When my sister was about five, my brother and I would toss her down the laundry shoot. She was up for the adventure and thought it was wildly funny. That’s my sister Paige, always up for an adventure and looking for fun…she’s a “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” kind of sister.
When Paige and I played Barbies together, she liked to cut Barbies hair short…always experimenting with different hair styles. Paige and Cyndi shared a love for changing hair styles. I read that Cyndi Lauper did the same thing. “I was always cutting my Barbie and Pollyanna dolls’ hair. I lined them all up and put a cloth around their necks, like they were at the beauty parlor. Barbie was a real heartbreaker, but then all of a sudden, Barbie was freakin’ bald. That was a shocker.”
This month, Paige, sang with the oh so unusual Cyndi Lauper on her “Detour” tour. When Paige walked out on stage in Raleigh, North Carolina wearing her “Kinky boots” she grabbed the mic that’s reserved for Boy George and yelled, “Are there any Goonies in the house?” The loudest scream came from me, “YESSSSS!” My family knew we were in for BIG fun!
The highlight of the evening was when Paige sang “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” with Cyndi!! Holy merde, my sister sang with Cyndi Lauper! My emotions were so high that I felt like I was going to explode with happiness! My sister-in-law hinted to me that she thought it might happen but I thought she’d lost her mind.
When Cyndi asked Paige and Steven to come back out on stage she said in her Brooklin accent, “Aww, look at them…so cute and purty.” Cyndi said, “Alright, Let’s do this. Steven, you start.” Steven started playing the guitar without the band, then just Cyndi and Paige were singing together. My brother’s favorite part was when Steven made an air pump to cheer on Paige when she started singing, “I come home in the morning light“…the same way you would if you just scored a soccer goal!
Paige and her fiance Steven, make up the band, The Peach Kings. They were the opening act for Cyndi Lauper. Paige and Steven have an electric energy…it’s easy to see how much they love each other by the way that they perform and get lost in their music together. They have this cool indie-alternative vibe that you might hear in a soundtrack to a film noir movie. You might not imagine The Peach Kings and Cyndi Lauper together, but that’s what made the show unique. Cyndi wanted an opening act with a love duo that was organic and vulnerable. They didn’t need bells and whistles to set the mood.
Sixty-three-year-old Cyndi reaches every generation. Her music is still just as relevant today as it was when she began more than thirty years ago. You can tell that she is nostalgic about old country music. Her country heroes are Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash…it really comes through on her new album.
Cyndi has been a dedicated advocate for the gay community with her work for the True Colors Foundation and Kinky Boots musical (a true story about the power of acceptance). She spoke about the controversial House Bill 2 before her performance and donated proceeds from the concert to Equality NC. Numerous bands and musicians have cancelled shows in North Carolina due to HB2 but Cyndi Lauper took the high road by shining a positive light on young children. Cyndi says, “You can’t make kids be what you want them to be. They are who they are. It’s our responsibilities as adults to nurture them as they are.”
The 80’s music is nostalgic to me…I am truly a byproduct of growing up in Cyndi’s Goonie era. My parents are close to Cyndi’s age and they love to listen to her throw back music to the 60’s…especially when she puts her spin on Pasty Cline’s, Walkin’ After Midnight” and Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love.”
Her new album, “Detour,” is built on country music. She sounds right at home singing country. Before her hits in the 80’s, Cyndi fronted the rockabilly band, Blue Angel. Country music is her first love. This was my third time seeing Cyndi play in concert. She’s one of the only artists who truly paints a picture for you before she begins. She talked about what it was like growing up in Brooklyn and how she’d watch Saturday morning cartoons that inspired her to make the “Detour” album. By the time she started singing “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” the audience made a connection with her and we were transported to her childhood.