Now Playing: Linda Perry – After Hours (CD)
When Linda Perry was offered a choice several years ago between showcasing her own music or working with P!nk, then a relatively unknown pop artist with an edge, Perry's instincts led her away from her own music and to instead becoming the producer and musician most of us know today. From 'Get the Party Started' to Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful', it's hard to walk down the street without hearing a pop rock song with the Linda Perry touch.
Back in 1996, when she was touring with her new band in support of her solo album In Flight, I was completely enamored of her big style, voice, heart and words. At the end of a show I attended, I asked her to sign the only thing I had left: a one dollar bill. "Ah, you'll spend that on cigarettes in a week or two!" Well, I never spent it (though I admit I was tempted a couple of times in my earlier drunk punk days), and to this day I still have that magical bill tucked away in a secret space. I guess I had a good instinct about where Linda Perry was headed, and when I read in Rolling Stone that P!nk had solicited her as a producer on Mizundastood, I couldn't have been happier for them both.
Perry has always maintained that she didn't really want to be a rock star, but rather a cult favorite, a respected underground musician with a lot of heart and soul, and after What's Up?, her album with 4 Non Blondes, she receeded into the background to regroup and figure out her next move. A musician's musician — so to speak — Perry's career has been resurrected in a way that allows her to express herself, to play music constantly, and to remain somewhat out of the limelight as she makes hit after hit for such music luminaries as Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, Skin of Skunk Anansie, Christian Aguilera, CourtneyLove, Pink, Lillix, Cheap Trick, Kelis, Kelly Osborne and Ben Jelen.
You betcha I have that one dollar bill, and probably will for quite a long time yet.