Cyndi Lauper: A Hollywood Detour

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Cyndi Lauper: A Hollywood Detour


Cyndi Lauper doing country? New album Detour might be a musical first for the unique and colourful star, but it isn’t the first time she has brushed shoulders with western greats. In one of the most intriguing and unexpected meeting of minds, in 1984 she passed into the orbit of ‘The Man With No Name’ himself, Clint Eastwood.

It was 1984 and Lauper was riding high. Her 1983 debut album She’s So Unusual had delivered inescapable hits such as "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", "Time After Time" and female masturbation anthem "She Bop". After taking home a number of MTV and Grammy awards and winning over millions of fans with her fresh sound and vibrant personality, Hollywood came calling.

Fresh from the success of family favourites ET: The Extra Terrestrial and Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Steven Spielberg gave Lauper a call about his latest project. Obviously enamoured by Lauper’s cheeky and somewhat subversive public persona, Spielberg offered the 31-year-old the role of musical director on his latest blockbuster, The Goonies. An adventure tale about a bunch of small town misfits hunting for pirate treasure, Spielberg’s Goonies pitch appealed to Lauper enough for her drop plans to record She’s So Unusual’s follow-up and instead set to work on the film soundtrack.

Relationships with Spielberg soured somewhat when he removed a great deal of Lauper’s musical choices from the film, while her own contribution Good Enough was jarringly renamed "The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough". Lauper recalls in her autobiography Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir she also embarrassed Spielberg, acknowledged as one of the finest directors of the modern era, at a convivial lunch by suggesting his idea for The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough’s music video “wasn’t very creative”. Director Richard Donner was swiftly brought in to instead helm the riotous video clip, which was partially filmed on The Goonies set and featured WWF wrestlers Andre The Giant, The Bangles and The Goonies’ hyperactive young cast.

While Lauper recalls The Goonies as a particularly futile project, the film provided her with a surreal encounter she still recalls with a sense of astonishment: meeting Clint Eastwood. After initial filming wrapped in the green north western hamlet of Astoria, Oregon, shooting reconvened in early 1985 on Burbank’s Stage 16. One of Hollywood’s biggest sound stages, Stage 16 was decked out for The Goonies impressive finale featuring a scale reproduction of a 17th century Spanish pirate ship. Michael Jackson had already visited the set, so Lauper also took up the opportunity to head to Burbank and see how the film was progressing.

“I saw it when they were filming in Los Angeles and it was pretty amazing,” Lauper says.

It was on this day she came face-to-face with Clint Eastwood, the grimacing star of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and Dirty Harry films. His western film Pale Rider was also in the final stages of production at the time.

“I turned around at one stage and Clint Eastwood was standing there,” Lauper says. “I was shocked and said, ‘Oh! Hello!’ and of course he didn’t say anything and I was like, ‘Errr, okay…’”

If Lauper is disappointed Eastwood didn’t even offer a trademark grunt in the direction of her wild-haired younger self, she’s not letting on.

“No, the great ones are kind of odd sometimes and he really is a great artist,” Lauper says. “Everyone was sitting watching filming from behind a rock and it was an interesting moment.”

More than 30 years since its release, The Goonies regularly sits alongside The NeverEnding Story, Labyrinth, The Princess Bride and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial as one of the greatest ‘80s films for kids. Lauper’s own view has softened in recent years, acknowledging its power.

“So many people related to it and it’s such a cult thing,” Lauper says. “[For a long time] I had no idea it was such a cult thing, but it is - and that’s a good thing.”

Detour, Cyndi Lauper’s album of country classics from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, is released on May 6. Pre-order your copy here.

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