Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

5. Cindi Lauper – She’s So Unusual

I think I heard it when it came out. I remember going over to my girlfriend’s house – her name was Meela. We were in grade school and she had a little turntable in her room that had built in speakers. We played the record, looked at the cover and felt and touched it because we wanted to be this person. We were like ‘oh my god – who is this person that wrote this great record that has changed my life?!’ We had complete adoration for her as an artist, like those screaming girl fans that you see! I was never really a screaming girl fan but you know it was like that pre-teen insanity thing.

I think she struck the balance between being totally strong and powerful but also of being childlike and very vulnerable. I remember seeing her a couple of years later – it might have been that year – I remember going to LA with my mom and it was around the time of the Grammys. We were at the Chateau Marmont and she was there. She was in the hot-tub and she had bitten her nails down to the quick; she had a pimply face and looked completely nervous because she was either going to win a bunch of Grammys or not win a bunch of Grammys. You just saw this totally vulnerable woman and it was amazing to see the actual person in her emotional nakedness. I maybe saw then a tenth of the pressure there that being famous can cause.

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