Edie Brickell: "I Worked The Booth At The Granada Theater. I Was In That Booth All By Myself and Daydreamed When I Wasn't Working."
Edie Brickell might not live in Dallas anymore, but she still thinks very fondly of her roots here. Her latest project is The Gaddabouts, a supergroup featuring session musician legends like drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Pino Palladino, and they released the double-disc set Look Out Now! last week. Brickell shared with us her musical firsts and what she's doing now.
What was the first show you remember seeing?
The first show was The Police and XTC at McFarlin Auditorium. I think it was 1982.
Anything stick out about the gig, other than the fact that it was XTC actually playing live?
I know! And I loved them. I had never heard them before. I was crazy about them. I bought all their records. Loved Black Sea. They really became my favorite band there for about a year. I remember sitting on the steps of McFarlin Auditorium and them taking off in the tour bus. Me and my friends were that close to rock stars. They put on a hell of a show. You had the sense that you would never see them in such a small venue ever again.
I could imagine they played Reunion Arena later in their career.
That's right. I went and saw that show and I just didn't like it as much as that McFarlin show.
Was the McFarlin show the first show you paid to see?
Yeah! I had gotten a job earlier and I was able to start doing stuff. I worked the booth at The Granada Theater. I was in that booth all by myself and daydreamed when I wasn't working.
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
Did you learn on a Spanish guitar or an electric guitar?
An acoustic. My dad had given me a little Spanish-styled acoustic guitar he won in a bowling match. He brought it home to me and he encouraged me to write him a song, so I did.
What do you remember about the first show you played with The New Bohemians?
The first time was the most fun I ever had. I felt completely engaged, completely alive. Everything's working for you. Everything's firing on all cylinders. Your heart, mind, brainwaves. Everything's on. It felt like I had crossed over into a dream reality.
Do you remember the venue and the year?
It was 1985 at a place off of Northwest Highway. It was my first year of college. And, believe it or not, it was the first time I ever went out. My routine was, go to school, go to work, go to school, go to work. And I didn't have a boyfriend, I didn't meet anybody. I wanted to have a boyfriend and a life, all that stuff. Whenever I would go out with friends, I was shy or tired. I wasn't really interested in partying, drinking. But then a friend called me up and said, "We're going to meet some people from Arts Magnet," which was my high school. This friend usually asked me to go places all the time and I'd say no. And I thought, "If you don't start doing stuff, being young, you'll never have a boyfriend, never meet anybody." And I went over there and that's when I met The New Bohemians.
Do you remember the first time you heard "What I Am" on the radio or saw it on TV?
I do remember! We were out in L.A. We were doing promotional efforts for the record company. They were driving us around to radio stations and photo shoots for press. We pulled up to a red light and a guy next to us was in an open-air Jeep. "What I Am" came on the radio and it played for about 20 seconds before the guy switched stations.
That was the moment!
It was hilarious! We realized it and he quickly turned it and played Aerosmith or something. I think it was the minute my voice came on.
What were some of the first shows you took your children to see?
Oh, their dad [Paul Simon]. You know, a lot of his shows. Oh, I know, their very first concert that we all went to together was The Flaming Lips. I loved Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots so much. And we all saw them at Roseland. That was such a fun night. People were shooting lasers and Wayne [Coyne] rolls out in that plastic ball. It was the best. Even Paul went.
Did they have people dressed up as animals?
They did. They were all dancing. My youngest son and my daughter got a kick out of it. They knew the record because I used to play it endlessly in my kitchen and in my garage. It's such a buoyant, feel-good record to me. My kids knew all the words.