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[whitespace] Look, Ma! No Mop!: Carol Burnett's daughter Erin climbs onto the club stage.

Short and Sweet

Erin Hamilton's snappy answers to stupid questions

By Michael Youen

I was able to catch up with songstress Erin Hamilton right after her energetic and passionate performance at Gus Bean's Metropolis at 550 Barneveld in San Francisco. As I entered the upstairs office I was amazed to see how tiny this barrel of dynamite is. During our interview, her answers proved to be as short as her stature.

When people hear the name Erin Hamilton, not many of them know that you're the product of two highly successful Hollywood legends. Your mom is actress/comedienne Carol Burnett, who had a very popular variety show in the early 1970s. Your father was no slouch either--the producer of her show as well as being a member of the Skylars, a great jazz group. So, who do you look up to?

My mother.

You're the youngest of the couple's three daughters--don't you remember being starstruck by all the wonderful guests who appeared on your mother's show?


At what age do you remember performing first?

Nine, in the living room. Then at 19 I started an all-girl band called As Is.

You formed another band before going solo, Komba Kalla. Komba was one of the first bands to open the House of Blues in Los Angeles.


What's your favorite part of San Francisco?


A new generation of talent has burst onto the circuit scene with you and your hot cover of "Dream Weaver;" your most current hit is a remake of Cheap Trick's "The Flame." The buzz that's goin' around is that this cover is an unexpected but well-received vocal treat for all of us club-goers who know a good groove when we hear it. What's your favorite song off your CD?

"Sweet Angel," because I wrote it about my son.

Who inspires you?

My son.

What's in your CD player right now?

Neil Lewis's Magnitude or Sarah Maclachlan's Stumbling Towards Ecstasy.

What's the one thing that's always in your purse?

A pack of Marlboro Lights and lipstick.

What is your favorite and worst part about performing live?

I love the energy I feel when I perform live. I love what I do, especially seeing all the people mouth the words to "The Flame." The worst part would be sweating off my mascara within 15 minutes of performing.

Ever catch any drag queens lip-synching to your songs?

Not yet. I did hear of one in Honolulu that does "Dream Weaver." You know you've arrived when drag queens are performing your music. It's the biggest form of flattery you can get!

Who would you love to work with?

William Orbit. I've been a huge fan even before Madonna ever was. [Editor's note: Whoa.]

What's your favorite cuss word?

"SHIT!" I must say it at least 20 times a day.

Tell me about some of the things you like.

My favorite color is twilight blue, my favorite actor is Angelina Jolie and my favorite movies would have to be It's a Wonderful Life or Star Wars.

What's your sign?

Leo--I was born on August 14.

Has your mother's fame helped you in your career?

I never used my mother to get anywhere. People found out after the fact.

If you had the chance to be someone else for a day, who would it be?

My son.

How many tattoos do you have?

I have seven tattoos. A lot of them have yoga symbolism--I was a yoga teacher for five years.

You'd think being the child of a major star would take its toll on you, but I can tell you seem to know where your feet are and you are very grounded. Your love for your son is something that keeps popping into the back of my mind. How close are you with the rest of your family?

I have seven sisters, but my sister Carrie and I are closest.

You've already managed to work with some of today's greatest entertainers, like Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston. Who would you now love to do a duet with?

Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin.

Can you do the Tarzan yell?

I can't. I wish I could. I'll leave that to my mom.

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From the February 7, 2000 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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