"Oh my GOD!" perks a patron, bar right, in the Hard Rock Live pre-Pink-show milieu. "You look just like your picture! I read your column every week ... But I don't really understand it."
OK, it's like this. Teachers dated me, my parents hated me, I was never voted first place ... And my socks are never clean. Oh, wait. That's Pink. I (sniffle, cough) am Pink. I'm a hazard to myself.
On the occasion of my 30th birthday -- a time of self-indulgent regret-cataloging and the liquor that goes with it -- I've managed the gumption to endure pop's latest transition story, as Pink, free from the white rap of her Donna Wright origins, choreographs her Serious Rock crossover. M!ssundazstood, she calls herself, making sure the "i" is upside down and her jeans are torn. It's all I can do to keep my "I" upright. Clearly, she's on (to) something.
As is Candy Ass, the cleverly chosen opening act, a real live New York girl- punk offering that channels Belinda Carlisle's fat-on-smack years better than last year's matte-finish Playboy spread ever could. In fact, following their set, the Hard Rock is set to life with a full-length playback of Beauty and the Beat. I've never felt so good about being set up. That is, until Pink rounds out her set with a medley of Janis Joplin covers. Her fat-on-smack period wasn't nearly as cute.
Anyway, a conversation later with Candy Ass head (eew) Galadriel -- all chunky flybacks and thrift fantastic -- reveals that the girl-rock overthrow is indeed in full swing, even if spearheaded by the adept opportunism of Miss Pink. You can't hate her for that. Or can you?
"The fact that you see 14-year-olds mouthing the words to the Go-Go's signals that they want a new Go-Go's," hopes Galadriel, and she's right. "They need to learn all of the new Go-Go's' words."
Where the hell did you come from?
"When we got started, we didn't know what the fuck we were doing," she Lower East Sides. "So we figured it out, and we figured it out really well, so LOOK AT US NOW!"
I'm looking. I'm looking.
But why was Pink looking at Candy Ass?
"Because we are God's angels and he LOVES US!" she enthuses, opting for some cross between Cindy Lauper on a Coney Island cotton-candy buzz and Madonna's bleached "conquer-the-world" ambition. I think I'm in love. "We were on a tour with the Toilet Boys, and the last show of the tour we did at a dump in Hollywood. The whole night was coming together terribly. Lo and behold, Pink and her whole entourage were in the audience."
Which at last count would be about 50. That's the industry standard now, right?
"Somebody had told them about us. They spent the whole next day trying to track us down, and at 9 o'clock our phone rang, and the question was, 'Do you want to go on tour with Pink?'"
The Candy Ass girls weren't stupid. "We said, 'What do we have to do? We'll do whatever it takes.' And here we are!"
So, then, let's dish Pink.
"We LOVE her," obliges Galadriel, despite my better judgment ... or at least my journalistic baiting. "Granted, she's a top-40 pop star, but she is a bad-ass bitch, she is punk rock, she is so fun!"
"She puts the 'I' in punk!" I burp.
"Yer a writah!" she snaps, again in Lauper-ese. "Play wit da woids!"
"How old are you?" I position, realizing that no matter how much purifying vodka I treat my temple with, I am a creepy 30.
"How old do you want me to be? Whatever you say, baby."
Perfect, then. Agelessness is even better than girl rock.
"I know everything about Taurus, because I had a birthday on May 10," she M!ssundaztands.
"Well you know nothing about me, because I'm a Gemini," I correct. "You know everything about Cher."
The conversation drifts to the wherefore on the band-name issue, to which she po-mo pogos the perfect answer.
"We all literally sat down together and made lists of words that we like," she powwows. "'Candy' was one that we could all totally agree on, and then after much deliberation, we decided on 'ass.' We loved everything that that said. Our asses were sweet, and Candy Ass meaning that we were a bunch of wimps, or that we were fat ..."
A big Pink, Candy Ass tour, then. Very gay.
"Yeah, we're representing," she represents. "Twelve to 18s, to old fags."
Ouch. New subject, er, old subject. So Pink's for real, then?
"She's the real deal," she confounds. "She's a chick to be reckoned with and she's going to be around for a long time. I see this woman rocking for decades."
"Same thing, baby."
Well, we'll see what the rest of 30 has in store.