Saturday, June 14, 2008

Her True Colors

I was so proud to be able to go out and buy Cyndi Lauper's new dance album Bring Ya to the Brink. Not only is it a great album, but I love Cyndi Lauper.

Cooldan took me to the recent True Colors Tour, and I saw her in March at Sydney's Mardi Gras. One of my greatest "NYC moments" (if you live here, you have them) was being at a bar, circa 2003, down in the Lower East Side. I looked up and saw Cyndi Lauper. She was there for a birthday party for a designer friend of hers (Nicole Miller?) Anyway, there was Cyndi Lauper, and I actually got up and hurdled a couch to tell her something.

While speaking with her, the DJ in this little bar saw her and put on "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." I suggested she get on top of the bar, and you know what she said? "Why the hell not?!" With that, she hopped up on the bar and we all lip synched together with her.

Cyndi Lauper, in an impromptu bar top performance.

After she got down off the bar, we did a conga line. I'm right behind her.

Growing up in small town Oregon, even in primary school I could tell something was different about me. I wasn't fitting in, I knew I was different, I didn't know how exactly, but Cyndi Lauper made me feel it was going to be okay. Something she said stuck with me.

Back in, what was it? 1985? Every girl in my class was mimicking valley girls, and when they weren't doing that, they were copying the dress of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. I remember in those days watching an interview where Cyndi Lauper expressed her disappointment that other girls were imitating her: coloring their hair red, shaving square into it, just like she did.

In the interview, Cyndi said that's not what she wanted to inspire; she didn't like to see people copying her. She wanted to inspire others to be different, in their own special way. 20 years later, at that LES bar, I was able to tell her I'd never forgotten what she impressed upon me.

Cyndi Lauper is a rock star, yes, but I love her for another reason.

From a very young age, she told me I could be an original.


Larry (MChips) said...

Hi Jesse!

This went from "how very cool" to "how very inspiring!"

Larry :)

Anonymous said...

"Her True Colors" is what she is all about... heart her...had the wonderful opportunity to meet here here in Phoenix,- stephen and paul

Mark in DE said...

Cyndi rocks, and so do you!

Mark :-)