TOPICS: Libby beats the drum for girls with rhythm

SMACK A MEAN SNARE: Libby Jones, main photo, inset top Meg White and bottom Cindy Blackman. LIBBY Jones hits like a girl, and she’s fine with it.

The Wallsend drummer is part of a global search to find the queen of the (drum)sticks, and she wants more women to make noise.

‘‘I know when I was starting out, I was the only one I knew playing drums at all,’’ says Jones, who’s played since the age of 12.

‘‘It hasn’t really changed; we’re still outnumbered 99 to one.’’

Assemble the world’s biggest rock outfits and you’ll find the drumkits soaked in testosterone.

Lenny Kravitz is backed by the formidable Cindy Blackman, Meg White wielded the sticks in one of last decade’s most interesting bands (winning little praise), and that’s about it.

‘‘Maybe that’s been the way with rock in general,’’ says Jones.

‘‘Women aren’t necessarily seen as doing rock.’’

The contest – called Hit Like a Girl – is for drummers who aren’t contracted but still smack a mean snare, and Jones has opened for Powderfinger and Magic Dirt. She’s been the drummer in all-female bands, and the only woman in otherwise-male bands.

‘‘I care about it for the music, more than anything else,’’ she says.

And the best part? If you, like us, don’t really know how to observe International Women’s Day, here’s an idea.

Visit hitlikeagirlcontest爱杭州同城论坛m to see a video of Libby Jones bashing out YYZ’s Rush and, if that does it for you, vote for her.

WE know Rutleys Road (Topics, March 7) is west of Lake Macquarie, but who was Rutley?

Reader Leah McGill grew up on the grounds of Morisset Hospital in the 1940s and ’50s, and remembers a Mr Rutley who might just be our guy.

He owned the land on the point of what is now Rutleys Road, which didn’t exist back then. Rutley, it so happens, was a larrikin.

To get to Morisset, he’d cross a shallow part of Wyee Creek to catch a bus from the hospital to the train station.

‘‘He carried a sugar bag to put whatever in, and he used to call into our house on his way home,’’ says Leah.

‘‘My father collected his mail and Mum cut his hair and used to dress carbuncles that reoccurred on his neck.’’

Which must have been a delightful task. Rutley was short, like a jockey. He didn’t hate a drink. Leah’s dad used to walk him across the creek, and sometimes had to pull him out.

‘‘Also, he shot and killed our Irish setter for chasing his sheep,’’ recalls Leah.

‘‘When the road from the highway was named Rutleys Road, I assumed it was named after Mr Rutley.’’

READER Ross Lane has tackled the mystery of who Larry is – from the expression ‘‘happy as Larry’’ (Topics, March 5) – and added some layers. Take it away, Ross.

‘‘Clever Dick and smart Alec have both told me that Larry (happy as) was no ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry. Blind Freddy reckons he was related to Flynn (in like) but Bob’s (my uncle) and Aunt Fanny, says before you can say Jack Robinson he was on his Pat Malone.

‘‘Mrs Kafoops, who was a Callithumpian, said for Pete’s sake you should check with Aunty Nelly, but she wouldn’t know Joe Blow from Adam, let alone any Arthur or Martha. So according to Murphy you have got Buckley’s chance of tracking down Larry.

‘‘I don’t know if this will help at all.’’

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