Darlene Love on Broadway, autograph seekers and surviving
Iconic pop and rock and roll singer Darlene Love (“He’s a Rebel,” “Da Doo Ron Ron”) is also known for playing Trish Murtaugh, wife of Danny Glover, in the Lethal Weapon movies. Love, 70, lives in a Gramercy Park coop with her husband, Alton Allison and will be performing her new show “The Sound of Love” a7:30 p.m. May 19th and 20th at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St.
Q What would you most like to see changed in NYC?
A Traffic, honey! Find a way to keep the traffic out of NYC - from 100th St. all the way downtown. I have a car and keep it in a parking lot, but I only use it weekends to get out of the city. Otherwise, I walk, take the subway or a cab. Even if that plan of Mayor Bloomberg’s (congestion pricing) would have passed, I don’t think it would have made a difference – (drivers) would have just paid the $8. You pay $5 or $6 now to get over the bridge. Make it $50! I love Mayor Bloomberg. He’s done a whole lot to make the city better. He’s made parts of the city places where you can actually walk! People can go and sit down and eat. It actually reminds me of Las Vegas.
Q Yeah, well, he’s not running again. What do you think about Alec Baldwin in Gracie Mansion?
A Why not? He couldn’t do worse than anyone else. It might be great to have an entertainer as mayor. If he reads this and comes after me, it will have to be to do things for him, though - not to give him money.
Q What’s the most annoying thing about being famous in NYC?
A People who want you to sign things: They just want to sell your autograph on eBay. I make it so they can’t sell them by personalizing it “to Mary” or “to John” and then writing my name over it. Why should you sell my signature? Go sell your own. Why should you make money off me? I can give my signature to my kids and let them make money off me! I don’t mind the pictures, but I won’t let people take pictures of me when I’m eating or when I’m not in my make up.
Q Speaking of make up, yours always looks phenomenal. What do you use?
A I’m a MAC girl, honey, definitely a MAC girl. It goes so easy with my skin and works so well with what we want to get out of it on stage. I don’t even have to go to the stores,. The girl who does my make up for me, La Sonya, gets it for me. She’s been doing my make up for 10 years and knows all the colors that are good for me.
Q And the clothes! Where do you do your shopping?
A I moved to NY in 1983 and I used to love just walking down the street and going into little boutiques. They’re all gone now. So I get in my car and drive to the White Plains mall – my sister lives up there – and make a day of it. They’ve got Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom – and they have parking! I go to Connecticut, too. I have a daughter up there who teaches Tae Bo – you know, the kickboxing?
Q Where do you go to listen to music in NYC?
A I go to my church – the Mamaroneck Straight Gate Church. I want to hear real gospel music and real gospel preaching. I used to go to The Times Square Church, but I’ve been going to Mamaroneck for four or five years now, not only to listen to the music, but to listen to the word of God. It keeps me out around my family and friends and keeps me humble. It’s a 35 – 40 minute drive.
Q So many of the great singers you came up with – and your god daughter, Whitney Houston - died prematurely. What is the secret of your longevity?
A I never wanted to take anything to keep me “on” or anything to put me to sleep. I was afraid of doing drugs because I’ve always been afraid of what I can’t control. I smoked for 25 years but I stopped smoking and alcohol about 30 years ago. If you want to keep doing what you’re doing, you have to stop. I have a glass of wine now and then, but I never liked hard liquor. You have to want to stop. You can’t be led by your peers. You have to be your own leader.
Q What are your favorite places to stroll in NYC?
A I used to love to go to Central Park, but now it’s too crowded. I like going out to look at the sky and the birds, you know – smell the flowers. The Chelsea part of NY is really nice.
Q You were on Broadway yourself a couple times. What have you seen lately that you like?
A Sister Act! And that Bette Midler show – Priscilla Queen of the Desert. There are a lot of songs in that show that I know.
Q What is the best investment a New Yorker can make?
A Property! If you can find property, honey, snap it up – that’s something I didn’t do. Buy a brownstone!