updated 6/30/2004 1:12:50 PM ET 2004-06-30T17:12:50

Guests: Chynna Phillips, Wendy Wilson, Carnie Wilson, Rob Bonfiglio

ANNOUNCER:  DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT.

DEBORAH NORVILLE, HOST:  Wilson Phillips, on the road again.  After more than a decade away from the recording studio, this second generation pop super-trio is staging a comeback.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHYNNA PHILLIPS, WILSON PHILLIPS:  We absolutely love singing together.  It‘s our favorite thing to do, is to sing together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips.  There‘s a whole new look about them, but that old familiar harmony hasn‘t changed at all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  I think we were all pretty shocked after having not sung together for so many years, and it sounded really good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Now these children of rock-and-roll are re-exploring their musical roots and paying tribute to their legendary Mamas and Papas.  But these childhood friends also shared the nightmare of growing up in a free-spirited drug culture, and Carnie recalls the drastic measures she took to go from this to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARNIE WILSON, WILSON PHILLIPS:  It‘s been very difficult, emotionally painful, physically painful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Tonight, Wilson Phillips in harmony again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WENDY WILSON, WILSON PHILLIPS:  It‘s our favorite thing.  I mean, that

·         that‘s what we do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  From studio 3K in Rockefeller Center, Deborah Norville.

NORVILLE:  And good evening, everybody.  After 12 years apart, the pop vocal trio Wilson Phillips is back together with a new CD called “California.”  It‘s filled with covers of some of the classic ‘60s and ‘70s pop music from West Coast artists, including the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Jackson Browne.  It is also a record in which they pay tribute to their roots with some Beach Boys material and some songs from the Mamas and the Papas.  They pretty much look as much as they did back during their original heyday in the ‘90s, with a couple exceptions.  There‘s less of Carnie and a little bit more of Chynna and Wendy because those two ladies are expecting babies.

It‘s so great to see you back together again.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

WENDY WILSON:  Thank you.

CARNIE WILSON:  Thank you.

NORVILLE:  How much—how much fun is it to be back in the swim?  You know, you‘re doing the appearances.  You‘re doing the make-up.  You‘re doing the sound checks.  You‘ve got the hectic schedule.  Is it a blast?

WENDY WILSON:  We love it.  We‘re having the time of our lives.  We really are so happy to be back.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  It‘s like a dream come true, that the three of us are singing together again.  I mean, it is a dream come true that the three of us are singing together again.  And it‘s been absolutely everything that I hoped it would be, and more, singing with them again.  And you know, having this group experience again is pretty incredible.

CARNIE WILSON:  Every time we sing together, I think we just—it‘s just reiterated.  We‘re born to do this.  We‘re born to do this.  You know what I mean?

NORVILLE:  And you really were born to do this . I mean, you guys literally grew up in the crib together.  I mean, your moms and dads were friends when you guys were little.  And Chynna, I think you said the first person you met outside your family was Carnie?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Absolutely.  Yes.  She was my first friend, my very first friend.

NORVILLE:  Aw!

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Actually, our moms used to go shopping together, you know, very—very good friends when they were pregnant. And so we knew each other in utero.

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  Let‘s talk about the new record.  It‘s called “California,” and it‘s really an homage to the state where the three of you grew up.  What was the genesis for the focus on all West Coast music?  Carnie?

CARNIE WILSON:  Well, we were—we got a phone call from our managers saying that Columbia Records was having very good success with artists covering material from other artists, and they thought it was a great idea.  And we grew up in California.  We are from California.  We are California - - you know, our music, our history, our family, and it just seemed right for us to do this.  We were right in the middle of making another pop record, and we thought, You know, this is a perfect way to reintroduce ourselves again, let everybody know we‘re back together, singing once again.  And it—finding the material wasn‘t easy, but it was a total joy.

NORVILLE:  You say, We are Californians, we come from California, we know the music.  You also didn‘t say, And we happen to be the offspring of these incredibly famous musicians.  Wendy, will you all ever be able to be introduced, you think, without the “daughters of rock royalty”?

