes.

Make sure whatever you wear shows your waist. Waist to hip ratio is a scientifically proven quotient of attractiveness to men throughout the ages, no matter what your size. Many plus size pieces are cut to show that waist.

3. They operate a double standard and don’t want to see you in anything too revealing. We can debate all day long as to why this should not be so, but the fact remains for most men it is, in fact, so. Don’t go too short, too low-cut, or too clingy or see-through.

4. They want to see you look pretty, elegant and groomed. As well as appreciating you, men are territorial. There is a big part of them that wants to be proud of the woman they are with. Rightly or wrongly, they feel she reflects on them. The unlovely term and concept “trophy wife” comes from this basic idea; a man wants to be proud of the woman he’s with.

5. This means, good fabrics and cuts, blow-dried hair, simple make-up that looks like a more polished version of you.

And that’s it. The basic, elegant, feminine look most men want. They envy another man whose wife or girlfriend looks like that. Yes, I believe women should dress for the man they love. This fundamental idea of caring about, and acting on, what your partner wants is attacked by many as unfeminist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Feminism is about equal rights and opportunities for women. It is not about seeing men as an enemy; it is nor about denying the urge women have to please the men they cherish.

And of course, it is not a one way street either. You expect your man in a suit at your sister’s wedding. I like men who lift weights. In a love partnership, each does not consider themselves alone, but what the other likes and desires. Women are less visually stimulated than men, so you may not have an opinion on Hugo Boss for him, but he will be obliged to do things for you purely and solely because you are into it.

What Men Want: Relationships

wmw auroBOOK REVIEW:

Self-help books are one of my great pleasures. I read all kinds; success manuals, time management tomes, style bibles, stress reducers, exercise and weight-lifting guides. Much of it is total guff (self help people LOVE lists – the Seven Rules to Time Management, the Twenty Laws of Manifesting Wealth etc etc) but you occasionally get a nugget of insight you can use. Like “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy on procrastination (do the most important thing first in your day).

Besides, you get more of what you focus on, I believe, so constantly looking at various ideas to help you do more, be more and achieve higher will help you get there, by osmosis, even if the individual bits of advice don’t work.

So here in the What Men Want series (that perennially annoys those self-identified feminists who, in the face of all basic logic, believe it is unfeminist for a woman to wish to please a man) – a book review.

His Needs, Her Needs has sold 3 million copies and is an unusual relationship book.

Instead of telling you the normal relationship stuff like “active listening” etc, it has an interesting thesis: that men and women have a “hierarchy of needs” that they are looking to have met. If you meet your partner’s needs in these five areas you will have a great relationship.

There are caveats, so don’t all jump on him if the 5 needs aren’t your personal top five needs; the author advocates finding out your own top five from a basic list and ensuring you get them met. But, like all relationship books, it necessarily generalises on MOST men and MOST women.

Women’s Top Five Needs are:

1. Affection
2. Conversation
3. Trust/Honesty
4. Financial support/a provider
5. Good father/ family commitment.

Men’s top 5 needs are

1. Sexual fulfillment
2. Recreational companionship/ playmate (non Playboy sense) – doing activities together
3. An attractive or well groomed spouse
4. Peace and quiet /domestic support/ tranquil home
5. Admiration.

Clearly, this is not a politically correct list, but I believe there is an awful lot to this. The chapters under each heading go into details – how women talk more than men and men express affection through doing stuff together – he wants you to ski with him, go to movies with him, walk the dogs together etc – that in “financial support” he is not saying women marry men for their money, but reflecting the reality that most childcare still devolves on women, working women tend to earn less than men, most women are at maximum stress levels and need support – and in “attractive or well groomed spouse” he is reflecting a reality of male thoughts on a partner bothering to look well for him, reflecting on him etc..

It may seem very controversial to put “Sexual fulfillment” at the top of masculine needs, Clearly both men and women need to feel loved first. You note that “loved” is not listed here. The author’s thesis is that these are different ways in which the sexes receive the feeling of being loved.

A man who is sexually rejected or deprived will feel rejected *as a man* and *as a person* and not merely sexually. There is no division. Before you all start screaming, of course, if the woman is disabled, depressed or traumatised there are exceptions, but without these serious reasons, men want to be desired and not merely to desire others themselves.

It might be a bit uncomfortable, but I think there is an awful lot to be said for this list. The top 5 needs for women aren’t my own personally, but I think I’m somewhat different from most.

It never really struck me until it was pointed out what a massive male need it is to have a woman as an active companion. He wants a permanent friend and whereas women will “grab a coffee” together, men pretty much never do that. They meet for tennis/bowling/a play/ a movie. Just imagine three men sitting in a cafe over tea and cakes chatting. It’s an amusing image, no? Yet women do it all the time.

With his life partner a man wants a woman who will throw herself into it. Skiing (which I hate) I do because Peter likes it. Walking the dogs late nights not a favourite either, but he likes the companionship. Plays, listen, I am a homebody who likes reading and posting and other solitary pursuits but I go to them and enjoy them because he wants me to. And reciprocally, he does masses of stuff he isn’t particularly into for my sake.

Each of the needs has a chapter exploring it in depth and it is honest, not the normal psychobabble. A man does judge himself against other men and does feel proud when his wife is elegant. A woman has a deep need to feel her man is not playing her, that she can totally trust him. A man needs admiration – not necessarily Nancy Reagan type adoring looks all the time, but yes, he wants to be proud of you and you to be proud of him. He doesn’t receive the daily compliments women get “You look great”, “Nice dress”, “I love you hair”. Often his wife is his primary or sole source of expressed admiration. We all need a fan. And as the book points out, this isn’t a tip to massage his ego “oh sweetie aren’t you clever” – it’s advice to go for a man you actually, genuinely admire. Men can tell the difference; it’s on their sexual radar.

In sum, I think this is one of the most useful relationship books I’ve ever read, because it doesn’t lie about what men need as opposed to what modern society would like them to need.

And as for myself, I am a fairly meat and potatoes sort of girl. I like strong men, alpha males, and would not be happy with any man I didn’t both desire and admire. I need to look up to him and long for him. In essence I don’t believe in settling, I think you should marry your fantasy. Settling leads to a mundane and miserable life, with that aching thought that there is always more out there.

Give it a read – challenge your preconceptions. I hate the trope that we are all just looking for a “best friend”. I have two best friends (one male, one female) and I wouldn’t want to marry either of them. A spouse is a lot more than that, and attraction and electricity matter immensely.


photo by auro