Besides the Pixies' Kim Deal, no woman sparked more crushes in the '80s/'90s U.S. college-rock scene than Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano. Tough yet vulnerable, the Hollywood native was the epitome of the L.A. rocker chick, someone who could snarl any man under the table ("Still in Hollywood," "The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden") when she wasn't making them melt on hit ballads "Joey" and "Someday?" Heavily influenced by the music and culture of the desert Southwest (she now lives in Joshua Tree, California), some of Napolitano's best work adds a touch of the supernatural: "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)," which opens the group's 1990 masterpiece Bloodletting, was inspired by Anne Rice's Lestat novels; "Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man," from 1992's Walking in London, is said to come from an experience Napolitano had at Austin's notoriously haunted Driskill Hotel. A visit from Napolitano, now reunited with Blonde co-founder and guitarist Jim Mankey for the third time, as the clock approaches midnight on Halloween Eve is almost too perfect. See the Press's two-part interview with her Thursday and Friday online at blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/inquiring_minds.
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