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  You know, they always say that in the kind of that deejay voice.

WENDY WILSON:  No, I don‘t think we‘ll ever get away from that image, you know, the daughters of.  But we accept that, and we are very honored and proud of that, too, you know?  So I mean, this whole time in our careers, we‘ve been trying to get away from the California theme, trying to stand on our own, but now we embrace it and we say, You know what?  That‘s who we are.

NORVILLE:  Is covering an easier way to get back into the swim, Chynna?  Instead of, you know, working up a whole album of your own material, is it—is it kind of an easier dive back into the pool when you‘re doing songs that are already familiar to the audience?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Well, it‘s sort of a double-edged sword because on the one hand, yes, it is easier because you don‘t have to write the material, it‘s there.  But on the other hand, it‘s a real challenge to cover music classics, songs that have been, you know, loved and adored for years and years and years, and here we are covering them.  And it‘s a huge responsibility, and it‘s also something that, you know, you have to say to yourself, OK, I‘m not doing this so that I can make it better than the original because that‘s not our goal.  That was never our objective.  Our objective was just to make it our own, put our own signature on it, and to be proud of it, period.  And I think we did that.  I think we accomplished that.

NORVILLE:  How do you decide which songs?  I mean, right now we‘re hearing Fleetwood Mac in the back, you know.  But how did you decide?  Because there‘s so many great songs from this period of time.  There must have been a big fight, just, No, no, no, no, no.  We have to do this one (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Well, I mean, the three of us, we always love—we usually love the same music.  I mean, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles and Jackson Browne, and this is music that we grew up with and we love so much.  And it was kind of hard with the record company.  They were, like, Well, why don‘t you do some more obscure songs?  And you have to do the Byrds.  You just got to do the Byrds.  They‘re so the ‘60s, you know?  And do a song called “Going Back.”  And we‘re, like, Well, we don‘t know “Going Back,” but we know “Turn, Turn, Turn.”  You know, so we kind of compromised.  There was a  lot of compromising there, but it was—it was fun.  It was just fun to do that.  And we were sort of pinching ourselves, A, we‘re back together, and B, we‘re sing these great, loved songs.

NORVILLE:  Yes.  Yes.  And in one of those songs on there, Carnie and Wendy, your dad steps up to the piano and is part of the keyboards and part of the vocals.  I know you‘ve worked with your father in the past, but what was it like for this particular album, for Wilson Phillips to be working with Brian Wilson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, every time we work with Dad, it‘s awe-inspiring and just amazing to us to see how he works in the studio.  And he‘s always changing, and you know, it‘s just so much fun.  And he does it so fast.  You know, he‘s like lightning, so we‘re just inspired by that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When he first came in, he was playing in my room, basically, in chipmunk speed.  And we said, You know what?  We‘ve got to take it down a little bit, Dad.  He was, OK.  I think he was nervous, you know?  He‘s so cute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He‘s really something else.  And we—we thought we had the parts right, but no, we didn‘t.  He had to correct us and give us the right parts.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  And so adorable because you can tell that he‘s really a Wilson Phillips fan, you know?  He‘ll—whenever you guys go to his house, doesn‘t he make you to listen to the album over and over again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He was so funny.  He wanted to hear it over and over.

NORVILLE:  You know, I see you guys obviously connecting so well.  I wonder why did you disintegrate in 1992?  What happened, Chynna?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Well, the truth is, is that—first of all, I‘ll speak for myself.  I was intensely exhausted, and I was at the end of my rope physically, mentally, spiritually.  I just felt like I had nothing left to give.  And I felt like it was time for me to just, you know, be a little bit more of a recluse, get my own space, be in my own space.  You know, when you‘re in the spotlight like that for so many years and it‘s non-stop—I mean, you should have seen our schedule.  Our itinerary was just out of control, going from one country to the next, one city to the next, one radio station to the next, being pulled and tugged and make-up and...

NORVILLE:  And did you feel that you couldn‘t say, Hey, wait...

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Yes.

NORVILLE:  ... no, stop.  You‘re killing me?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  It was just...

