When Alecia Moore, a.k.a. Pink, dropped out of Central Bucks West, her guidance counselor probably didn’t see what was coming — a Grammy-winning career that spans five albums and a world tour that stops at the Wachovia Center on October 3rd. Whenever Exit Interview tried to wrangle one-on-one time with her, though, Pink was in Europe or getting a new tattoo or something. The 30-year-old swears it was nothing personal, and as expected, her blunt talk about her troubled teenage years, her secret sensitive side, and putting Britney and Beyoncé to shame was worth the wait.
I’ve been trying to get you on the phone for years. You’re like my Moby Dick. [laughs] For real? I’m not even cool enough to be that elusive.
You seem less like a Pink and more like a Cerulean or Burnt Umber. What’s the story behind your name? I used to run around with this crew in North Philly. [chuckles] They’re still my buddies. I won’t give them away because they’re probably wanted, but we loved Reservoir Dogs, and Mr. Pink, Steve Buscemi’s character, was a total smart-ass. I was the only girl, the token white girl. I got a tattoo on my thigh that says “Mr. Pink,” and it just stuck.
What are your memories of growing up in Doylestown? Getting kicked out of the Sister Act play in eighth grade. Getting kicked out of high school. [laughs] Getting kicked out of the Mercer Museum for sleeping there after hours. Getting arrested in Warrington. All sorts of fun stuff. I was grounded for life. I also have memories from when my parents were still together. I ran around in the woods barefoot for the first eight years of my life — a very suburban, safe, wonderful childhood.
But your teenage years make Lindsay Lohan look like a Mormon — drugs, alcohol, counseling, kicked out of your house. I don’t regret anything. Luckily, I got to be a delinquent and an idiot before anyone gave a shit about Alecia, before Pink was born. I actually feel bad for Lindsay and these girls that are just figuring out what drugs are and they’re already famous. [laughs]
Is it true that you once auditioned at the McDonald’s in 30th Street Station? That is where I was discovered. I was actually going to raves in Philly — I told my mom [in a bubbly teen voice] “There’s chaperones and there’s no drugs and we just listen to music and talk.” [laughs] I started singing, a DJ saw me, and all of a sudden I had an audition with two managers.
Do you get tired of the persona that’s developed around you, with the tattoos, the hooking-up with Tommy Lee or the girl from Terminator 3, the badass-ness? My dad’s a Vietnam vet, and he always taught me to be who you are, balls to the wall, and if somebody pisses you off, knock ’em out. I understood from the beginning that there’s a wild side the media is going to portray. There’s also a very quiet, intelligent side of me that I talk about frequently, but no one really prints that.
What’s that other side? I have an organic garden at home. I cook every day. I’m a total fuckin’ tree hugger. And my favorite movie is Sweet Home Alabama.
Think you’ll get a little misty during this homecoming show? You know what’s funny? My mom, she’s like that typical Jewish mother. She called me the other day [Jewish mom voice]: “You’re playing the Wachovia Center! Why couldn’t you play the Spectrum?” I was like, “Mom, it’s actually a good thing, even though the Spectrum is where I saw Billy Joel and New Kids on the Block. It’s bigger. It’s more money.” [laughs] She was like, “Honey, I came up with the best idea. I think you should sing ‘At Last’ by Etta James.” She starts singing the fuckin’ song to me on the phone. I was like, “Mom, call-waiting. I gotta go.” [laughs]
Your poor mom. I love that she’s trying to help you with the set list. I know! She’s trying to figure out my set list, and I wish she’d just stop and bring me lox and bagels.
Your concert has a circus theme. How far do you take that? Creepy clowns? Cameos by Siegfried and Roy? I do bungees, silks, trapeze. I’m pretty sure Madonna, Britney, Beyoncé, whoever — no one has ever done physically what I’m doing and sung live. And not sounded like complete shit. [laughs]