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“I put the city of Minneapolis through holy hell for three years,” explained Laurie Lindeen, in typical self-deprecating fashion, at her book reading last night. And, somewhat horrifyingly, Lindeen’s meager audience did the same to her. Kind of. In town for a wedding, Lindeen took some time out to stop by Olsson’s in Dupont to read excerpts from “Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story” and to answer some semi-idiotic questions.

Though her style is a bit more polished since her days of wearing prom dresses on the grunge scene, there were still traces of the Zuzu’s Petals frontwoman in today’s Lindeen. In her delicate floral dress and patent leather heels, it was easy to imagine the once wild-haired rocker in all of her sequined glamour. Her nervous back-and-forth swaying made it all the more endearing, reminding us that this rock chick, mother, and accomplished writer will forever also be the giddy young girl in the back of Carly Simon’s Volvo.

Lindeen’s small audience, however, displayed no sense that they knew much about her, or had even read her book (which came out a year ago, by the way).

Where were the post-30 former hipsters?

The people who still slept in their concert-faded flannel of yesteryear? Is it that her fan base is too busy these days driving soccer vans to read the blogs about events like these? Perhaps it’s because the people who do were still using training wheels in Lindeen’s heyday?

The best was the woman with long, silvery hair eagerly taking notes in the front row. “Did you graduate from college?” (“Uh, yea, I have a masters degree, thanks!”) “What do you do now?”

“Do you have a child who’s gone astray?” Lindeen finally quipped back.

You go, girl.

And then there was the guy who asked The Question That Everyone Knew Would Get Asked But Were Secretly Hoping Wouldn’t:

“So…how’d you meet Paul?”

God! Had this man no scruples? First of all, you ass, read the book if you really want to know (or are you too cheap to support talented writers and fledgling independent book stores?). Second of all, here was a woman taking the time to read excerpts of an intimate memoir about how rock and roll changed her life! And helped her dominate multiple sclerosis! And find her way in the world as a writer and independent woman! And he’s asking about her rock-god husband?

Anyways. Lindeen now works as a teacher through residencies in local schools around Minneapolis, where she teaches creative writing. For the real fans, Rhino has just re-released a Zuzu’s Petals retrospective available online, which includes music spanning the band’s entire career as well as photos that weren’t available at the time “Petal Pusher” was printed.

“The music was always so grandiose in my head,”
she admitted toward the end of the evening. “But when it came out it was like Rodgers and Hammerstein meet the Sex Pistols.”

You’ll always be a rock and writing god to me, Laurie!