The Well-Traveled Troubadour

Talking singers and song with Rufus Wainwright

You sang and helped produce Joan Wasserman's [Joan as Police Woman] last record, right?

Yeah, I did. She's a dear, dear friend of mine. I sing at the end of her album; there's a duet between her and me.

Didn't she used to play violin in your band?

Rufus is ready for a duet. Are you?
Rufus is ready for a duet. Are you?

Details

Rufus Wainwright, Saturday, November 8, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. 8 p.m. $37.50 and $45. Visit www.ticketmaster.com.Also Sunday, November 9, at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. 8 p.m. $15-$70. Call 561-832-7469, or visit www.kravis.org.

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Yeah, she was in my band for a few years and I miss her terribly.

Your current tour is solo, without a band. Why's that?

Well, several reasons, one of which is I recently came off a huge tour that ended at Radio City Music Hall with fireworks and a big bang. So that was the end of that period. And now it's time to sort of see who's behind the curtain, the little old man who actually turned out to be a gorgeous model type [laughs], so it's a bit of that — discovery for the audience. And also because I make a lot more money!

You've covered the Beatles, the Hollies, Leonard Cohen, and, of course, Judy Garland — what gives you the impetus to cover an artist or a particular song?

One of the most important facets of being a songwriter is learning other songs. I really think there's no way to gather the information as well as actually performing whatever song it is. So I feel like it's kind of a requirement in terms of being a songwriter yourself. I do it to get better.

Are there any other artists you plan to cover in the near or distant future?

I'd really like to make a French record at some point. I'm a big Serge Gainsbourg fan.

Will you be doing any covers on this tour?

Yes.

Do you want to tell me which ones, or should people just be surprised?

Surprised, as usual.

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