Darlene Love on Her Iconic Place in Rock and Roll History


Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with music legend, Darlene Love, who talks about her extraordinary career in music and her iconic place in rock and roll history.

12/16/2019 #2269






"Look, if you've never seen One on One, if you've never tuned into public broadcasting for this incredibly important show every night, tonight's the night. Because Darlene Love is in the house. [laughter] It just says here, "music icon." Well... But I gotta tell you something. I first met you... our friends at the Montclair Film Festival, they premiered 20 Feet from Stardom a few years back? Yes. A few! [laughter] Yeah. Set that up for people. What was the premise of that movie? Well, you know, it was all wonderful. It is about backup singers. Hmm. Who backup any and everybody if you're good enough. You gotta be good? And I got this telephone call from Dick Donner, who was the director of the Lethal Weapon series, and one of my very good friends, Lou Adler, who was a great producer, and still is, he just retired. Right. And they called me and said, "We want to do this movie, a documentary about background singers," and I told the producer, "You have to call Darlene Love if you're gonna do this." Wow. And because we were singing... The Blossoms is the group I was working with at the time. But we... what we didn't know, black people weren't doing background then. It was all white singers. Is that right? Background? And they were... background, and they were all readers. Bette Midler tells the funniest story about him. Because they used to stand there and go "oooohhh!" [laughter] But then when we got in, we went "woo-oooh-ooooh!" You changed it up? Changed it up. Do you mind if we show people 20 Feet from Stardom? Oh why not? It's great! Let's show a clip! Yes! It came out a few years ago, but it's more important than ever now? Yes. [music playing] There's a power to these women that stand on stage with these guys. [music plsying] It's a bit of a walk. Now a walk to the front is... this is complicated. [music playing] The rock'n'roll people like Bruce and Elton John and Stevie wanted to know who that girl singer was. My life has been all about trying to make a success of the gift that I had. It is my honor to induct into into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and about time, to Miss Darlene Love. [laughter] I mean... [laughter] And who knew? What I started out doing at 16, that all these years later, I would win a Grammy and an Oscar for a movie that I have been doing all my life? Did you think that was possible? No. I didn't even reach for that star. I just... You did not? We were just a background group making a living. You come out of Los Angeles, right? From Los Angeles, California. You're a kid. You started singing when? In..."