Garbage’s Shirley Manson thrives on unattainable heroines


4. The Beatles and Yoko Ono

I was in music class the morning we all learned that John Lennon had been murdered. I had a wonderful music teacher and she allowed us to sit and cry, and she cried with us.

I noticed the news about Yoko Ono and her grief as a widow. I’ve always lacked interest in Yoko, because I bought in ways that unfairly sidelined her. That is the tragedy. But over the years, I am amazed that she is a leader not only in the arts but also in the politics of gender and the environment. I was lucky enough to be invited by GXRLSchool LA to pay tribute to him at the Disney Concert Hall, and I got to sing “What a Bastard the World Is”. At the end of the performance I got a note that Yoko wants to meet me. I am laughing at myself talking about it.

5. Rewards from “Blade Runner”

I’m always chasing Priss – in my dreams, in my stage performances, in my fantasies. I grew up in Scotland in the 70’s. There were topless models in the newspapers. To see someone I knew most men would find strange when I found him attractive and bisexual freed me from believing that I had to play a certain game. Pris formed a taste in me for something outside the normal male gaze. all of a sudden, I was like [expletive] this. I don’t want to be a boring woman.

6. Lewis Bourgeois

I was in London. The trash was just dropped by Interscope Records. My career was in the toilet. I was crawling at 40 in an industry that isn’t kind to women over 25. I was hanging out with video director Sophie Muller and her old art-school teacher told us, “Go to Tate and watch a retrospective of Louise Bourgeois.” We factioned. At the time, Louise Bourgeois was 95, and she Was still painting. And standing in the middle of the Tate reading it, a darkness erupted inside me. I was like, You know what? I may not have a successful career now, but I can still I can become an artist. I went beyond determination to make my life my own.

7. Ken Burns “jazz”

During the quarantine, my whole mind was torn by this series. I’ve always thought of jazz as something fierce and conservative – it’s always been a closed door for me. “Jazz” really stunned me. It gave me an unprecedented grounding in contemporary American music and an incredible perspective on systemic racism, colonialism, and great genius.

8. “jump” podcast

I’m on my third season right now and this causes me an incredible amount of stress. I feel like I’m not smart enough to be in the position I’m in. However, it has been an extraordinarily rewarding experience. When you sit with people for a few hours, you get their energy.

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