Originally published in The Irish Times, April 20th 2012.
THE FIRST THING you think of is Freud. Then, noticing the relaxed posture, Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, or perhaps a painting by some Renaissance artist. It’s not quite clear whether Rufus Wainwright is waiting to be psycho-analysed or pampered, but stretched out on a sofa in a room of a trendy London hotel, the singer/songwriter certainly looks comfortable.
“He felt like he was coming down with something yesterday, so he did most of his interviews lying down,” his publicist explains. And today? “Oh no, he feels fine today. He’s just relaxing.” Continue reading »
*I was totally gutted about this one, although it could have been a lot worse in the end. Rufus Wainwright is big hero of mine, and I’d spent well over a month trying to wrangle an interview with him. The only way a face-to-face would have worked (with publication deadlines, etc.) is if I flew to Glasgow, where he was kicking off his European tour a week before he played Dublin. I was so desperate to meet him that I paid for the flights and hotel myself. I was up at the crack of dawn for a 7am flight, in a taxi on the way to the airport, when I heard a news report mentioning something about ‘volcanic ash closing Scottish and northern English airports’, and, well… the rest is history. Of ALL the days…
Originally published in The Irish Times, April 23rd 2010
VOLCANIC ASH? If it was a storyline in a tacky soap opera, you’d scoff disbelievingly and change channels – but a plume of the stuff was causing a creeping tide of airport closures that quickly spread across the western Europe. In a way, it seemed like a fitting way to have an in-person meeting with Rufus Wainwright – a musician who positively thrives on drama – cancelled.
When I eventually speak to him later that day on the telephone, he’s audibly tired, but safely ensconced in Glasgow having travelled from London (where his opera Prima Donna is currently raking in rave reviews). His European tour starts in the Scottish city tonight, and if it hadn’t been for British Rail preventing the gig from being abandoned, he’d be forgiven for thinking that 2010 has not got off to the best start.
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