Mighty Joe

Gone but not forgotten. I always thought that Shocking Blue’s Mariska Veres was a badass rock chick who never got the cult following she deserved. I guess the early seventies were a crowded field for women with big eyeliner and even bigger hair, but Veres was a bit more substantial than most of the competition. For one thing, she happened to front a really great band. Perhaps her insistence on keeping her clothes on and not being made into a sex object somehow held her back from becoming a real cult queen. But that’s yet another thing that made Shocking Blue special. Veres was serious about her music, not interested in being a titillating novelty, which a woman fronting a rock band still was in those days. Veres did not write or compose any of the band’s songs, but it’s clear that they are tailored to her sensibility. All of the songs Robbie van Leeuwen wrote for Veres to sing have a believable feminine perspective; there are no pandering, suggestive or sexist lyrics. It’s a shame the collaboration didn’t last longer, and equally sad that Veres didn’t follow it up with a remarkable solo career, and yet again a shame that she’s not posthumously embraced as an icon.


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