If you know me … you know that being a reporter is engrained in my essence. I’m perpetually inquisitive. I’d make an amazing interrogator. So imagine how much self-restraint it took not to pepper/inundate/blitzkrieg Cindy Wilson with a litany of questions during our tour of Athens. Instead, I listened … intently … to every word coming out of her mouth. Amazing all the things you can learn — when you learn to shut up.
After our tour, we swung by Athens’ world-famous World Famous bar for brief respite. Over a few beers, I casually started asking all the pressing questions I’d been dying to know for 20+ years.
On being a guest judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race”: Cindy, Kate and Fred were the inaugural judges on Season 9 of RPDR. I wanted to know the skinny of what went on behind-the-scenes. Cindy mentioned that being a judge was a bit daunting – because whatever critiques were given had the potential to jeopardize someone’s career. She also said there’s a definite line between constructive criticism and being catty … and she tried not to cross it. She dished it was fun to watch the queens getting ready from behind a two-way mirror.
On Alec Baldwin’s first-time hosting “SNL”: The B’s were the musical guest the week Alec Baldwin’s debuted as the show’s host in 1990. Apparently, Alec Baldwin is not only a clever charmer, but hotter than bacon grease. (Those are my words … uh, to paraphrase Cindy.) Cindy gushed that Baldwin was quite the lady-killer back in the day. I can’t remember all the words she used to describe him, but “sexy” definitely stuck in my head. Baldwin now holds the record for hosting “SNL” – a whopping 17 times. But it all started the week The B’s were jamming out.
On the success of “Love Shack”: Did the B’s know it was going to be such a prolific hit? According to the Cindy, the answer was an emphatic no. Turns out it was considered a throw-away song on the “Cosmic Thing” album. No one in the band had any idea it would blow up like it did. However, it turned out to be the perfect B’s comeback song – nostalgia and novelty rolled in to a toe-tapping, infectious, sing-along anthem. Little known fact: “Love Shack” remains one of the most requested karaoke songs of all time.
On her upcoming B’s tour with Culture Club: Is she psyched? Yup! While she’s looking forward to hitting the road again, she also mentioned there’s plenty of stuff to do to get ready … including ordering some new wigs for her gigs. She’s got two wig guys that she uses religiously. She showed off one (still in the netting) that she was getting ready to unveil at an upcoming corporate event. You know what they say – the higher the hair, the closer to God.
On her culinary talents: Cindy is a Southern girl through and through – and she likes to cook foods that align with her roots. She listed off quite a few recipes … and each one of them sounded glorious and decadent. I think Paula Deen would be hard-pressed to replicate.
On the B’s library: Does she have a fave song? Yes and no … well, not an all-time favorite song, per se. But there’s at least one song on each album that really resonates with her. She didn’t elaborate which tunes went to the top of that list. I, of course, blurted out that my go-to was “Girl From Ipanema (Goes To Greenland)”. Duh. Even more exciting was a subtle hint from Cindy that she and her band may have a second solo album percolating. Fingers crossed!
The day ended with a quick jaunt by Cindy’s house to “sit on the porch and swing”. Over some bubbly Topo Chico, I gushed that she blessed me with one of for the best days of my life. The bar had officially been raised. It can’t go much higher than spending a day with your musical idol. I profusely thanked her for her genuine kindness, hospitality and for allowing a weird little 13-year old to embrace being weird – thirty years later. The B’s music wasn’t just the soundtrack to my adolescence … it remains a constant in my life to this day.