Melissa Etheridge Answers the Proust Questionnaire
The musician and author of the new memoir Talking to My Angels on pancakes, Patrick Mahomes, and the power of attention.
What is your favorite occupation?
When and where were you happiest?
When I’m in the middle of my family and we’re all laughing. A very close second is when I’m onstage.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Having my hairdresser come out to my home to cut and color my hair and my whole family’s hair. I haven’t been to a salon in years.
What is your greatest fear?
To let fear overcome my life. We’re not gonna let that happen because love is always greater than fear.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Deplore is a heavy word. I don’t deplore it but I constantly feel the pull of my old Midwestern ways of eating. Boy, can I put some pancakes away.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Journey and path. And I’m sure I will use it a few more times in this.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Athletic talent. I have none.
On what occasion do you lie?
I gave up lying at least 15 years ago. The truth is always, always, always, always—no exception—better for your health and for the world.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I gave up on that too. I gave up disliking my appearance ’cause that’s crazy making. Especially in women. I love my appearance.
What is your greatest regret?
Bruce Springsteen’s record company asked my record company if they could put our duet of “Thunder Road” on the B side of his single “Secret Garden.” Island Records was mad at Sony, so they asked me not to say yes. It was a silly business thing that they were having, and I missed the opportunity to put that out into the world.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Again, not gonna change anything about myself. I’ve really learned to appreciate everything. Okay, maybe I’d be taller. How about that?
Which living person do you most despise?
I’m not a despising person. I do not give my attention or my energy to people who are outside of my vibrational understanding.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A wide receiver that catches passes from Patrick Mahomes.
What is your most treasured possession?
My earlier guitars, and a harmonica Springsteen gave me on my birthday. It’s silver-plated from Tiffany that he got engraved.
Who are your favorite writers?
Jeanette Winterson, Virginia Woolf, and Alice Walker.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Orlando. Male, female, everything.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My stagehands. My roadies. My technicians that set up and tear down my show every single night.
What is your favorite journey?
I’m on it right now. This journey of life. This is the stuff, man. This is it.
Tags: Melissa Etheridge
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