BWW Interview: Poet and Musician Ida Goeckel

Ida Goeckel discusses Music, Poetry and the 14TH Annual Female Musicians Fighting Breast Cancer Benefit in Buffalo, New York.

MCL: When did music first come into your life as something you wanted to create?

IG: It was around 69/70. I was 12 then. Although I had already been taking piano lesson that were thrust on me at age 7, it wasn't until I started noticing that I wanted to jam with people and play something more rock n roll. When my mom refused to let me play the drums, I took up acoustic guitar. I continued to play acoustic guitar, mostly original material, for the next 28 or so years. I started gigging in bands, rather than as a solo act at open mics, later in life in 2004. I have been in several local bands.

MCL: How many instruments do you play? What are they? How did that start?

IG: I used to play piano from 7-12 years old. Then predominantly rhythm acoustic guitar from 12 yrs until I picked up the bass in 1998, which is now my main instrument currently. I'm a very novice/struggling and beginning self-taught drum student.

MCL: Do you write music or lyrics or both?

IG: For the most part, I don't do any songwriting anymore. Bass just doesn't inspire me that way. I did that more as a guitar player. I would consider myself more of a lyricist who used guitar melody as a backdrop to her words. I have written some instrumental tunes in collaboration with other guitar players.

MCL: Describe your style?

IG: My style on guitar was not very fluent, but my songwriting style was folky/country-ish. As a bass player, while I like to play rock and blues, I am big on nurturing the groove mostly in the R&B genre.

MCL: When did poetry come into your life?

IG: I have been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. My mom, who was a writer, was a huge influence on me. I'd say I started writing poetry in elementary school. I had a couple published in our junior high poetry anthology. When I started playing guitar, most of my poetry became song lyrics.

MCL: How has your music and poetry changed over the years?

IG: As a young girl, I remember writing very happy poetry that marveled at all life had to offer. As the years went by, my teen years brought out the angst feelings of loneliness and desire. Pretty typical "nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I'll eat some worms" kinda stuff. As an adult, most of my poetry is either dark comedy or reflective pieces. Sometimes I combine the two. The last time I wrote lyrics, I was trying my hand at rap/hip hop. That mighta been back in the early 2000's.

MCL: What's the difference between song lyrics and poetry?

IG: Well, with my poetry, I try not to concern myself with meter. Most of it does not rhyme. It seems too contrived. Lyrics often rhyme, are more melodic, and of course, often rely heavily on a hook or a chorus/refrain that repeats itself.

MCL: Tell us how music and poetry has affected your life

IG: Writing poetry for me, just like for most people, is better than paying some therapist for a session. It's so cathartic and allows you to clear your head. It forces you to look at truths about yourself and how you are a part of the world around you. Lyrics do the same thing. Music has always been able to transport me from bad feelings/days or it can enhance a great day, especially when you are playing it and get in the zone. I couldn't imagine my life without it.

MCL: You have an event coming up. Please tell us about it.

IG: I am the founder and organizer of an annual fundraiser called Female Musicians Fighting Breast Cancer. I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor and putting on this event allows me to raise awareness and funds to show my gratitude and support for Roswell Park Cancer Institute' Breast Clinic and WNY Breast Resource Center by doing a benefit and donating 100% of the proceeds to that entity. The secondary mission of the benefit is to promote female musicians who often still do not get their dues in the music industry. This year will be my 14th year running this event.

MCL: When? Where? Tickets? Who and how the event started?

IG: This event started in 2003 during my first breast cancer radiation treatments. I wanted to keep myself from wallowing and wanted to turn a negative into a positive by funneling my energies into something productive. This year's event is on Sunday October 23rd, 2016 at the Sportsmen's Tavern at 326 Amherst St. in Buffalo, N.Y. Doors open at 1:30 and admission is just $10.00 pre-sale or at the door. Every year, just like this year, are 4 great bands playing this event from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. but last year I did incorporate poetry into the show as well. There are basket raffles and 50/50 splits as well. For more details about the event or my personal story, visit my web site at or visit the Facebook page

MCL: Finally ... Promote yourself. What's coming up for you in 2016/2017?

IG: Aside from the FMFBC benefit, I hope to continue actively participating in the poetry scene, writing more new pieces. Eventually, I'd like to compile some of my work in a book. (Can't say as that'll happen this year). Musically, I'm working on getting my last band to do a reunion gig, but nothing is finalized yet. Other than that, I do plan on participating in Infringement Festival in 2017, with a one woman show, combining my poetry, prose, and musicianship. Wish me luck!

For more information about Ida Goeckel:

14TH Annual Female Musicians Fighting Breast Cancer Benefit:


DOORS 1:30 PM / MUSIC 2-6:30 PM

18 & UP - ADMISSION: $10

Featuring Performances By:





Many Raffle Items, Plus 50/50 Split & More Surprises!

All proceeds benefit Roswell Park's WNY Breast Resource Center.

More Info at:

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From This Author Mark C. Lloyd

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