Cyndi Lauper Rehearsals: Day One


This is really a whole new world for me. We were supposed to be there at noon, so I got there early, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, only to perfect the art of loitering for several hours with the other band members. They weren’t surprised; they knew we would be waiting around for most of the day. Whitney Houston’s band was rehearsing next door.

Everyone seemed to know each other. Bridget, the tour manager, kept updating us on Cyndi’s whereabouts and how many spins were being added on various radio stations and VH-1. Many phone calls were made. Scooter the drummer regaled us with the story of how he spent the weekend in jail. (Not a chronic occurrence, I was relieved to find out later.)

Cyndi showed up at around 4:30, got something to eat, put together a set list, and at about 6 PM got down to rehearsing with me and Melle, the new guitarist, for an acoustic tune we’re performing (just the 3 of us) on Wednesday morning on WPLJ. Of course, this particular tune is one of the very few I’m supposed to play mandolin on. Luckily I had practiced it, not really realizing that my first ever public playing of this instrument would be for thousands of people, totally exposed…

Anyway, it’s all pretty exciting, despite the fact that we sat around most of the day. I’m exhausted nevertheless, because every minute I kept expecting things to happen and I was in alert mode for hours on end. Plus, I feel pretty inept on the mandolin — but luckily Cyndi is really nice and is trying to make me and Melle feel comfortable.

Another apparent goal is to eliminate all traces of vibrato from my voice. I was urged to make ugly faces, stick my tongue out, and sigh heavily in preparation for my breathy background vocals. Relaxing was encouraged, but quite impossible for both me and Melle, who were wound up like little box springs.

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