Not to offend anyone’s religious views, but this musically relevant story in today’s Los Angeles Times caught my eye.
You recall Sinead O’Connor‘s career jumped the shark when she ripped up that picture of the Pope on a 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live. She’s been what you’d call a “flake” since losing her spot on the hit parade, but after all these years, I’m impressed with how she articulates her feelings on the Catholic Church and the latest wave of institutional abuse scandals.
I wasn’t a fan of O’Connor’s music before or after her “scandalous” act that October 1992 night, but I was astute enough of a “girlwatcher,” I’m sad to say, to sense that she had something going on despite the shaved head and baggy blouses. I wasn’t offended at her act in any way, nor was I particularly impressed. Eighteen years later, however, it’s nice to hear from O’Connor without all the vitriol and rhetoric.
It was maybe 10 years ago when I had my first positive vibe over O’Connor – aside from digging her inner Look, that is.
She was signing with Van Morrison and The Chieftans on one of late-night talk shows. All I could find on YouTube was this brief clip. You have to see the whole thing to believe what I’m about to say, but Sinead looked really nervous, like she didn’t want to screw anything up while performing with these titans of Irish music. She was trying to stay the course with the melody of Van’s song, while Van went overboard with his scat-singing routine. The more he scatted the more nervous and conservative O’Connor got. As the song neared completion Morrison got right in her face and poured on the scat. She tried like hell to carry the melody and lyrics without losing her focus. Morrison was relentless in his effort to dislodge the 4×4 stuck up her leather pants. With about 2 beats left in the song Van finally got her to crack up. I felt privileged to watch this televised moment of healing during whatever flakey phase she was going through at that time.