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Phoebe cates fast times at ridgemont high song &, dance
Phoebe Cates sings a verse of "The Boy From The North Country" by Neil Young. This is her first original song. (Courtesy of Cates’ publicist)
With its bluegrass licks and Neil Young-like lyrics, "The Boy From The North Country" was the most appropriate song to open Phoebe Cates' first original song at the Ridgemont High School talent show in 2007.
The song, which Cates wrote when she was in college, was the highlight of a performance that included a rousing rendition of "Shine," a song Cates wrote with the help of the band Cutesy Hearts.
The first-generation Californian sang her heart out that night in May and did it again Thursday night at a private fund-raiser hosted by longtime friend and philanthropist John Arnold.
The two-hour benefit was held at Arnold's Brentwood home, and it was a welcome relief for Cates.
"I was looking forward to getting out of the house," Cates said. "I felt like I had been cooped up for too long, and I missed performing."
Cates spent the past year promoting her recently released book, "It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us."
"I had to say no to all those invitations I get," she said. "I'm getting more calls to be on TV again, but I really just wanted to spend time with my family. I feel very blessed that John asked me to do this."
Cates, who has raised millions of dollars for various charities, is a longtime supporter of the Arnold family and helped host an annual charity auction for John and his wife, Cheryl.
Cates sang "It Takes a Village," from her book, with the band Cutesy Hearts.
(Courtesy of Cates' publicist)
"I just love how generous John and Cheryl are," she said. "They've done so much for kids' charities, and it was just a natural thing for them to ask me to help out this year."
Cates was honored to be back in her native Bay Area for the Arnold event.
"I've lived here so long, but it still feels like a big homecoming for me to be back," she said. "It's a nice feeling."
While in town, she said she's been doing a lot of shopping.
"I didn't realize how much I missed it. I had to go out and buy some shoes," she said. "It's great to be home. I think it's important for us to get away. I've been busy since the book came out. It's been nonstop. But it's been great."
Cates said she had no qualms about having the event at the Arnold home because she's been friends with the couple for a long time.
"I've known John all of my life," Cates said. "And Cheryl grew up around our family. They've been very kind to me over the years."
Cates had a close relationship with her grandfather, who raised her in San Francisco. "He was a very spiritual man who was a minister," she said. "I remember my grandma would always be praying in the front room of the house. She was a strong lady who would work so hard. My dad's dad was a preacher in his younger days."
Her grandfather also introduced her to John Arnold.
"He was a very spiritual man and an incredibly kind man," Cates said. "I remember his kindness when he would give me money when I was a teenager. I was so impressed by that."
Cates said the family was close-knit and enjoyed each other's company.
"It was a big, fun family," she said. "We'd get together often. We would do a lot of things together. I remember one time we were at a Christmas Eve service at the church where my grandma had pastored for over 30 years. She was in the front pew, and I was standing next to her with my mom and my sister. I can't forget the experience."
Cates is not looking to write another book, but she is in the midst of developing a movie project that will follow her life and her family.
"We're working on it, but I haven't signed anything yet," Cates said. "I don't want to sign anything until the project's solid."
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