Interview: Cyndi Lauper – ‘Sometimes I’m cranky’
US singer tells us why Halloween 1985 was so significant and reveals which Game of Thrones character makes her laugh
In the 1980s she claimed that 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' while 'Time After Time' has been covered by everyone from Ronan Keating to Miles Davis. She’s now back in the UK with Detour, a country and western album, and here Cyndi Lauper takes on our First & Last quiz
First record you ever bought
The first album I bought was Meet the Beatles! with my birthday money when I was ten. It was really the first time I understood an album concept. Like wow, I can have all these songs in one place? And that album had so many hits, so many great songs: ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, ‘All My Loving’ and ‘This Boy’. And of course look at their photo on the cover! It was like I was really meeting The Beatles in my mind. The next one I bought was Meet the Supremes.
Last extravagant purchase you made
My face creams. They are very expensive but I love them.
First film you saw that really moved you
When I was little, I was a huge Joan Crawford fan. I still am. She was such a great actress and so glamorous. I loved all those actresses from the 40s and 50s. Those movies would be on TV and I just loved all of them: Johnny Guitar was one of my favourites, and the first time I saw The Women (a movie basically carried by a nearly all-female cast) was a thrill for me. Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Crawford and so many more. I'm still very much excited and inspired by movies from that era. I just don't think they make movies like that anymore. I get transported and forget about the world around me when I watch old movies.
Last lie you told
I have no filter, I never lie. I'm not even good at little white lies. Just doesn't come naturally to me. I have a bad memory and you really need a good memory if you are gonna lie about stuff.
First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
Stay home and watch old movies with my husband. I just don't do much of anything but try to recharge and spend time with him. And I try to grab time from my son, Dex. He's 18 years old now, so it's not so easy. He doesn't live at home and is in the studio a lot; he's a really good hip hop artist and things are starting to happen for him. It's very exciting.
Last great meal you cooked
I make a mean Borscht. My friend Jutta taught me her recipe and it’s so good. I'm on tour now so the only ‘meals’ I'm cooking are smoothies in my NutriBullet.
Last book you read
M Train by Patti Smith. She's brilliant.
First great piece of advice you were given
‘Stick to your guns’.
Last time you were starstruck
I met Dame Judi Dench at the Olivier Awards a few weeks back. WOW!
First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Equality for all. Our society will remain unjust until that happens. If we can just all treat each other with respect and dignity the rest of the problems can probably be solved. There is so much time and energy wasted trying to keep people less equal.
Last meal on earth: what would it be
I wouldn't eat, I'd have too much to do!
First song you’ll sing at karaoke
I went once, in the 80s in Japan. I sang ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’. Probably won't go again.
Last time you exploited your position to get something
A friend of mine called to get us into a restaurant. They said they were full. So she said the reservation was for me and they found us a table. I couldn't believe she did that!
First time you realised you were famous
When I saw little girls dressed like me for Halloween in 1985.
Last time someone criticised your work
Yesterday at rehearsals for the tour. My manager wasn't thrilled with one of the video elements I’m using.
First three words your friends would use to describe you
Loyal, honest, cranky (sometimes I'm cranky).
Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
Peanut M&Ms from the minibar in my hotel room last night.
First concert you ever attended
Janis Joplin and Richie Havens at the Fillmore East.
Last time you bought someone flowers
On Mother's Day when I bought roses for my mom, my mother-in-law and my manager's mom.
First object you’d save from your burning home
My son’s baby pictures.
Last funny thing you saw online
YouTube link to the Seth Meyers skit ‘At a Baby Shower with Melisandre' from Game of Thrones. Hysterical.
I worked at a kind of Woolworths type of store, can't remember the name now; they sold everything and had a small food counter in the back. I pierced ears. I didn't do so good. Got fired after a few days.
Last person you fantasized about
My husband, actor David Thornton. After 25 years we are still in love. I mean, you ever get a look at him? We aren't together as much as I like. Both of our jobs keep us away from home.
First word you spoke
I'm a lead singer, so … ‘me’. Kidding! I have no idea. Will have to ask my mother and get back to you on that.
First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
My husband. He has been so supportive of me our entire marriage and been a great father to our son. If it were not for David I would not have been able to do everything I've done. He is my rock for sure.
Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Cyndi Lauper tours the UK from Wed 22–Thu 30 Jun; her new album Detour is out now.