Hun har været en af mine største musikalske forbilleder, siden jeg som 10-årig fik øje på pladen “Pirates” (stadig et af mine all time favorite albums!) i min søsters samling. Hun vandt et hav af priser for gennembrudshittet “Chuck E’s in love”, har været kæreste med Tom Waits og været dybt afhængig af stoffer. Hun er også gennemmusikalsk, mor til en datter og still going sindssygt strong – i en alder af 61 år. Hun hedder – selvfølgelig! – Rickie Lee Jones og tirsdag den 28. maj spiller hun i Danmark, og jeg skal for tredje gang i mit liv ind og høre hende og glæder mig som et barn!
I den anledning har jeg også fået æren af at lave et lille mail-interview med hende. Jeg valgte at tage udgangspunkt i den berømte franske forfatter Marcel Prousts berømte spørgsmål, der siges at være optimale til at afdække et menneskes personlighed. Enjoy!
Which living person do you most admire? Mohammad Ali
What is your greatest extravagance? Extravagance – I suppose I like to buy expensive shoes. I would like to be more extravagant and buy some expensive clothes to go with them!
What is your current state of mind? Happy and pensive.
Which living person do you most despise? I do not despise anyone I know, and I cannot despise the rumor and legend of people I do not know. That being said, I think Dick Cheney is pretty evil guy.
What is the quality you most like in a man? One quality by itself cannot be evaluated. What is humor without kindness? What is kindness without strength? I like intelligent and honest people, but what is that without humor? I would like to meet a rich man who is generous. That would be unique.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? The answer is the same as for a man. I think asking a question like this is very close to asking ‘what do you like about white people as opposed to black people.’ We are all people. What do you call a black man who flies a plane? A pilot.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? I guess you will have to read the book.
When and where were you happiest? I am happy each day, there are peaks and valleys. A period of happiness as viewed after the fact forgets all the hardship. Best not to look back and say ‘were you happiest,’ but rather ‘when and where are you happiest.’ I’m not for looking back.
Which talent would you most like to have? Visual arts. Painting. Pasting. Sewing. Stuff like that.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I have trouble hearing high-end in speech. I would like to be able to hear perfectly.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? That I am still alive. And… that I have learned patience.
What is your most treasured possession? Family pictures.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Untreated illness – suffering of ebola, or senility, violence. Abuse, abandonment when help is needed most.
What is your most marked characteristic? I sometimes have an ability to inspire others to open up. Whatever characteristic I have in my make-up – maybe simply my expressions – that allows people take down their guards, I would say this is my most valuable and unique characteristic. I am accessible, emotionally, and people sense it right away. I process this as a person and it is magnified as a performer.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? There are figures I love, Malcolm X, Shirley Temple, Helen Keller, but identify with? I’d say Eminem.
Who are your heroes in real life? Helen Keller, Malcolm X. Shirley Temple, Richard Pryor. Each of these people transcended their obstacles in miraculous ways to inspire more than just the audience they had initially aimed at. Malcolm X found love and forgiveness through racism and violence. Shirley Temple, a child star whose spirit inspired a generation during terrible times, and Helen Keller, who by the grace of god learned to express herself in astute and poetic commentary, although she could not speak, nor see, nor hear.
An extra question: Which of your own songs stand closest to your heart? And why? They come close and then move away, depending on what is going on in my life. They are living spirits, and come as needed. A forlorn moment, or triumph, songs come close to expressing what we cannot articulate. I like “The Albatross,” portrait of my family. “A Stranger’s Car,” a weird warning of a kidnapping. “On Saturday Afternoons in 1963,” the feeling of childhood.