Cyndi approached me because she loved Tricky's Maxinquaye album. She flew me over to meet her in Connecticut, USA. She had some really good demos and she's, well, an icon - so I said 'yes'. I did have the sneakiest suspicion that this wasn't going to be the easiest of projects so I told her I wanted to bring my assistant from the UK (for moral support). I asked an assistant, Matt, from Maison Rouge studios who I'd only worked with once but I really liked the guy. He was very excited about flying to the US to work on an album with a big star etc. So off we went.
Cyndi didn't want to work in an NYC studio like she had on all her other records so she rented a 12 acre estate with a big mansion in Tuxedo Park Tuxedo (where the name for the posh suit come from) was a walled community set up in the late 1800's by a few old school big money people who wanted to have a country 'cottage' outside the city but also wanted to be isolated from the riff raff. The Tuxedo founders would then invite other extremely wealthy people (that they deemed fit to hang out with) to buy some of the land and build their own 'cottages'. These cottages were not what you and I would consider cottages - these could be massive mansions. One was a beautiful replica of a French chateau. One place, I was told by a local, had 25 servants rooms!
When my assistant, Matt, and I were stretch limo'd up the long drive to Cyndi's rented 'cottage', we saw a team of Mexican landscape workers swarming over the grounds, re-landscaping them to Cyndi's liking.
When we walked into the foyer of this large grand mansion, Cyndi was standing in the there ironing sheets - with a grim look on her face - like 'I shouldn't be ironing the sheets - I'm Cyndi Lauper'.
At our first dinner there, Cyndi asked the hired chef to cater for the landscape workers as we;; as Matt, myself, Jan Pulsford (Cyndi's co-writer) and the technical team (in charge of setting up the studio in the mansion's grand living room). Well, it was a bit cold and the landscape workers were walking into the house in drips and drabs and a few of them left the front door open. Cyndi, after saying a couple of 'please shut the door behind you guys' suddenly slammed the dining table, stood up and yelled 'I'm the f**king star here!!! If I say 'Shut the f**king door' I mean 'SHUT THE F**KING DOOR!!!!'
And that there pretty much set the tone for the three months that we spent together locked in a big mansion with Cyndi Lauper. I looked at the shocked expression on Matt, my UK assistant's face when he realized that he'd just been dropped into the front line!
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