IMAGINE THIS: YOU’RE the lead singer of a dynamite cover band and you’re opening for your favorite group at 19 Broadway in Fairfax. You spend the night feeling like a rock star — the club owners are praising your chops, the drinks are flowing, and the guys from the main act invite you to open for them anytime. Fast-forward to the next morning: the dog is puking. One of the kids, or maybe it’s your husband, is getting sick because the dog is sick. Everyone’s running late, and as the whole family stands in the driveway, you realize
you forgot to unpack your sound gear from the car. All eyes are on you as you morph, a bit chagrined, from music mama
to multitasking mom.
That kind of thing happens occasionally in the life of Mill Valley’s Danielle Hirsch, yoga and fitness instructor, wife,
mother and lead singer for Fistful of Scandal, and she’s not alone. Hundreds of moms and dads in the Bay Area are attempting the ultimate balancing act: how to live the dream of being a musician while also playing starring roles at work and at
home. They are the performing parents — not because they’re singing children’s tunes or wearing Barney costumes, but
because at some point both the childrearing bug and the music bug bit and they have no desire to let go of either.
Who are the players? Some have been playing music since they were kids, some rediscovered their love of music and
found courage to gig in their 20s and 30s, and still others picked up an instrument for the first time in their 40s and
found they couldn’t put it down. They have one thing in common: enough drive to go to work, come home and play par-
ent, and, once the children are asleep, play music. “The energy you need to have is amazing,” says San Francisco–based
These moms and dads live the rock star life — at least until it’s time to get
the kids ready for school. BY EMILIE ROHRBACH • PHOTOS BY JACK WOLFORD