by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
When I first met Rew, at a Girls Rock & Girls Rule 2007 pre-tour meeting, I didn’t know what to make of her.
Here was this woman with the biggest smile I’d ever seen, donned in a black-on-black mishmash of punk-rock and glittery, childlike attire. She was funny and strange, but totally down to earth at the same time.
Soon after that initial meeting, I learned that she had two grade-school-age daughters, which shattered my ideas of what it meant to be a mother — weren’t women supposed to quit playing rock and roll when they became moms? Unless you’re famous and rich, isn’t there some unwritten rule that you spend your limited free time cooking and reading “Good Housekeeping?”
It’s been about 10 years, and today, I’m also a mom and a rocker, like Rew. And still, she remains one of the coolest, if not the coolest, New York City musician mamas I’ve ever met.
So no one was more pleased than me when, soon after our second tour in 2008, Rew launched the first iteration of what would become “Rew & Who,” her weekly Internet show that gives every musical performer their “15 minutes of fame” and calls on them to confess their deepest, darkest “skeleton” in the closet. The show is absolutely unlike any “behind-the-scenes” style music profile you’ve ever seen!
When I found out Rew & Who would soon bid adieu to the world of music, I felt a little sad. But I understood. Rew’s a busy musician, mom, and more. Juggling all these things is near impossible and something has to give.
The final “Rew & Who” show will air live on August 17, 2016, 4-6 p.m. at Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC. (For more on Rew’s other ambitions, check out her April 2015 interview with Rockmommy.
Here, she answers some of Rockmommy’s burning questions:
Rockmommy: So, August 17, 2016 — is this really the last Rew & Who?
Rew: I hope so!!!
Rockmommy: Or are you continuing the show in another medium?
Rew: I want to start editing all the archives to make a series that can be timeless… we have so much footage of all the years of the show and I really want to WATCH it!!! We have been blessed with so many guests passing thru from NYC and the world and I would rather get it out there than have it rot sitting on YouTube.So editing it into a late-night show that can utilize all the precious moments is my dream for now.
Rockmommy: Why are you ending the show?
Rew: I am ending the show because I have timelessly put my heart and sole into it for so many years. I started as ReWBee’s World at Arizzma studios in Feb 2009 and then August of 2009 it turned into ReW & WhO? overnight. Then on May 19, 2010, Joey Ramone’s birthday, I moved the show to Otto’s Shrunken Head and it became my entire responsibility 100000000000000%. I have been so lucky with so many people who helped each week, Swami was the first to get me going, then Kate Perotti helped for long while, then Caroleen Stewart stuck it out till the very end. I have had some amazing interns as well, my wonderful daughter Harlee, Karen Monteiro, Zoe Davidson, Jonathan Locilento, Caroline Kaplan, Juan and the Fabulous HooP. There were more too… and I thank them ALL from the bottom of my heart…They helped keep it going while they were there so much and I am eternally grateful.
Back to why I am ending… I am tapped out. I have also started acting and right now I got two lead parts in two films and I have so much work memorizing lines, rehearsing and shooting, that I cannot devote all my time to the show at this point. The show takes up ALL of my time — booking, confirming, organizing each week, and so much more. ReW & WhO? is a full-time job and … we still haven’t nailed our fairy god sponsor. So with that said, we appreciate all the donations we got along the way, just it hasn’t been enough to pay the rent so the time has come to close the door for now. THANK YOU OTTO’S SHRUNKEN HEAD, the Branded Saloon, Bungas Den, The Trinity in London and everywhere else we have done the show.
Rockmommy: When you look back at the last several years, what are you most proud of accomplishing, in terms of the show?
Rew: My most proud accomplishments are truly being so passionate about the show and barely ever missing a week. The show was so wonderful to me in the ability to meet so many people and I was able to really observe so much passion and talent that exists in this world. I really am a believer that this world has so much good in it and ReW & WhO is a perfect example of that. I really feel so lucky making so many friends worldwide and really get inspired by everyone who passes through. I love the show’s ability to even disagree peacefully amongst each other no matter what the topic being said was at the moment. The guests are my biggest accomplishment . The fact that they even wanted to be on the show and then there were so many who consistently want to return, that is just so overwhelmingly huge to me. I thank everyone who passed through and feel so lucky to be apart of this experience.
Rockmommy: Could you tell us about two or three of your favorite guests or moments?
Rew: Truthfully every guest had something to offer. Paul Zest Radio from Canada was a standout guest because he has been one of my biggest supporters of all time. The constant encouragement and kindness that he showed even before meeting us was overwhelming. And then when he visited NYC he was the WhO cohost twice that week (once at Otto’s and then the Brooklyn edition). He even brought us Elvis’ daughter [Elainee Presley] to both episodes, so there are two birds in one stone.
Alan Merrill has become a brother to me throughout the years and Jurgen & Marlowe have become family too as cohosts and non-blood family…my intern Zoe made this as her going away present..
Rockmommy: Who had the best “skeleton” in the closet?
Rew: Hmmm … another hard one to pinpoint. There have been so many amazing ones… some have gotten truly deep and some have even asked to edit them out!! Haha! The one that always was a stand out one my memory, at 14 minutes in from Keith of BITE.
Rockmommy: So with the show off your plate, what’s next for Rew?
Rew: Well as I said the acting is happening, I also will be releasing a single soon with Manta Ray Records, a label out of Baltimore I am working with. We began the song that was inspired from the documentary “AMY” — I never in a million years knew I would see that film and come home and channel a song right after seeing it. Manta Ray wanted me to release a brand new track with them and that was the one they picked… so stay tuned for “Miss House of Wine” in the near future.
Rockmommy: How are your daughters doing? Are they following in your path as a musician?
Rew: My daughters are incredible and they are following their own paths!!! Eva Lin is actually performing her music and writing the most incredible songs. She has a residency performing every Wednesday in July at Rockwood Music Hall this summer and I am blown way by her. Harlee is pursuing film and she has been writing as she always has her entire life. She has a few screen plays on her hard drive just waiting to turn into masterpieces.
— Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy