About three years ago, after my son’s baby shower, sitting on the porch with my friend Anna, she told me with tears in her eyes that she didn’t think she could continue in the band anymore. It’s not that she wasn’t grateful for the experience, the fans, all the gifts the band had given her. It was just that she felt it was time for new experiences and that her heart was moving in a new direction. I told her I understood and that I would try to change her mind, that she was a wonderful performer and she’d be sorely missed if she decided to leave, but that as her friend I would never try to limit her ambition, ignore her feelings or stifle her dreams.
As many of you know, Anna founded the wonderful Girlschool. Called “a vision for the way forward” by the Los Angeles Times, Girlschool is a music and ideas festival and community that has been undoing uncool shit by doing cool shit since 2016. By popular demand, Girlschool recently opened a cultural programming and creative producing agency that centers excellent work by women-identified talent. She’s also gone on to curate, present and produce wonderful local art/music installations including BREATHWATCHLISTENTOUCH: The Work and Music of Yoko Ono which sold out Disney Concert Hall in partnership with the LA Phil; JELLY, an interactive performance experience with Jarina De Marco featuring the world’s first Jellynthesizer; and is co-artistic director and co-founder of the new experimental pop and classical music concert series, SILENCE, at Descanso Gardens, which launched this month to critical acclaim. (The last two shows of SILENCE are on the Sept. 21st and 28th, and you can find more information here. As you can see, she has been an unstoppable force of creativity and action.
In the meantime, the guys and I have been working on a massive project (which we will tell you all about next month). But today is about Anna.
In short, she’s leaving the band.
I can’t express to you what an amazing partner Anna has been all these years. She’s an avid professional musician with a wonderful ear for melody and precise tone. As all of you know, she’s a captivating performer and for that reason, a great person to take the stage with. I’ve always enjoyed recording and performing with Anna, our dances on stage, our harmonies, the countless ways I am comforted and proud to be performing next to her.
To say she will be missed understates the point. Ever since I asked her one drunken night 13 years ago to “come on stage and play a few songs with my band with the funny name,” she has been reliable, warm, professional, kind and generous with her talent—the kind of collaborator every musician hopes for. I will miss her so much.
I know you will too. So this week we will be sharing Anna pictures, Anna stories and trying to send her off with as much love and appreciation for her many contributions to our lives as we can.
And though I am sad she is turning this new chapter in her life, I am so proud of my friend Anna and excited to see what she does next with that hard-working, fiercely intelligent, wonderful mind and heart of hers.