Rickie Lee Jones set for Tarkington show


Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones first came to national prominence with the hit “Chuck E.’s in Love” in 1979.

Forty-five years later, Jones is still creating and performing. She will perform at 8 p.m. March 8 at The Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

“The switch that makes me want to write all the time, loving to write, remains as elusive to me now as it ever was,” Jones said. “The switch is on now. Worries about family are far less. That kind of thing can devastate the creative mind. It needs pastures of unobstructed views of its own imagination, rivers unpolluted by depression and despair. Sometimes you can write your way out of a feeling, but the other time the feeling just sucks down joy and poetry like a black hole.”

At 69, Jones said her age has let her feel like her life belongs only to her.

“I have a little time left to express and leave behind the impression of my unique self,” Jones said. “Why I decided I am worth it, what caused that Catholic self-retaliation to dissolve, I cannot say. But now that it’s gone and I feel loved and treated with the respect old folks get, I am writing like mad. The pressure is off. I don’t need to present myself. I am myself. I am lucky enough to be called to this job, to have it all my life, to make money being Rickie Lee Jones. Imagine that — so beautiful. And I like being my honest self, so others can feel good about their honest self, their own kindness, their own glory.”

Jones said having money can help.

“When one needs money, that immediacy keeps us returning to the typewriter or the piano, in spite of how it might hurt our jagged soul to have those feelings pass through the memory as they are turned into art,” Jones said. “It’s not a bad word, money. But it’s easy to forget that art has nothing to do with money. The value, for myself, (is) the value of a single song having been sprung up out of the air. With no one else’s judgment of it, it must be exercised daily, because in the world of commerce, it has no place to sit.”

For more, visit thecenterpresents.org.