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The past 10 years has brought Founder and President of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars, Tish Ciravolo, museum inductions, numerous awards, motivational speeches to millions of girls, billions of media impressions touting the girl guitar revolution, the world’s first girl guitar/bass instructional books/CDs/DVDs, appearances in Guitar Hero®/Band Hero™, and the propulsion of the girls rock empowerment message far beyond the music industry through licensing partnerships—on top of rocking stages all over the country and most importantly, being a mother of two.
Growing up in Merced, California, where her best friend Barbara taught her to play guitar as they attended El Capitan High School, Ciravolo was a quick learner and by age 16 was on tour with a band called Plateau. When playing in Kansas City with the group, she decided to stay in the city and enrolled in Penn Valley Community College as a journalism and business major. After receiving her degree, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she balanced a series of crazy-making day jobs, with amateur night performances at The Improv and Comedy Store. Intent on being a rock star during those middle 1980s, she gravitated towards what would become her primary instrument, the bass.
Hopping from band to band, inching ever closer but never getting to that elusive record deal, Ciravolo became the quintessential L.A. rock queen, playing in several bands including Rag Dolls, The Velvets (a female Psychedelic Furs-type outfit), They Eat Their Own (new wave pop), and eventually, her own group, Shiksa and the Sluts. Then she entered her “big hair metal phase,” hanging with the popular band Lypstik from 1988 to 1992. “We had a billboard on the side of the Roxy and everything,” she says. “We did the windmill head shaking routine when we played, which was big at the time. We were also house band at the Whisky for a time, and played in the Battle of the Bitches at FM Station.” Finding other creative outlets, Ciravolo also made two independent films (The Wake, and Birds & The Bees) and wrote sitcom with partner Karen Peterson. “Through all those years of playing music, of great success and crushing disappointment, I always had so much fun,” Ciravolo says. “It’s physical, it’s artistic, and it’s who I am at heart. These days, I’m in this punk band called sASSafrASS, and we do covers like “Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways plus original material.”
Combining a lifelong passion for making music with a desire to “level the playing field” for dedicated female guitarists and bassists of all ages, Tish Ciravolo, founded Daisy Rock Girl Guitars in 2000. Ciravolo’s dream that “every girl who wants to play guitar is welcomed and inspired to do so” is centered on the love she has for her two daughters, Nicole and Sophia. In a sense, Ciravolo’s daughter Nicole is the true visionary behind Daisy Rock. When Nicole was a year and a half old, she drew a picture of a daisy, and Tish was inspired to draw a neck on it. “I was enjoying her being a child, not like so many other days when it feels like you are just trying to keep up,” Ciravolo commented. “She drew a daisy, I turned it into a guitar, and my motherly, protective, musician self decided, in that frozen moment, to create a better experience for her in the music industry. Maybe one day she could walk into a music store and feel like she was welcome to be part of this “club,” this culture, this awesome community of guitarists—regardless of gender. A community that I never felt welcomed into while being a musician in the ‘80s and ‘90s. This was my chance—my duty—to change the culture and provide her and all girls with a better, more inviting experience.”
Since being founded in 2000, Daisy Rock has grown at an astonishing rate, with unit sales in the last decade reaching over 150,000 guitars in total—that’s 150,000 girls whose lives are forever changed by picking up a Daisy Rock guitar! In addition, Daisy Rock remains dedicated to getting guitars into the hands of girls globally, and Daisy Rock guitars and basses are now available in more than 26 countries worldwide. Offering dual guitar lines—the Debutante by Daisy Rock for beginners and the Daisy Rock line for professional players—¬Daisy Rock guitars are designed to better fit the needs of female guitarists of all ages, skill levels, and personalities. The Daisy Rock line for more advanced, professional players consists of dozens of high-quality, great-sounding acoustic guitars, electric guitars, acoustic-electric guitars, and bass guitars in a variety of body shapes and finishes. The Debutante by Daisy Rock line is the company’s beginner line, and consists of fun, playful acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars in shapes that inspire, colors that pop, and best of all, prices that won’t break the budget. Both lines feature light weight construction that makes the instruments easier to hold and “Slim & Narrow” neck profiles that make the instruments easier for girls to play.
Daisy Rock has also become the guitar of choice by famous professional artists from across the musical spectrum, including Avril Lavigne, Joan Jett (The Runaways), Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Louise Post (Veruca Salt), Miley Cyrus, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin (Go-Go’s), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), Lisa Loeb, Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set to Kill), Jackie Tohn (American Idol Season 8), and Denise Vasquez. Girls, however, aren’t the only ones having fun with Daisy Rock guitars—The Cure’s Robert Smith, The Psychedelic Furs’ Tim Butler, Chris Stein from Blondie, and Sylvain Sylvain from The New York Dolls play them, too, as do Adam Levy (Norah Jones) and Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers).
Ciravolo’s focus on female empowerment and females in music has been immortalized by her induction into the Museum of Making Music—the world’s premier museum showcasing the history of the music products industry. In 2009, Tish participated in NAMM’s Oral History project and received Guitar Goddess Magazine’s “Trailblazer Award.” Ciravolo’s insight and expertise on girl guitars and female empowerment has made her a sought-after and frequent contributor on national and international media outlets including USA TODAY, People, Time, Newsweek, CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, VH1, the Premier Radio Network, BBC Radio, and the Associated Press. Ciravolo’s commitment to empowering female musicians extends into the realm of book publishing and beyond. With print music publishing giant Alfred Music Publishing, she has released the award-winning titles: Girl’s Guitar Method, books 1 & 2, and Girl’s Bass Method. Ciravolo is also devoted to helping numerous causes including Make a Wish Foundation, VH-1 Save the Music, and Los Angeles Women in Music. When her high school friend, Barbara, passed due to breast cancer in 2000, Ciravolo was inspired to donate liberally to breast cancer organizations such as Susan G. Komen, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, weSpark, and many others. Daisy Rock Girl Guitars has also promoted breast cancer awareness through national ad campaigns in which Ann and Nancy Wilson were extensively involved.
Ciravolo also spends tireless hours out in the community supporting the next generation of musicians by giving motivational and empowering speeches to girls everywhere, from elementary schools’ “career days” to summer rock camps like the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and DayJams Rock Music Camps. “The most important recognition through all the media buzz, the hype, the museum inductions, and the growth? The GUITARS. Daisy Rock’s have always been really great playing and sounding guitars. That is where the movement meets the sustain, and the passion continues to grow, because the guitars are built extremely well, play fantastic, and sound amazing,” said Ciravolo. “A decade of Daisy’s, and we’ve only just begun.”