(CROSSTALK)

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  We were beyond that.  It was beyond that because every time we had said, This is enough, we need a break, then nobody‘d listen to us.  So it seemed—and it was a bit extreme, but it seemed like the only answer at the time was to quit, and so that‘s basically what I did.

NORVILLE:  You jumped ship first, and I‘m sure you guys were probably partly angry and partly relieved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s true.

(CROSSTALK)

WENDY WILSON:  I was personally relieved because of how much work we had been doing, and I just—needed a break.  And it was nice, you know, to get a breather from it and get some perspective, you know, and then Carnie and I went on to do our own stuff, and Chynna went on to do her own stuff.

NORVILLE:  But I know, Carnie, you always dreamed that the three of you would be back on TV, talking about your latest album.

CARNIE WILSON:  Oh, are you kidding?  I drove them crazy for years.  It was, like, OK, are we doing it this year?  How about next year?  Next year?  Next—it was—it wasn‘t—I guess I‘m just—we‘re all emotional, but I think that really, in my heart, what I was trying to express to them was, is that I really did miss singing together and that the greatest joy is, when we sing harmony, it just fills our hearts.  I‘m not trying to be corny, but it‘s really true.  And that was missing, you know?  But then again, looking back, I‘m grateful because we all got to do so much and had so much experience, and a lot of wonderful things happened during that time.

NORVILLE:  Before we go to the break—if you were exhausted before, now you‘ve got two kids, Chynna, one on the way.  Wendy, you‘ve got one on the way.  And Carnie, I know you‘re thinking about joining the mommy club.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Yes.

NORVILLE:  how are you going to do it with all the other responsibilities you‘ve got?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just like you do it.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Right?

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Multitask people.

NORVILLE:  We women going to join the world of the crazy!

We‘re going to take a short break.  When we come back, more with Carnie, Wendy and Chynna, including a look a their personal struggles through the years.  And that great a harmony, we‘re going to hear it shortly.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Back with the pop group Wilson Phillips, staging a comeback after 12 years apart.  When you see those music videos from the old days...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... you don‘t know how scared I was to sit on that tree.

NORVILLE:  Really?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, Julie (ph) and Temple (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, Just sit over there on that tree right there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  By a cliff, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hanging over this precipice.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And I was, like, Oh, really?  OK.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘ll just sit right there.  It‘s, like, a 4,000-foot, you know, drop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We had to carry her down on a stretcher, she was so cold.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m not kidding.  She was so cold!

NORVILLE:  And what was the point of having you cheat death to cheerfully sing the song “Hold On”?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The beauty of the nature around us.

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  Oh, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Remember?  We had to sing it in chipmunk speed, literally, because they had set it up...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s right!  That‘s right!

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They were doing some effect with our mouths to slow it down a little bit, so it was going...

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  But the effect turns out to be this beautiful, you know, thing with the lips.  I don‘t know what...

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  You know, I see the three of you together, and I just marvel that you ever did spend 12 years apart.  But you really did spend 12 years, at times with no contact.  So let‘s just sort of find out, fast forward, what everybody‘s done.  Chynna, during the 12 years that you weren‘t out there singing, what was going on in your life?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Well, basically, I met, you know, the man of my dreams and I got married and...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  To Billy Baldwin.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  To Billy Baldwin.  And we have two beautiful children, Vance (ph) and Jameson (ph).  Vance is 2-and-a-half, and Jameson is 4.  And what else?  Let‘s see.  I did a little movie of the week.  I did a solo record.  And then I—what else did I do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You started a charity.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  I started a charity called—well, I didn‘t start the charity.  I‘m working with a charity called Tribe of Heart, and it saves factory-farmed animals from their...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Abuse.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  It‘s just disgusting what goes on in the factory farming industry.  So I work very closely with them.

NORVILLE:  And you said that your husband, for him, this moment in your lives is really a dream come true.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Yes, it is, because basically, he‘s getting everything he wants!

(LAUGHTER)

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  No, he‘s always dreamed of having a third child, so I‘m really excited about, you know, being able to supply that and...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And he loves our harmony more than...

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  He loves our harmony so much.  And we‘re moving back to the East Coast.  And so basically, this is, you know, his life dream.

NORVILLE:  Is all coming real for him.

(CROSSTALK)

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  He better just be really nice.  No, he‘s always nice.  But you know, it‘s just—he‘s getting everything that he ever dreamed of.

NORVILLE:  And Wendy, you‘ve got I know one more baby on the way, and we just saw your darling little boy backstage.  What else has been going on with your life?

WENDY WILSON:  Well, I mean, 12 years goes by pretty fast, pretty quickly.  Carnie and I have done a tour together that was, like, a Beach Boy-esque tour.  That was for three years.  And we made two records, a Christmas record and a duo record.  And just—I got married to this wonderful guy named Dan.  And you know, that‘s about it.

NORVILLE:  Were you always dreaming of the three of you getting back together, even though you and your sister were out there performing?

WENDY WILSON:  Actually, I didn‘t think it was going to really happen, to be honest with you.  I didn‘t think we were going to reunite.  But I was pleasantly surprised, you know?  I mean, I was ready for it, at that point.  It had been a long time.

NORVILLE:  And Carnie, we‘ve been able to keep better track of you.  You had the talk show on television.  You‘ve written two books.  You had your weight-loss surgery on the Internet.  Now, half a million people saw that?

CARNIE WILSON:  Yes.

NORVILLE:  That‘s incredible.

CARNIE WILSON:  Yes, two million people tried to log on and actually jammed the system.  It‘s pretty unbelievable.  It was the first surgery on the Internet.

NORVILLE:  Talk to me about what that process was, as we actually look at a tape of the surgery going on.  That must have been an incredibly frightening situation for you.

CARNIE WILSON:  It was frightening.  It was a decision that I was very happy to make.  It was the most difficult decision, but it was something that I knew I had to do.  I knew it was going to save my life.  And I think that people that qualify for this type of surgery, they are in a desperate place in their life, and they know that they‘re not going to live if they don‘t do that.

NORVILLE:  How much did you weigh at the time?

CARNIE WILSON:  I weighed 300.

NORVILLE:  Wow.

CARNIE WILSON:  Yes.  Yes.  And I‘ve maintained that weight loss.  I lost 150.

NORVILLE:  Wow!

CARNIE WILSON:  I‘ve put on 10 pounds, but I‘ve maintained this weight loss for five years.  And so I‘ve beaten the odds, and I‘m so proud of that.  And I‘m healthier than ever, and it‘s the best feeling to not be self-conscious.  Like, I mean, I‘ll always be self-conscious, but you know, it‘s so much better now.

NORVILLE:  I know in the book that you had last fall that came out, you said you still think about food all the time.

CARNIE WILSON:  Are you kidding?  That‘s my second book was called “I‘m Still Hungry.”

NORVILLE:  Right.

CARNIE WILSON:  Of course I think about food.  I love food!  I have a disease and I‘ll always battle this.  It is my Achilles heel.  I will battle it forever, and it is a struggle every single day.  The girls know.  I mean, I‘m—like, I‘m on no dairy, no carb.  You know, it‘s, like, this is just what I deal with.  And I‘m cool with that because I have so many other blessings in my life.  And my husband, Rob, is wonderful, and he—he met me when I was a big gal, and he loved me back then and he loves me now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  “Big gal”!  Are we laughing at that?

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  How come you put it on the Internet, the surgery?

CARNIE WILSON:  You know, I think that it‘s a very shameful disease.  And I think that people that are morbidly obese—and by the way, there‘s about 30 million Americans that are morbidly obese, more than 100 pounds overweight.  It‘s very serious.  Chynna is very adamant about factory farming.  I‘m very passionate about people that don‘t know what to do.  They‘re morbidly obese.  This is an option.  I am public about my struggle because I know I‘m helping people.

NORVILLE:  Right.

CARNIE WILSON:  End of story.  It‘s not for any other reason.  I know I‘m helping people, and I‘m getting a good message out.  Health.  Take care of yourself.  You can change something in your life.

NORVILLE:  And how...

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  And I‘m adamant about ending factory farming.

CARNIE WILSON:  Sorry!

(LAUGHTER)

CARNIE WILSON:  Sorry.  Right, right, right!

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We got that part.

NORVILLE:  The “Playboy” thing that came during that period...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, right.

NORVILLE:  A lot of people were...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That was a trip.

NORVILLE:  You know, it was a trip because some people were, like, Whoa, awesome.  She looks incredible.  And then other people who I guess were part of the full-figured community thought, That‘s just the ultimate traitor thing that you‘ve done.

CARNIE WILSON:  How could that be, taking beautiful pictures of yourself?  Go figure!  Hello?  That makes no sense to me at all.  There could be a little jealousy there, maybe.  And you know what?  Not everyone likes to take their clothes off for people.  I do.

(LAUGHTER)

CARNIE WILSON:  That‘s OK.  That‘s my gig.  That‘s my schtick.  That‘s all right.

NORVILLE:  Tell me a little bit, ladies, about—about growing up.  I mean, as great as your lives are right now, I guess it‘s not an understatement to say childhood had its rough moments?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.

NORVILLE:  Who wants to grab that one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Whose childhood doesn‘t have...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think everybody has their issues in life and childhood problems, you know?  So I don‘t think ours is any different than that.  But I mean, maybe we just have a more public circumstance.  You know what I mean?

NORVILLE:  Yes, your father—I mean, everybody knows he got messed up with drugs, and there was a period of time when he was just completely AWOL from your life, at a time when you guys really needed him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.  Well, our mother, Marilyn (ph), has been an amazing force of—and source of love and discipline and really—she‘s here now.  I love you, Mom.  She‘s a great, great lady, and we‘re really grateful.   And our father‘s a great man.  He has trouble fathering.  He didn‘t have a great father, and he—and he just didn‘t know how.  But he loved us then.  He loves us now.  And the great thing is that we have reunited, and that‘s the message, that we‘re open about things.  Chynna, before her dad passed away, got to, you know, heal many, many wounds.  And so this is a good, positive message that we‘re sending out.  It‘s not just struggle and the negative.  Good things can happen.

NORVILLE:  You just got to stay the course and keep stepping and stepping and—and as the song that you wrote, Chynna, you know, you got to believe.  You know, hold on.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Exactly.

NORVILLE:  You and your dad were able to come together before he passed away?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Yes.  I mean, it was never going to be what I would have loved for it to have been.  The relationship between my father and I was strained and it was difficult, but—and complicated.  But we shared a lot of wonderful moments together.  Even as a child, I spent some lovely times with my father.  And then as an adult, I got to—I got to get to know him better as an adult.  You know, it was a different perspective.  Once I became 20, 25 years old, it was much easier for me to see him as a human being, as somebody else who—you know, who struggles with life, just like anybody else does.  And I was able to separate myself from the relationship a little bit and stand back objectively and see him as just, you know, a fallible human being, somebody who falls into, you know, problems and mishaps, just like anybody else.  And that really helped me a lot because I was able to forgive him.

NORVILLE:  You had your own period, and you‘ve described yourself as a wild child, where you started to go down that same drug path that your dad had been on.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Yes.

NORVILLE:  What put the brake on for you, so that you didn‘t end up as far down as your father had sadly gone?

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  Well, I just basically got to the point with my own drug and drinking abuse where I said, You know what, Chynna?  You know where this leads.  You know where you‘re going to end up eventually.  And is that really where you want to be?  And the answer was no, and it—so I guess you could call that my bottom.  And I decided that I needed to do something about it, and so I quit just cold turkey...

NORVILLE:  Wow.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  ... just stopped.  And my life has really blossomed since then, and I‘ve really grown and changed.  And I really took my own psychotherapy very seriously, you know?  I went twice a week and I was diligent, and that really helped me pull my life together and helped me to get to a place where I was able to take responsibility for my own life and my own decisions.

NORVILLE:  I gather that music played a role in that, really, for all of you.  I mean, when you guys were in high school, that was when the whole famine relief, Bob Geldof, you know, Save Africa, Biafran children kind of thing—and you guys actually got together and had the idea—Wendy, I don‘t know if it was your idea—to—to put...

WENDY WILSON:  No.

NORVILLE:  ... put a record together and, We‘ll go save the world, too.  We can do it.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, there‘s a little bit of a twist on that!

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I mean, it was actually Chynna‘s idea...

NORVILLE:  OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... and we were going to get a bunch of kids...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And Owen (ph), too.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And Owen‘s idea, as well?  OK—to get a bunch of kids from the ‘60s, you know, rock-and-roll parents together and to make a charity song, just to record something, one song.  But we started singing together, and it just—it was so right that we said, OK, this goes beyond that.  This is something else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And that‘s how Wilson Phillips began.

NORVILLE:  And that was the beginning of Wilson Phillips.  Was it then that you realized, We got to do more than just sing in our bedroom together, huddled around the...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We developed our sound for about three or four years before we even got a record deal.  We were very serious about that, and we were serious about song writing.

NORVILLE:  And who did you share the sound with?  Did you go to your parents, or did you go to somebody outside in the business?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  My mom had heard our sound, and she said, You know, you guys ought to call Richard Perry (ph).  And Richard Perry is a very famous producer who has produced people like the Pointer Sisters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Carly Simon...

NORVILLE:  There you are with your mom, right there.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And so we met with Richard, and we sang him a few bars to a song, and he flipped out and loved it.  And next thing we knew, we were in the studio recording, and you know, we were singing, like, old throwaway Pointer Sister songs that they never wanted to actually record, you know, that they had sort of thrown out and said, Oh, we don‘t want to put this on our record.  We‘ll let them, you know, demo it.  And we did that for about—and then he hooked us up with Glen Ballard (ph) and...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That was the moment.

NORVILLE:  And that‘s how it all began.  We‘re going to take a short break.  When we come back, enough talking about singing, we‘re going to do some singing.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS:  All right!

WENDY WILSON:  All right!

CARNIE WILSON:  All right!

NORVILLE:  Wilson Phillips in just a moment.  We‘ll hear some songs from their new C.D. called “California” right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Back with Wilson Phillips, who are back together again.  They have a new C.D. out called “California.”  And we‘re also joined by Carnie‘s husband, Rob Bonfiglio, who is on the guitar. 

You were a fan of Wilson Phillips before you ever knew the lady who became your wife, right?

ROB BONFIGLIO, HUSBAND OF CARNIE WILSON:  Sure.

NORVILLE:  How?

(CROSSTALK)

BONFIGLIO:  ... pop music in general and loved their harmony.  So...

C. WILSON:  No, only Wilson Phillips. 

(LAUGHTER)

C. WILSON:  Thanks, baby. 

NORVILLE:  Growing up, you guys must have had, just because of the circle of friends your parents were in, every famous musician around coming over.  Who do you remember coming over when you were kids? 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  You can name drop.  This is the name drop section of the program.

W. WILSON:  Elton John, Cher, Keith Moon. 

C. WILSON:  Yes, dad went swimming in the pool with Keith Moon with all their clothes on. 

PHILLIPS:  Mick Jagger popped over. 

(LAUGHTER)

C. WILSON:  Warren Beatty. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Who?

C. WILSON:  Warren Beatty.  I just remember jumping on your bed and Warren was like, we‘re going out tonight.  We‘ll see you later.  I‘m like, you‘re really cute.  I‘m only 8, but you‘re really cute. 

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  Did Elvis come over, too?  Did he make the rounds? 

W. WILSON:  Who?

NORVILLE:  Elvis Presley?

(CROSSTALK)

C. WILSON:  I don‘t know.  I don‘t think so.

NORVILLE:  No?

PHILLIPS:  Before my time. 

C. WILSON:  Before my time, she says, like she‘s from Tennessee. 

NORVILLE:  Well the song—as we said, “California” has got lots of songs that you‘ve decided were ones from the ‘60s and ‘70s that you wanted to bring back because a lot of people maybe didn‘t hear it the first time around.  But they‘re going to hear it now.

What are you going to do? 

C. WILSON:  We‘re going to do “Already Gone” by the Eagles, one of our favorite groups in the world.  

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  All right, Wilson Phillips.

(WILSON PHILLIPS SINGS “ALREADY GONE”)

(APPLAUSE)

NORVILLE:  All right, Wilson Phillips. 

We have got more coming up, so stay with us. 

Well done.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  We‘ve got more music from the reunited pop group Wilson Phillips.  Plus, what do they think of some of today‘s hottest musical acts, like Britney Spears?  Find out in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

NORVILLE:  Wilson Phillips are laughing at their old music videos. 

C. WILSON:  We laugh at ourselves.  It‘s bad.

W. WILSON: 

PHILLIPS:  Just the hair. 

NORVILLE:  Just the hair, the hair flipping here and there. 

You guys were a big trio 12 years ago.  And you‘re back out now on the scene.  But it‘s—there‘s a lot of other girl groups out there.  And the one I was trying to think, who comes closest to doing now what you guys started out doing in the ‘90s?  Who would you say? 

W. WILSON:  I would say the Dixie Chicks. 

NORVILLE:  The Dixie Chicks?

W. WILSON:  That‘s what I would say. 

C. WILSON:  TLC, although, one of them died, which is the saddest thing ever.  Remember, we were so upset about that. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  What about Destiny‘s Child, because three women harmonizing. 

W. WILSON:  Yes, a little bit, yes.  They‘re a little more R&B than we are. 

C. WILSON:  Yes.  Yes, but probably the Dixie Chicks. 

NORVILLE:  When you look at the musical landscape out there, do you see the other artists as competition or colleagues? 

C. WILSON:  Colleagues.

PHILLIPS:  Well, you have to see them as colleagues. 

Obviously, there‘s when you‘re—you want to have a hit record.  You want to have—you know what I mean?  So there‘s always that threat of competition, but it‘s never part of what our everyday lives are.  We‘re never like, well, I can‘t believe they got a hit record.  We‘re not like that at all.  First of all, that‘s terrible karma. 

(CROSSTALK)

C. WILSON:  Yes.  No, it is.

(CROSSTALK)

PHILLIPS:  And everyone is different. 

(CROSSTALK)

PHILLIPS:  Secondly, we know everybody works their butts off in this business.  Nobody gets a hit record with no work.  You have got to work it and you have got to go out there.  So anybody who is having a hit record is working very hard.

NORVILLE:  Well, let me ask you about some women who have had some hits out there.  Britney Spears, thoughts about Britney? 

(CROSSTALK)

C. WILSON:  Works our butt off. 

PHILLIPS:  You have got to respect anybody who‘s doing that right now, because it‘s really hard work.  It‘s not like where it was before, where you didn‘t have to put that much into it to sell millions and millions of records.  And now you‘ve really got to work your tushy tired. 

C. WILSON:  Yes, and I would imagine she‘s pretty tired. 

NORVILLE:  Oh, yes, she‘s been working for years. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Christina Aguilera, Wendy. 

W. WILSON:  I absolutely love her.  Her voice just kills me.  It‘s amazing.  I can‘t believe it comes out of her. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Yes. 

And Jessica Simpson. 

PHILLIPS:  We love Jessica Simpson.  We thinks she‘s great.

W. WILSON:  Darling.

C. WILSON:  Great singer, funny and adorable. 

(CROSSTALK)

C. WILSON:  I love her.

NORVILLE:  Now, would you guys want to do a TV show type of thing, inside Wilson Phillips, the way they do the reality show on the newlyweds? 

C. WILSON:  Just come see our dogs and you‘ll be like, OK, barking nonstop and doing other things that aren‘t so... 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Now, the next song you‘re going to do is a Fleetwood Mac song.  But people who are Fleetwood Mac fans will go, wait a minute.  That‘s not the way I remember it. 

That‘s by design, right?  This is the way you guys feel the song. 

Explain that to me. 

C. WILSON:  It was Chynna‘s idea to slow it down. 

PHILLIPS:  Well, we tried singing it upbeat and it didn‘t just sound like us.  It didn‘t really fit us.  So we slowed it down.  And once we slowed it down, we said, wow, this is really special.  It really—it‘s a departure.  It really takes it to a new place and it gives the song almost a completely different vibe, you know? 

NORVILLE:  Let‘s let the people hear what it sounds like, Wilson Phillips-style. 

(WILSON PHILLIPS SINGS “GO YOUR OWN WAY”)

(APPLAUSE)

NORVILLE:  More with Wilson Phillips and their biggest hit, “Hold On,” right after this. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  More with the pop group Wilson Phillips. 

Is it fun to sing the old Mama and the Papas stuff, just personally for you, Chynna? 

PHILLIPS:  Oh, yes, absolutely.  We just get such a kick out of it.  We get such a kick out of it.  We love it.  And it‘s fun to be able to put our own twist on “Monday, Monday,” because I think that the melancholy—it was so melancholy, the original.  And I think that that‘s the absolute best way to go about it, singing it melancholy.  But it was really fun to punk it up and give it a little attitude.  So we‘re very proud of it.

NORVILLE:  Have you heard from any of the groups that you have covered since your album came out? 

C. WILSON:  Didn‘t you run into Joni Mitchell and then she said good luck to Wendy to sing “California”? 

PHILLIPS:  Yes, I actually did run into Joni Mitchell and I was able to tell her that we were covering “California.”  And she said, will you tell Wendy that my heart is with her?

W. WILSON:  And it really gave me inspiration when I sang it.

C. WILSON:  And you sing it great.

W. WILSON:  Thank you. 

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  And now you‘re going to sing “Hold On.”

And, Chynna, before you guys start singing, tell me, the lyrics are so poignant.  Where were you when you wrote that?  It really is just an anthem for anybody who is feeling like there has got to be a better day than today.

PHILLIPS:  Well, I was in my car in front of my mother‘s house.  I was about 18 years old.  And I just really was at a crossroads in my life.  And I realized that I was walking down, you know, a very dark path and that I had a choice, and that it was up to me.  And so the song really was an inspirational tool for me to be able to clean up my life and make something of it. 

NORVILLE:  Yes, well, it obviously resonates with a lot of people, because it‘s been a huge hit for Wilson Phillips. 

Here they are.

(CROSSTALK)

C. WILSON:  Thank you. 

(WILSON PHILLIPS SINGS “HOLD ON”)

(APPLAUSE)

NORVILLE:  How long do we have to hold on for a tour for Wilson Phillips? 

C. WILSON:  Maybe until next year, but not another decade for another record. 

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  OK.

Listen, congratulations.

C. WILSON:  Thank you. 

(CROSSTALK) 

NORVILLE:  Wendy, Carnie, Chynna, and Rob back in the corner, thank you so much.  We wish you all tons of success with the babies, the album and everything. 

(CROSSTALK)

C. WILSON:  Great

W. WILSON:  Thank you. 

PHILLIPS:  Thank you. 

PHILLIPS:  We‘re going to take a short break. 

When we come back, more on the 9/11 movie “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the controversial film from Michael Moore.  That‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  You can send us your ideas and comments to us at norville@msnbc.com.  And some of your e-mails are being posted up on our Web page.  That address is NORVILLE.MSNBC.com, which is the same place you can go to sign up for our newsletter. 

That‘s our program for tonight.  Thanks a lot for watching.  I‘m Deborah Norville. 

Coming up tomorrow night, more on “Fahrenheit 9/11.”  It is the surprise hit at the box office.  We have heard from Michael Moore.  We have heard from a lot of the film critics.  We have heard from John Ashcroft.  But what about the people who appear in this controversial documentary?  Tomorrow night, we will meet one woman was featured prominently in the film.  And her views about Michael Moore just may surprise you. 

Coming up next, Joe Scarborough with the shocking story of a Florida schoolteacher who has been charged with having sex with a student.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” is coming up next. 

That‘s it for us for today.  Thanks for watching.  We‘ll see you tomorrow. 

END   

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