Ani DiFranco grew up in a house with no walls. "It was like a brick carriage house there. Inside there was just one room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. So it was an intimate house for a non-intimate family."
DiFranco's deep craving for intimacy led her to writing music. And the things DiFranco wanted to write were exactly what a generation of women coming of age in the '90s wanted to hear. DiFranco relives those early years in her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream.
During her adolescent years, DiFranco remembers searching for connection and intimacy she never felt at home. "As a teenager, I went out into the world armed with my guitar and my little songs and my aggressive eye contact and I was looking to connect with somebody else deeply," she says.
At one point in the memoir, DiFranco reminisces on shaving her head at 18. "It's funny to think back," she says. "I shaved it all off because I didn't want to be a sex object and there I was playing in bars you know mostly surrounded by men with drinks in their hands. And I was getting attention for not the right reasons. I wanted a different kind of power, I think."
DiFranco remembers the power of shaving her head was polarizing. The catcalling from men stopped, but so did casual pleasantries with strangers. The musician recalls people thinking she was a skinhead or punk ready to vandalize property.