Cyndi Lauper is back with another Grammy-nominated song, but this time she’s singing a different tune.
BACK IN 1984, WHEN CYNDI LAUPER was named the Best New Artist of the Year, she was a girl who just wanted to have fun. Today she wants more. The 45 year old is happily married and has a beautiful son, Declyn. She’s a frequent guest star on Mad About You, She’s acted in several films, including an upcoming indie with Christopher Walken. And she’s left the pop charts to make dance hits-her cover of “Disco Inferno” from A Night at The Roxbury soundtrack was a Grammy nominee for Best Dance Recording. On the day of the awards, we talked to Cyndi Lauper about her life in the ’90s.
You seem to have completely changed yourself. What spurred the evolution?
In 1990, my life came together. Right before New Year’s Eve, I decided to change my life. I dyed my hair black, took a break from music and did a movie. I became a different person. Once I started on my journey, things began to happen to me. A few months later, though, Yoko Ono asked me to go to Liverpool, England, to do a memorial concert for John Lennon. I got to arrange the music-I was like a kid let loose in a giant toy store and I couldn’t believe that it was happening. It was only then that I realized how much I had missed music, even though I was only away for six months, I started regrouping that summer, and as I got more into music I did things I had always dreamed of doing. I stopped asking if I could do something. I just did it.
How do you feel about your Grammy nomination this year?
I think it’s great to be recognized and be nominated, especially since “Disco Inferno” was one of my birthing songs.
You mean you actually listened to disco hits while you gave birth?
Well, when I was in labor, yeah. And before my son was born. My husband [David Thornton] is an actor, and he was in The Last Days of Disco. To prepare for the part he had bought all these disco compilations. I found myself listening to “I Will Survive” and all this disco stuff. It was perfect. The night after my son was born, friends came to visit in the hospital and we had our own disco party in the room while the baby slept!
It doesn’t sound like motherhood has changed you much.
No, but it’s different -you have to be very responsible when you become a parent. But I have a lot of fun with Declyn. He likes music, so we dance around, bang on pots, play on my drum set. He likes house and disco music, and Cher’s song “Believe” is one of his favorites, He actually really likes “Disco Inferno!” I haven’t tried my old ’80s hits on him yet, but he would probably like those-they have the beat he likes. We go to a music class together, and he’ll go stand at the front of the class and shake his head like a headbanger-it’s pretty funny. The main difference he has made in my life is that when I travel now it’s like, “Oh my god!” I miss Declyn so much.
You acted like a real party girl in your Bus videos. Were you a real wild child then?
No, I never thought of myself as wild; I never went yahooing it up or drinking it up, I might seem wild because I have a wild style-I love wild clothes. It’s not that I felt that I wasn’t free, but I didn’t feel like I was a demon child, either. Those videos in the ’80s were great, and I had a great time on stage. But other girls were grossed out by me because I would get all sweaty and I wasn’t lady like. I’m still wild like that, but now it’s accepted since I have a kid. I get to run around and scream with him. We run over to the stereo, turn it up and sing at the top of our lungs, Declyn is great.
What will you do if Declyn wants to die his hair a crazy color when he’s a teenager?
Well, I’ll help him, I would actually probably do it for him, because the stuff I use is very safe. But it probably won’t be the hair that will get me. It will probably be that he wants to wear Brooks Brothers.