Getting To Re-Invent Yourself and Live Without Shame: Beverlee

Beverlee et Morte, Vive Beverlee
(Beverlee is dead, Long Live Beverlee)

It is a gem in life, to find someone that is a muse (and amusing). I began talking to Abby Diamond, the “Re-invented”  Beverlee, as she is re-emerging from years in the backroom as a ghostwriter for other musicians. She is a powerful writer and is blossoming into her true identity as a gay woman. She has taken on the new name, giving tribute to the memory of her murdered cousin.

Here are some excerpts from the interview and the podcast link with the full interview is at the end of the post.

Photo Credit Elizabeth Lippman

BEV: I have always been behind the scenes making music for artists, and touring with the Barenaked Ladies. I was on a very long hiatus, but this is my return after nearly 10 years. I think that it is very vulnerable to put out art, and the whole project is about not having shame for who I am. This a 2.0 me of me stepping into my life as an artist, and queer artist, which is also a huge part of that 10 years.

JH: Well, how was it touring with the Barenaked Ladies, I mean, there WEREN’T any Barenaked Ladies around. I mean, they are just a bunch of “Canadian Geeks.”

BEV: That was a lifetime ago, and I remember just being this scared little girl in a green dress. But I think there was a song of theirs in “The Big Bang Theory” of a little girl in a green dress, and that was about me. I wrote a song back then called “Mary’s Son” and looking back on it, it’s a really fucking gay song. It was about the head of the English department named Mary, and I want to get close to her, so I sleep with her son. I don’t know how many tricks of the mind I had to go through till I was able to say to myself “Girl, you’re GAY.”


So this album is about people’s real experiences. It gets old to just write love songs or anger, that’s just surface emotion. But I had to be like that to write the songs I do for people.

JH: See, that is what I liked about the album, your songs weren’t just from this “I’m a young girl in love” point of view, but you are gay, and you wanted to have sex with your English professor.

BEV: Not anymore, but she IS still knocking around in there, but I think I didn’t really understand myself or my music until I accepted who I was, which was a gay woman. There were always ways for me to explain it away. So much of accepting yourself is being able to see it. I think it always stayed in my head and chest as RAGE, and I never let it get into my body, because if I allowed myself to feel what I was “feeling”. I’m working with Gia Wood and she is singing songs about “How did you know” and all these things from my own diary. And I’m thinking “HOLY FUCK, I THINK I’M GAY.”

It’s all the same, we all just want to be seen.


JH: So, talk about Beverlee, the story.

BEV: When I moved to L.A. from New York, I started thinking about Beverlee Jacobson, my mom’s cousin who was murdered in 1970 by her Hells Angel boyfriend. It was something that caused a lot of shame and trauma in my family. I started digging up these articles about the case. The Newspapers at the time talked about her being a stripper. It was written so incredibly sexist and absurd. That trauma lived in our family. I was told that I looked like her (she really does). So I started writing music here in L.A. and when it came time to name the project, I had already written a story about Beverlee, which I hope to get published (now that is out there, we will hold her to it), it’s about living without shame.




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