I met LP around the time her second album, Suburban Sprawl and Alcohol, was released. She performed at my cousin's wedding, which was held on a perfectly manicured lawn of an old estate in Huntington, NY. It was a beautifully simple ceremony where she played her guitar and sang while the bride approached among rows of folding chairs with properly attired people like a scene from The Great Gatsby.
When the ceremony concluded, LP played the new couple and their guests off the lawn and in to the manor where a sushi station and well-provisioned bars were propped up in meandering, palatial rooms. It was at one of these bars where I introduced myself to LP as my uncle walked by with an accusatory glance.
I think it was her suggestion to wander the estate and we did as children exploring something for the first time. We discovered the courtyard from a balcony under which a young couple was kissing and then we darted off down a corridor to the master bedroom, which was serving as the bridal suite. There was an open bottle of champagne and another one in reserve, so we helped ourselves. She produced her guitar that had been stored there earlier for safe-keeping and played me one of her songs. I was struck then as I am now with how easy and naturally music emanates from LP. She seems to possess the spirit of Edith Piaf, a songbird of another era. When she finished, she handed her guitar to me and I played her one of my originals, which she said she liked or at least that's how I choose to remember it.
Later, when they were packing up the bars and people were searching for the keys to their cars, I found LP sitting near my mother and my aunt and they asked her to play them a song as if it were a line from Piano Man. She obliged and played the cover song of her knew album, Suburban Sprawl and Alcohol. I had a deeper appreciation of the song having discovered that she and I went to the same high-school earlier in the evening. It was beautifully written and authentic and I was hooked.
When I lived in Park Slope, I would catch her when she and her band played at Southpaw or at Mercury Lounge in the East Village. Her shows were as terrific then as I imagine they are now with a more intimate crowd. During one of her performances, when she engaged the audience, I shouted out our high school name and the year she graduated, which I dare not speak (think Mets). She found me after the performance and asked me not to do that again.
Now I'm a dad living in the suburbs and I still listen to LP's albums on my commutes to and from the city. They're as relevant now as they were before and as timeless as the artist herself who seems to age like Dorian Gray. It's about time the world knows LP. As they say in showbiz, overnight success usually takes about 15 years. Well, dear, to the victor goes the spoils.
|LP with girlfriend Tamzin Brown.|
LP's memorable performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater on The Late Show with David Letterman:
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, especially when the obligatory YouTube cover is from an American Idol contestant such as this one from Rebekah Devivo Ostro: