Before living a quiet life in NH, Vivian Trimble was co-founder of the band Luscious Jackson

  • Vivian Trimble, bandmate of Luscious Jackson, died last month following complications from cancer. Courtesy

Monitor columnist
Published: 5/23/2023 5:23:36 PM

The staff meeting began as a mere formality, a chance to meet the newest hire at the Capitol Center for the Arts.

The staff wanted to know more about Vivian Trimble, where her skills lay, where she grew up, how much experience had she had in the entertainment business.

They soon learned that Trimble might be a tad overqualified as a ticket taker at the box office. She mentioned the band she had once played keyboards with, prompting Collins, who would become Trimble’s friend and co-worker, to pull out her smartphone and play something from her own setlist.

“She said she had played with Luscious Jackson,” Collins, the director of development at the Capitol Center, said about the all-girls band. “I called up the song and asked, ‘this Luscious Jackson?’ ”

That was Trimble’s introduction to Concord and the Capitol Center. She died from cancer last month after a long struggle. She was 59. She moved from New York City to Hopkinton with her husband and their two children 10 years ago.

By then, Trimble and her three bandmates had made an impact on the music industry, recording music and filming polished videos from NYC through the 1990s.

They were never stadium-sized draws, but their alternative rock style and cool stage presence earned them a spot on the Beastie Boys’ label, Grand Royal. They scored one Billboard Hot 100 entry. Trimble performed with Emmylou Harris. Her death was covered by Rolling Stone magazine.

Her job answering phones and taking ticket orders didn’t feel right. Everyone knew that as the program director, Trimble would be more valuable, sort of the unofficial face of the operation.

“She was devoted to bringing and devoted to trying to bring the best acts to our stage,” Collins said. “She knew the industry, her name carried some weight.”

Apparently, she sought a different lifestyle, moving to the Granite State and pursuing a position at the Capitol Center, far from the videos and parties and touring of the 90s.

Collins and Lorne Gregory, the director of ticketing services at the Capitol Center, said Trimble glossed over some of her past glory.

“She did not talk about it a lot,” Gregory said. “If you worked with her, you would not know. Some of her coworkers would ask her, but to me, she was just Vivian and she was my friend.”

During that initial meeting, however, Trimble had no choice but to lower her cloak of modesty and answer questions about her past. Initially, she stated that she had toured with a band.

Probed, she mentioned that the band was Luscious Jackson and that they had played at the Lilith Fair, Sarah McLachlan’s ground-breaking, all-female music festival, a destination for such stars as Jewel, The Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman and Natalie Merchant.

“It was a big deal,” Collins said. “She said casually that she had been at the Lilith Fair with ‘Sarah.’ She had said she toured with a band, but touring with a band and playing with Sarah are two different things.”

It didn’t take long for the Center’s administrators to realize they had a real pro on their hands.

“We knew we needed to put her someplace other than the box office,” Gregory said. “She had connections.”

And a song on Collins ’s phone.

 

 


Ray Duckler bio photo

Ray Duckler, our intrepid columnist, focuses on the Suncook Valley. He floats from topic to topic, searching for the humor or sadness or humanity in each subject. A native New Yorker, he loves the Yankees and Giants. The Red Sox and Patriots? Not so much.

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