Jessie McKenna, aka Ruby Star

I was born in Sacramento, California on St Patrick’s Day in 1982. My mother was seventeen at the time, so when you think about it, we kind of grew up together. We moved around a lot trying to find ourselves. We weren’t to be found in Texas, so we decided to go back to California, first to Redding, and when we didn’t find us there, to Oakhurst, where we were definitely not to be found. So we sought to find the polar opposite of Oakhurst, and hit the nail on the head when we landed in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While in the Bay Area I learned a lot of important things about life, Sort of. At thirteen, three friends and I formed a chick punk rock band. We didn’t have a name as I recall, but we had a couple of really good songs. I say that now, though I have no idea what those songs would sound like to me today. At the time they were all A sides. And two of the song titles started with the word “fuck”, ah, teen angst. One of them was about the neighbors calling the cops on us during practice, that one was called, (can you guess?) Fuck the Neighbors. The title says it all. In fact, I’m not sure that song had many other lyrics. Yeah, I like to think I’ve come a little way lyrically since then.

What happened after that is mostly a blur, but I think it went Something like this: At the tail end of my thirteenth year, my mom decided that we should sell all of our worldly belongings and move to Ireland (I never said she was sane), so we did. We lived in Omagh, Northern Ireland for a whole month before freaking out and coming home. Unfortunately, home was no longer where we had left it, and after not finding ourselves in Ireland (don’t get me wrong, we had a great time, it just wasn’t home) we were forced to search hopelessly again in Oakhurst (referred to hereafter by its proper name “Hell!”) where we had family we could stay with. When I look back on my life now, I can make a mental list of all of the most awful, terrible, horrible things that have happened to me and that I have seen, and nine things out of ten on that list occurred during my not brief enough stay in Oakhurst. Granted, there were good times, and good things but the balance between good and evil in that place is totally off. I could rant and rave for ages about how bad it is to spend the formative years of your life there, but I won’t bother; someday I’ll write the book. Just imagine, if you will, being thirteen years old and moving from San Francisco to a place that has everything bad life has to offer all condensed, freeze-dried and sealed up in a nice little package, population 13,000. I don’t think I wrote much of anything during that time; it was like I had been hit with a stun gun.

Whew, ok, that’s all water under the bridge. Let’s get back to the good stuff (oh, I forgot to mention that I met some of my best friends in the world while vacationing in Hell–“Hi guys!”) Like I said, it wasn’t all bad. As you may have guessed, we did eventually get out of there. And we ended up in Seattle, and I love it here.

The music scene in Seattle is pretty kick-ass. Everywhere you go there’s music. Granted, it’s not all good, but who am I or anybody else for that matter to judge. The great thing about it is that everyone is just out there doing it for whoever will listen, and that’s what I intend to do.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell I guess. You can find out more about the life and times of Jessie one day when I’m interviewed by Rolling Stone (just kidding, well maybe I’m not).


7 Responses to “Jessie McKenna, aka Ruby Star”

  1. Hey there! Depending on when you submitted to cdbaby, you might want to ping them about your cd. It’s still not coming up in the database when I try to burn it…

    Nice having dinner with you the other evening. We’ll have to have you up to Snoho soon for dinner.

    Hope you’re well,


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