The Truth About Pink
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
October 16 2012 5:10 AM ET
“We’re just going to be a gypsy family traveling the road,” she says. “The best thing is that all my band and most of my dancers and everybody, we’ve all been together for so long that I look at them now as my future babysitters.” Pink says that tour time is like group therapy. “That’s why I do it, because I know it’s more important than what I’m wearing, it’s more about what we’re doing or what we’re saying together, me and this audience.”
Being a good public citizen is part of Pink’s modus operandi, and it’s reflected in her rousing new anthem, “Are We All We Are,” written with her longtime collaborator Butch Walker. It’s a rebel yell inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, with its “We are the 99%” sentiment echoed in the song’s lyric “We are the people that you’ll never get the best of.”
Though she’s a wealthy woman now, Pink, who grew up in Doylestown, Pa., says she understands the anger of working people in a shaky economy. “I just know that half of my family is pissed off, and we’re all working-class people. My mom is a nurse, and my dad was an insurance salesman, and my brother works for pennies for the military, and some of my family is unemployed,” she says. “My friend got laid off from her insurance company that she worked at for 15 years and she’s a single mom with two kids. So yeah, I hear about it loud and clear.”
That punk rock, outsider, anti-authoritarian attitude continues to serve Pink well, and she says she still identifies with people who struggle, including the poor, disenfranchised, and queer.
“People are like, ‘You live in a fucking bubble, you live in Hollywood.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got money now,’ ” she says, pausing for a throaty chuckle. But Pink says she feels at heart like a working-class kid, still tapped into what’s going on outside the privileged life she calls “boob and baby.” Pink says she’s been surrounded by social justice causes her whole life — and she started her activism early, marching on Washington with her Vietnam veteran father when she was just was 3 years old. Apart from some years being self-absorbed (“I was being a fucking teenager, and I was living my life and trying to be a rock star and get my own shit together, and I kind of lost track of everything”), she’s says she’s been hungry for knowledge, connection, transparency, and justice.
“And it’s always been sort of my game to see how far I can take [an issue] but also to make sure that what I’m saying is (a) totally honest to what I believe, and (b) worth putting out into the world.”
On the ska-pop track “True Love” on the new album, the lyrics written by Lily Rose Cooper (formerly Lily Allen) and Greg Kurstin and sung by the two women create the perfectly knowing lesbian love ditty: “I really hate you so much / I think it must be true love.” The lyrical attraction-repulsion sounds very confessional, the words of a woman who went through a highly publicized separation from Hart in 2008. They reconciled in 2009 and had their daughter last year.
Therapy, communication, and getting to the real issue behind their fights has been a key to their now-healthy marriage. “It’s usually that you feel vulnerable, that you feel powerless, that you feel out of control, that you feel scared,” Pink says of her fights with Hart. “I’m a pit bull, but I’m a toothless pit bull. I will totally attack, but I just really wanted you to rub my tummy. Why when I bite you do you not understand that I just want you to rub my tummy?” Of the worst fight she and Hart ever had, a six-hour-long, screaming pièce de résistance, Pink says she was “lawyering the shit out of the situation” until she halted abruptly. “I was like, ‘You know what, will you just come here and fuck me?’ ” she laughs even now. “And he was like, ‘Wha-wha-what?’ I was like, ‘Yeah! I’m done fighting, just come here and fuck me—that’s all this is about.’ He was like, ‘OK!’ ”