January 7th, 2010 | Published in Snooping with the Stars
“When the world is gray and bleak, baby don’t you cry, I will give you every bit of love that’s in my heart. I will bake it up into a simple little pie.”
–Quincy Coleman, “Baby Don’t You Cry” from the film “Waitress”
By Elaine Matsushita
Want to know why I’m not a music writer? I listen to Quincy Coleman, my eyes closed, grappling for words to describe the purity of her voice, it’s trueness … and all I can come up with is this: If I could sing, I would want to sing like Quincy, commanding tunes like Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and conjuring up Paris, cabarets and burgundy velvet as she does on “Want Me Back.”
Then I read Quincy’s own stab at describing “Calling Your Name” from her most recent CD, “Come Closer,” and I don’t feel so bad. “Israeli, surf punk, gypsy swing” is what she calls it. No wonder I was having a hard time.
“Heh, heh, heh” is what I imagine the singer’s response would be. Just like when she tells me about burning down her dad’s Brentwood house.
Really. She left a candle burning, says the daughter of actor Dabney Coleman and model/actress Jean Hale. “Everybody survived,” she says. But Quincy lost her journals, photo albums, books. Everything—everything except the things that had to do with her music. “It was a very clear sign. The universe clearly thinks I need my music.”
With insurance money, Quincy was able to move into a one-bedroom apartment in the historic Whitley Heights neighborhood of Hollywood and record her second album—on her very own wittily named Firehouse Records label.
So what that her place has a bedroom “the size of my bed.” And a closet that’s “a tight squeeze.” Quincy loves her home overlooking the Capitol Records building and the Knickerbocker because of its painted-gray wood floors and view. It’s decked out in a “combination of modern meets vintage with a splash of IKEA.
“I’ve got cool antiques stuff from my grandmother and had a really modern couch custom-made. [The apartment is] very simple, but warm and comfortable.” A picture of my dad [Dabney Coleman] strangling a Muppet–the rooster. He was in “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” The other thing is a picture of my mom [model/actress Jean Hale] in the mid-‘50s at a drive-in diner at a photo shoot, being introduced to Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller.
One thing on your nightstand: I don’t have a nightstand. I guess the platform of my bed. Jasmine oil.
One thing you have in your house from your childhood: I have a ring that I got in Mexico with my best friend. It’s got an opal with turquoise with a little black bird flying in it. I’ve also got earrings from my first boyfriend. I was in the fourth grade.
Three things we would find under your bed: Extra toiletries, slippers and probably some dust bunnies.
Color of your bedroom walls: All the walls in the apartment are white. Not stark white but off-white.
First thing you see when you enter your home: An old pew that my grandmother gave me–with great orange and white fabric on it. And then probably the TV and then the three windows. You open up [the front door] and you’re smack in the living room.
What in your home screams “Quincy Coleman lives here!” Probably my wheat-grass juicer. I drink 2 ounces every day. It keeps your blood clean . . .and contributes to my flawless skin (heh, heh, heh). And it’s great for your metabolism. It’s just really good stuff. I’ve been drinking it for like 15 years.
What is the biggest collection in your home? My CDs. [How many?} I have no idea. Maybe 500 . . .I just got a Frank Sinatra collection of Christmas songs.
Where do you feel most creative in your home? I’ve done some writing in my kitchen--it’s a pretty cool kitchen--and some in my living room right there on my couch. When I lived at my dad’s, I wrote by the fireplace.
What music have you been listening to at home lately? Mozart. Harp music. [Jazz saxophonist] Ben Webster. Or a Putamayo compilation of some sort. But I will say I’ve been getting into some serious pop—Rihanna, Beyonce, Jay-Z. “Fireflies” by Owl City, which kills me. Justin Bieber–I think he‘s a genius. Usher and Justin Timberlake.
What reading material would we find in your bathroom? Oh, I used to have a book called “What’s Your Poo Telling You” [by Anish Sheth and Josh Richman]. It’s in my medicine cabinet now hiding.
Most embarrassing thing in your home that you hide when guests come
over? I don’t embarrass easily. … um … I guess dirty laundry. I always want to make sure it’s properly placed.
On a surprise visit, would we find your bed made? Most likely. 99 percent of the time.
Best furniture bargain you ever got? Well I got a great deal on my bed because my friend worked at the store. It’s a modern platform bed made of dark wood.
Liquid body soap or bar soap in the shower/bath? Liquid. Dr. Bonner’s all the way. Pepperrmint.
Do you hang your toilet paper over the front or down the back? Front only.
Click just below to hear Quincy.