Saturday 9: Angel (1998)
… because Bev recommended it
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here
1) Sarah McLachlan wrote this song about someone she barely knew. She read the obit of Jonathan Melvoin, keyboard player for the Smashing Pumpkins, who died of a heroin overdose. What’s the most recent news story that touched you deeply? The one that stands out the most is a local one–an apartment building nearby collapsed. Fortunately, almost everyone got out safely except for one woman, who was trapped by a refrigerator four hours before crews could safely get her out. I live maybe just a couple blocks away from the building, so it was the big story in town, and I felt bad for her and the residents that are all now homeless, plus I was angry with the building owner, who was already due to appear in court days later for multiple code violations on his properties, one of which was damage to a load-bearing wall. It also had me a little on edge because I’ve had my own issues in my apartment building recently, and it’s alarming to see a building collapse. It’s frustrating to see people making money off of tenants with little to no regard for the quality of the residences to the point that people may not even be safe. But a little good news–my favorite restaurant in town held a benefit for the residents and injured rescue workers, and when we went shortly after it started, the restaurant was packed.
2) Ms. McLachlan performed this in tribute to Linda McCartney at the 1999 Concert for Linda. She was expressing her hope that, in death, Linda found relief and peace after a long and painful battle with cancer. What do you think happens to us when we die?
I believe in a sort of generic yet peaceful afterlife, but I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell. I don’t think we’re punished or rewarded at all based on our behavior, I think we just kind of…move on.
3) Daytime dramas General Hospital and As the World Turns used this song on-air after a major character died. Do you follow any “soap operas?” I started watching General Hospital in high school when my mom got back into it, watched it a little in college, then kind of lost track of it as an adult for a little while. But I work for a closed-captioning company and get to watch it at my job pretty often.
4) In 2007, Sarah donated her recording of this song to the ASPCA. Do you have a pet? If yes, how did you get it (shelter, pet store, etc.)?
When I was in college, we adopted two dogs who had been taken into a local animal shelter together. One was already a senior dog and died a couple years later, but my parents still have the younger one, a beagle. Even though I’m not living there anymore, I still consider him to be mine. And when my fiancé moved in, he brought his gecko with him.
5) She admits she can’t watch those ASPCA commercials, where her recording of “Angel” plays over sad photos of animals. Is there a TV commercial that really gets to you (in either a good or a bad way)? That one! Anything that’s designed to tug at you usually gets me–meaning it works. I remember as a kid wondering a lot why nobody seemed to donate to poor starving children all over the world…and that’s how I ended up with stacks of donation requests coming in the mail now as an adult. I do what I can, which is to say not much.
6) In 1994, Sarah was stalked by an obsessed fan. Tell us about a time you were really frightened. In retrospect, was your fear commensurate with the threat? Nothing really stands out. There have been a few situations in which some men have put me really on edge, and based on my knowledge of the specific men, it was a very, very valid concern.
7) Sarah was adopted by Jack and Dorice McLachlan. Though she has a friendly relationship with her birth mother, she always considered Dorice her mother and sees herself behaving with her son the way Dorice did with her. Is there anyone in your family that you feel you resemble, either physically or by behavior? Absolutely my mom. I do see more of my dad in me as I get older, but I look more like my mom, and we have a lot of the same mannerisms. Sometimes when I talk, I hear myself saying things the way she would. We have similar facial expressions, too. I think it’s funny that my fiancé feels I resemble her most when I’m pissed off.
8) McLachlan is one of the founders of Lilith Fair, a summer concert series designed to showcase talented female performers. Do/did your summer plans include an outdoor concert? Always! I’ve had two outdoor concerts so far–Mumford & Sons to kick off the season, and I think they were actually the first concert of the season at the outdoor venue, and then Muse last night. I have one more in a little over a week, which is Cheap Trick and Foreigner, and then I think that’s it for the outdoor summer-concert season. But check in with me in the fall, because I think I’ve got four lined up from September through November.
9) Random question: Which of these men would you most like to be seated with at dinner — Clint Eastwood, Prince William or Jimmy Fallon? I like Jimmy Fallon, and this is probably just because he has a TV persona, but I don’t know what that would be like for a dinner. But Prince William would probably make a great interesting dinner companion who would make good conversation. And we share a birthday.