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Frontlines: One Minute My Phair Lady

As Her Career Blossoms, Phair No Longer In Exile

My Phair Lady

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Q. Now that you’re a mom, you’ve been hanging out with little kids. How do they like your music – explicit lyrics and all?

A. A lot of my friends have children that are addicted to my albums! They actually sing along. I don’t know what they’re going to do with the lyrical content.

Q. You’ve said you enjoy a night “fabulousness,” but mostly in L.A. Where do you go in Chicago?

A. Usually when I’m here, I have to be responsible in the morning [because of Nicholas], and forget about the other stuff. But what’s the last fabulous thing I did? I went to [local record label] Drag City’s New Year’s Eve Party. We left at 2:30 and people were just arriving.

Q. Do you remember what you wore?

A. Yes! I wore knee-high black Betsey Johnson leather boots, a really hot, short gray BCBG kind of jumper thing, and my special new Nars really-red lipstick.

Q. Sorry, I’m a boy – I missed a few of those brand names.

A. [Laughs] I know, but that’s half the pleasure. How dare you ask what I wear, because you’re going to get the full answer! Nars lipstick. Let me look up the color. [Pause.] Scarlett Empress!

Q. A photographer once egged you on to show your breasts during a shoot. How intense is that pressure?

A. There’s a whole lot of pressure. At the bottom rung it’s just a bunch of sleazy guys exploiting a young talent. When I was doing Lilith Fair, Sarah [McLachlan], Natalie [Merchant] – everyone had a creepy story like that.

Chicago, March 1999
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