“Josie and the Pussycats” helped me find my inner rock star when I was an awkward pre-teen

I vividly remember the day my parents let me go to the movies alone for the first time. It was 2001. I had just turned 13, which meant that I ‘d finally reached the rite of passage allowing me to purchase a PG-13 movie ticket without my mom. For this momentous occasion, my friends and I made the important decision to experience the cinematic greatness known as Josie and the Pussycats.

Now, more than 16 years later, the band is getting back together for one night only (aka my long-held teenage dream is coming true).

On September 26th, Mondo is reissuing the much beloved movie soundtrack on purple vinyl and celebrating in a big way — by bringing some of the cast and crew back together for a special night in Downtown Los Angeles.

The cult movie will be screened by Alamo Drafthouse at Ace Hotel, where co-directors/writers Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, as well as stars Rachael Leigh Cook and Tara Reid, will be speaking. Plus, Kay Hanley — who provided the voice of Josie on the incredible soundtrack — will be performing the movie’s best songs.

Unfortunately, my Pennsylvania addresses prevents me from making it to Los Angeles for the occasion — but the event reminded me of how powerfully formative that movie was during my early teenage years. As I navigated the world of puberty and crushes at the tender age of 13, the film brought me a much-needed trio of female role models in Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson.

Yes, the movie — a satire of consumerism and the popular music industry — is based on characters from an animated comic strip, but I was enthralled by the cool courage of the Pussycats.

My friends and I sat back and watched a group of badass female musicians tear up a fictitious stage, beginning at their local bowling alley and ending as rock stars adored by the entire world

Josie and the Pussycats was actually integral to the formation of my teenage hopes. Watching women make their dreams come true provided my young heart with the energy and passion it needed to chase my own dreams. During that hour-and-39-minutes in the movie theater — and every other time I watched the movie on TV or DVD afterwards — I felt the same surge of joy and excitement that I saw on screen. A group of best friends achieved exactly what they had set out to do, and while they may have floundered or had missteps, they still made it happen, together.

I always wanted to be a rock star.

After my first viewing of Josie and the Pussycats, I felt this renewed sense of purpose for music. I wanted to write about every boy I’d ever crushed on; I thought about forming a band with my best friends and playing at our local bowling alley. Sadly, I wasn’t gifted with the necessary ability to play music. (In fact, it’s only now that my family has revealed my time spent playing French horn in middle school was pure hell for them.) Still, even if those dreams would never come true, it was nice to imagine them.

At an age when I had little self-confidence, Josie and the Pussycats made me believe I was unstoppable.

Even now, when I watch the movie as an adult, I can still clearly see why I was so enamored with the film as a child. I can easily understand why it’s important that the Pussycats are returning to possibly encourage a new set of fans. Nearly decades later, the soundtrack (performed by Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo) is still apt and relatable. Josie and the Pussycats encouraged me to be whoever I wanted to be, to chase after an impossible rockstar dream and believe in myself.

Here’s hoping that a new batch of fans finds the same inspiration from a group with “long tails and ears for hats.”

Get info about attending tonight’s Josie and the Pussycats celebration here.

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