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Interview:
Cyndi Lauper, B-52's Show Their True Colors -- Together
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

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Girls just wanna have fun — and, in the case of Cyndi Lauper, send a message, too.

The multi-platinum (and multi-faceted) pop star — bestknown for her ’80s hits “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop” and “True Colors” — is leading her second True Colors Tour, a partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that champions lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and, this year in particular, urges the community to get out the vote.

“I wanted to do a tour that would empower the community,” says the New York-born Lauper, 54, who is heterosexual (she’s married with a 10-year old son) but has long enjoyed and embraced a strong homosexual following. “I saw things getting pretty squirrely, and I just think it shouldn’t be that hard if you’re different in this country.

“This country was founded on equal rights, so I just thought we could do a tour that would be a celebration, not hitting people over the head but celebrate humanity and lift people up with music and laughter and have a good time and have information there for people, ’cause information is power.”

This year’s edition of True Colors also gives Lauper — who starred in “Threepenny Opera” on Broadway in 2006 — a chance to promote her justreleased new album, a dance-oriented set called “Bring Ya to the Brink.” And it’s allowed her to realize a longtime desire to hit the road with her friends, the B-52s, who are promoting “Funplex,” the “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack” quartet’s first new album in 16 years.

“I met them in 1980 when I was in (the band) Blue Angel,” says Lauper. “I always had in the back of my mind that one day we’ll tour together and they would have a new CD out and I would have a new CD out and we’d have a really great time. So the whole thing is pretty thrilling for me.”

The B-52s’ Kate Pierson, meanwhile, says Lauper’s not the only one excited to be touring together — even if it means cutting the group’s usual 90-minute sets down to 45 or 50 minutes.

“I think we do very different things,” Pierson, 50, notes. “She’s fun but she has all these anthems, and we don’t really do rock anthems. I think it’s a very different experience.”

And, Pierson adds, her band is very clear about what’s expected from its time on the stage.

“When people think of the B-52s it’s the big hair, silly fish names and stuff,” she notes. “But now I realize the most important thing we can give, our legacy or whatever, is that people really have fun when they come to see us and they bust loose and let their freak flag fly and they can really have a good time.

“There are some (serious) lyrics and there are political songs and things with deeper meanings, but I think the important thing is people have fun. So that’s what we concentrate on.”



The True Colors Tour, featuring Cyndi Lauper, the B-52s, Rosie O’Donnell, Tegan & Sara, the Cliks, the White Tie Affair and host Carson Kressley plays at 6 p.m. Wednesday (June 11)at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of Interstate 75, Independence Township. Tickets are $75 and $50 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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