Love songs: Lisa Loeb on Hockaday, music and motherhood

From Hockaday to hit single

Lisa Loeb’s senior portrait from Hockaday in 1986
Lisa Loeb’s senior portrait from Hockaday in 1986
Lisa Loeb
Lisa Loeb

As the only unsigned artist in history to have a No. 1 single, Lisa Loeb epitomizes girl power. We’re hardly surprised. After all, she attended Hockaday, a school dedicated to producing strong, confident women.

“Hockaday instilled me with a sense of feeling like I could do anything I wanted to do,” Loeb says. “I could be both feminine and strong.”

Though she lives in Los Angeles, the Preston Hollow native hasn’t forgotten her roots.

“I love being able to come back to Dallas as much as I can,” she says. “Growing up there has had a huge impact on me.”

Many of the singer’s most vivid memories are set at Hockaday.

“I remember what we had for lunch everyday, the uniforms, the teachers, the intense workload,” she says.

Those cafeteria lunches must have really left an impression. In 2004, Loeb starred in a Food Network show called “Dweezil and Lisa” with her then-boyfriend Dweezil Zappa. In one episode, the duo travel to our neighborhood and learn how to make Hockaday’s chess pie.

As a teenager, Loeb also spent a good amount of time at St. Mark’s.

“They had a radio station that I loved listening to, so I asked if I could be one of the DJs, and they let me do that,” she explains. “My friends and I sometimes interviewed bands. I was bringing huge crates of record albums from my own collection. At the time, you couldn’t bring your iPod.”

Loeb enjoyed playing Led Zeppelin and tracks by the Texas-based punk rock band The Judy’s. But the music she creates is pared down and poignant. “Stay,” the song that put her on the map, has become a staple on many breakup playlists, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“That’s why I play music at all, is to connect with people,” Loeb says.

Her desire to connect with people is what led her to appear on E! Network’s “Number 1 Single,” a 2006 reality show about her search for love in her 30s.

“At first I was hesitant to have my own reality show,” she admits. “But then I realized there were so many people in that same situation. I had a story to tell and I felt like a lot of people had stories to tell me … I realized that by sharing my story, people could feel comfortable in their own stories.”

Loeb has since taken a break from TV, but she stays active plenty of other ways. Famous for her framed-face, she has her own line of eyewear and makes music for children. The latter project is helped by the fact that the singer is now a mother of two. During our phone call, she pauses periodically to attend to her son. Loeb apologizes for the interruptions and says laughingly, “That’s my awesome real life.”


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