What I Learned From Wilson Phillips

Chyna Phillips
Look, Wilson Phillips, I am only human. I obviously surrender to your three-part harmonies, I find your lineage fascinating and there is no greater song to pair with the unbelievable acoustics of my shower than "Hold On."

But over the years you also taught me a thing or two as well. For example, nine-year-olds should not get this Chyna Phillips haircut.

At nine years old, I had neither the patience, skill set, nor disposable income for straightening products. Really, that lady at Toni & Guy should have been able to predict this, but instead she sent me into the world believing I had your hair, Chyna. I did not. But, despite not making it work AT ALL, having a bowl cut as a nine-year-old girl is pretty bold and I'd like to think it taught me haircuts grow out and bad decisions can turn into good ones if you do hold on... for one more day. Although I see we have both since grown our hair out ...

Thanks to Wilson Phillips, I thought my family girl group was a feasible possibility. Back then, I understood you were all related but I didn't really take the time to intellectually understand that you were all born of some of the most amazing musical tribes America can brag about - The Beach Boys and The Mamas & the Papas. I just knew I had some cousins and a neighbor girl, and I already had that haircut, so that's all you need to form a girl group, right?

In addition to your lineage, we were also missing the vocal talent necessary to break records originally set by The Supremes, but we had a lot of fun making up dance routines and taking fake band cover photos. It's better this way; we mostly knew Wilson Phillips songs, and the world already had you. Still, you planted some dreams.

I'll leave the singing to you, WP, but it's going to take a lot of willpower not to run up on stage tonight and show you those dance routines. Once I get in the shower, all bets are off. - Deb Doing Dallas

I'll go ahead and admit that Chyna Phillips' vest in the "Hold On" video made me start wearing vests in middle school. I wanted the one in the video, specifically, though looking back on it now, it wasn't a good vest. That first one was my gateway vest. I think it was from Contempo Casuals. Then I couldn't stop. I bought every vest I could find. I tried to Bedazzle them, wear them over shirts WITH shoulder pads. I even tried to wear two vests at once. It was a low point for me, aesthetically.

The phase was short-lived, but to this day I can't look at a vest without thinking about you, Wilson Phillips. You taught me that it's not about what you wear, but how you carry yourself and how you hold on... for one more day. Things did go my way, you were right. I've been vest-free for 17 years now, and it feels great. I salute you ladies for getting back out and riding the wave Bridesmaids supplied. In the revolving door of fame, you don't get to do that often. - Audra Schroeder

Wilson Phillips perform tonight, June 6, at Winspear Opera House.

Location Info


The Winspear Opera House

2403 Flora St., Dallas, TX

Category: General

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In the summer between eighth and ninth grade, I was stuffed with other teenagers into one of two full-size vans traveling from Texas to Montana and every state in between. Each van had a cassette player, the only cassette in our van was Wilson Phillips. At the end of the trip I couldn't stand the album anymore. But now, more than 15 years later, I find myself listening to it.


As a young boy, I too, coveted after the Chyna Phillips bowl cut and her wonderfully sporty, chic, somewhat Tibetish mystical vest! Remembering long, lonely hours spent gazing into my bathroom mirror with my cassette player playing over and over 'Hold On'. Too scared to let the world that sat outside it, in, on my childhood affection and empowerment I felt from their eargasmic songs. And I still to this day have heeded their sweet, harmonious words of wisdom and I, too, hold on for that most wonderful of days again; when I can once more break out my vest, make a trip to SuperCuts and get my hair "Chyna styled" and walk out into the jungle of possibilities with my bowl shaped pate saying, "look at me world! look at me".

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