Dare I Say Icon?
People who get starstruck are losers. Not a day passes that I don't roll my orbs back into my cranium, disgusted by some retard droning on and on about sitting in the same restaurant with Pacino, Depp, Pfeiffer or Bening. Okay, I might drool if it were Annette Bening. But I wouldn't talk about the drool. And I'd wipe my chin immediately.
However, when it comes to stars—dare I say icons?—who really, really, really rock, who are so bad-ass you just can't get your head around it, my aloofness fails me and I fall madly in love. Like, say, when I'm talking on the phone to Nancy Sinatra.
Those who gasp incredulously are obviously undereducated on the body of Nancy. Body of music, body of film and, hey, body period. If you've only ever made the "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" connection to Ms. S, you're a sorry sod who needs to revisit the past. That's what I did when I heard the sultry voice of the former Queen of Pop and the current Queen of Eternal Vitality.
OC Weekly: In 1966, you did the pre-Easy Rider flickThe Wild Angels with Peter Fonda, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, in which you were all partymonger Hell's Angels bikers. There was a lot of dope smoking and drinking on camera. Did you all really get loaded on the set?Nancy Sinatra: We got pretty loaded after a day's shoot. I didn't smoke any pot, but I'm such a lightweight a couple of beers did me in. Did you actually ride a motorcycle?
Yes, but not a Harley. I had a Honda because I'm so small, and I named it "Peter Honda." Peter didn't appreciate it!
Do you hang out with the old gang anymore?
Diane Ladd and I hang out a lot. I see Peter around. And just recently, I was at a taping for a film for the Harley-Davidson 100th anniversary next year and ran into Peter Bogdanovich, who I haven't seen in years. That was really fun.
So you really are into motorcycles?
Absolutely. You should see some of these bikes. If they took as good care of their women as they do of their bikes . . . Pretty soon we're doing the D.C. ride to the Veteran's wall, and this year, I'm riding on the back of Paul Revere of Paul Revere and the Raiders' bike. Then there's the MS ride.
Are there always motorcycles involved in your charities?
Always, my dear.
InSpeedway (1968) with Elvis Presley, you were more into cars—and singing, since it was just after your hit with "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." You knew Elvis before that though, didn't you?
I met him at a photo op eight years before, but I never ran into him socially. Tommy Sands was my boyfriend at the time—he was also managed by Colonel Parker—so it's weird we never met.
You two looked great together onscreen.
Yes, we had a nice chemistry. And we had a great time doing the film. Unfortunately, the formula films were not very successful. They were a lot of fun, but some of the material . . .
You're not kidding. The best parts ofSpeedway are your song, "Your Groovy Self"; the clothes; and kids doing the Jerk. But then there's a dancing IRS agent number, for God's sake. I mean, really.
[Laughs] They reached way down into I don't know what garbage can to get some of that stuff. But there'll never be another one like Elvis. Just like my dad, he was one of a kind. And when he did that '68 special in the black leather—wow.
He was beyond sexy.
Yes, he was.
You didn't do any more movies afterSpeedway—how come?
Well, I hated the way I looked onscreen.
You're kidding. We all thought you looked hot!
Oh, thanks. I would have loved to have done a big musical, though—Finian's Rainbow like Petula Clark did, or Pete's Dragon like Helen Reddy. It would have been nice to do all music from beginning to end.
But you were a pop rock queen!
Yeah. But I had a great ride—and it's still continuing. We're getting ready to do four shows here in New York, and tickets are flying out the door. I have this new, great band [with members of Blondie and Guns N' Roses], and they kick me in the ass into a different type of performance, which is a refreshing change. There was a time when I did four albums per year—the songs were good, and the albums were good.
Do you ever get sick of singing "Boots"?
And what about your other hits? You've had a lot of chart toppers that some people forget about, like "Sugar Town"—that song rules.
People in the audience sing along with that one—they fall all over themselves. In fact, the whole show is often like one big sing-along, and I love it. I mean, this is a really expensive hobby—there's not much money in it. But people genuinely seem to appreciate it. One guy at a CD signing thanked me once for "not copping out."
What did he mean?
Not quitting—not giving up the music. Doing cabaret or something not me.
Even in the face of critics.
My work is often trivialized—and I get that everywhere I turn. I'm used to it. Being compared to my father—
Well, screw 'em. I mean, we love your dad, but you're an icon in your own right. In the late '60s, you came along and recorded some important, timeless songs; made an unforgettable splash on the silver screen; and commercially legitimized the edgy, tough-girl image—you were sexy, serious and called the shots.
And we were before women's lib!
Right on! Nancy Sinatra performs with Dick Dale at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.galaxytheatre. com. Sun., 8 p.m. $20. All ages.
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