Ultimate Guitar’s David Slavković recebtly got the chance to speak to guitarist Jennifer Batten – known for her work with Michael Jackson – about her career. An excerpt from the interview is available below.
UG: The landscape of the music industry today is a bit different back compared to when you were in Michael Jackson’s band. And, of course, it was a man’s game, and you also talked about some of the challenges that you faced back in the day. What was, if you could single out one biggest challenge in this regard, what would it be? The one that you faced as a female guitar player back in the day?
Jennifer Batten: “I’ve gotten comments over the years. A lot of guys will say you, ‘You play pretty good for a girl.’ Or, the best one, this guy said, ‘You play just like a boy.’ What does that even mean? Yeah, millions of male guitar players, some are great and some suck, so it has no meaning. But you kind of have to look at the energy that’s coming at you, and he meant it as a positive thing.
I remember, specifically, before the Jackson thing came up, I was trying to get an audition with Ozzy Osbourne. And they were of auditioning everybody in LA at the time. And I know my audio got to the right people, and I didn’t even get a chance. Looking back, it’s a super macho gig, and they probably wouldn’t even consider a female for that. Having said that, if it was the same thing today, I think it’d be a whole different story. You get somebody like Nili Brosh – you could slay in a gig like that. She has incredible chops, great tone, great attitude, everything. It’s a different world. It is a very different world now.”
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