Next Saturday, February 28, marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Jewel’s Pieces of You, a raw, barely-produced little folk album that ended up selling over 12 million copies and sparked an entirely fresh movement of female singer-songwriters on ’90s radio.
In honor of this milestone, the principals involved in Pieces of You shared their memories and stories surrounding Jewel’s early says singing in San Diego coffee shops through the bidding war over her and her slow march to multi-platinum status. The current issue of Entertainment Weekly features the resulting oral history. But there was just too much good stuff to go around, so here is the first of a handful of weird and wonderful tales from the minds of the people who made Pieces of You possible.
How the “Who Will Save Your Soul” video ended up in the bathroom
Jewel: “The bathroom idea was my concept. I had read a bunch of treatments, and realized none of them were necessarily me. I grew up outdoors and in nature, and I found the only place in cities I could be alone was the bathroom. I would honestly go in there just for breaks. And I always loved the people watching. All different economic groups have to use the restroom: Poor people, rich people….I remember in New York City seeing a woman shooting up in the bathroom. Transvestites would come in. It was fascinating. So I would go into my little stall and be overwhelmed, and I had dirt from Alaska that I carried in a little Tupperware container and I would smell it. And I had cottonwood balm that smells like the valley where I’m from, and it was just a little place of meditation. That’s why I made one of the stalls in the video an altar with candles and vines growing up the sides. It was my only way of centering myself.”
Geoff Moore, “Who Will Save Your Soul” director: This was an actual bathroom in Los Angeles City Hall. All the characters in it, for the most part, were my friends. I think we paid them 50 bucks to use their image to eternity. The couple making out in the stall, he was in a hot Hollywood band at the time and that was his girlfriend. The drag queen was actually Rex Harrison’s grandson. “Who Will Save Your Soul” was actually one of the very firs videos on Pop Up Video. I always thought that was kind of cool. My silhouette was in there and there was a little pop up that pointed out the director. That was my Hitchcock moment.”