By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
After the band broke up, Napolitano settled into a happy, productive life at her homes in the Hollywood Hills and Baja with her two Chihuahuas, Cheech and Frida, four computers, and lots of Sangre de Toro wine, which she buys by the case. If indeed she ever considered herself a rock star, her level of fame today is much better suited to her. "If you're famous and you walk into a situation, it artificializes it. If you're anonymous, you can sit in a bar and listen, and that's important to me as a writer. If you're famous, every scumbag in the world wants to hang out, and that's a problem," she says. She still finds inspiration from the city she grew up in, though she's more likely to be found at home or maybe crooning at Miceli's, a favorite old Tinseltown spot, than at any of the trendy new bo√ģtes in Hollywood.
When asked what the biggest misconception about her is, Napolitano rattles off the top three decisively. "That I'm a drug addict. I don't do drugs; for a while everyone was convinced I did heroin. That I'm an alcoholic. I'm not. I drink and I have fun doing it, but I also get an incredible amount of work done." Lastly, she adds, "That I'm difficult. If I'm difficult, I consider that a compliment. I am hell-bent on getting a vision across, and I haven't been wrong."
She's also very focused on the immediate future, which includes the limited-edition 2 by 2, an EP CD of acoustic songs with Mankey. She's challenging herself by learning to sing flamenco, which, she says, "kicks my ass creatively." There's also her solo album, all set to go on Island Records in 1998 but which she decided not to release when supporter Chris Blackwell departed the label. She's got music in the can with Berlin's Teri Nunn, and a project with writer Rub√©n Mart√≠nez. Would she ever consider doing Broadway? She shakes her head. "My mother asked me if I would ever want to do what Cher's doing, and I said, 'I'm too lazy to change clothes.'"
How one ages gracefully in rock is a question Napolitano's thought a lot about. "I've always been terrified of it and figured I'd be retired by now. I look at somebody like Tina Turner and go, 'Great.' Living in Hollywood, you see a lot of muttons dressed as lambs. Yet I'm not self-conscious anymore. When I turned 40, I was going through all kinds of angst that I should be doing something else with my life -- but this is what I do."LA
Concrete Blonde play at the Palace, Saturday, May 4.