It is rumored that “unlikely guitar hero” Mrs. Smith is actually fast-fingered shredding deity Steve Vai in drag. This is not likely as in 2016, Mrs. Smith was the opening act at the “Guitar Gods Festival” in Miami of which Steve Vai headlined along with neoclassical metal legend Yngwie Malmsteen. Vai, in fact, has contributed to the matronly drag figure’s viral fame by sharing videos that demonstrate Mrs. Smith’s guitar wizardry.
As of late, Mrs. Smith, who can play “breakneck-speed heavy metal guitar solos,” has been busy with various impressive music successes. She recently had a tantalizing residency at NYC’s Cutting Room, and in January of this year made a splashy appearance at the testosterone-heavy annual NAMM conference demonstrating for Italian amplifier company Mezzabarba. While in Los Angeles for NAMM, Mrs. Smith took part in a lecture series called “The State of Shred” at The Voyager Institute (“a kind of bohemian salon of talks by artists on intriguing topics,” is how Mrs. Smith describes it). At the Institute, Mrs. Smith gave a history lesson on guitar noodling, though she confessed, “A great deal of the information for my lecture was acquired at the last minute on Google. I apologize if I got a Guitar God’s name wrong!” Furthermore, in a move that satisfies fans of both drag artistry and music, Mrs. Smith recently released a video covering Adele’s “Hello.”
Perhaps fashionistas will also know the guitar stylings of Mrs. Smith from a Gucci Eyewear Ad directed by Petra Collins.
Before becoming a respected sidewalk busker, the guitar soloing doyenne first got her showbiz break in the vlogosphere in a video series dispensing cat advice whilst in her trademark “aging socialite” persona. Throughout the videos, Mrs. Smith—whose male name stays out of public record in order to “preserve the character’s mystique”—hilariously delivers guidance to fellow cat lovers, though oddly her own cat Carlyle remains missing (Carlyle’s supposed meows are incorporated into her guitar playing). Mrs. Smith went on to perform at the Emerging America Festival, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and, of course, starred in a musical called Mrs. Smith’s Broadway Cat-Tacular! at the 47th St. Theater in New York.
After Vai hyped Mrs. Smith’s guitar talent, she began conducting music gear review videos, which certainly opened the doors to the Mezzabarba sponsorship and NAMM. But how did such a cat-loving, Chanel-clad, pearl-wearing mature lady get her dynamite guitar chops?
Since Mrs. Smith is never publicly seen out of character, we have the following quote of her describing her band Mrs. Smith and the Rage and the concept of their show:
“This is the topic of my show, that I do with my band, my band is called The Rage, Mrs. Smith and the Rage. [draws long breath] We have a show called “While My Guitar Gently Shrieks,” it sold out Joe’s Pub, it played La Poisson Rouge, and we’re going to return with the show, and whatnot, and this is why it’s happening, what am I seeing—people see this person on the sidewalk giving voice to grief and rage with a guitar, with such an unexpected…vocabulary. WHY is this happening? HOW did this happen? The show answers it all, but the short version is that in the ’90s, I was kidnapped and held for ransom by a Norwegian death metal band. I suffered Stockholm Syndrome. And if that seems like a lot of Scandinavia for one anecdote, WELCOME TO MY LIFE.”
Mrs. Smith, “philanthropist, cat lover, and guitar virtuoso,” needs to be crowned Global Treasure immediately.
Mrs. Smith dazzles, shreds in the Gucci advert below: