The multi-talented Aimee Mann.
The look on her face, it just gives her away, she can’t take any more
Hoist up your white flag, call for a truce
Try separation, we both stand to lose
She looks in your eyes as we say our goodbyes and she says
Say you’re sorry.
—lyrics for “Say You’re Sorry” from Ministry’s 1983 album With Sympathy.
Of the many, many things Al Jourgensen wrote about in his 2013 tell-all autobiography Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen, one concerned his short romantic liaison with Aimee Mann. In the book, Jourgensen speaks fondly of his time with Mann when they were seeing each other in Boston in the early 80s noting that he was the inspiration for the band’s worldwide smash, “Voices Carry.” Here’s more from Uncle Al on Aimee from page 53 of his autobiography:
“The only good thing about being in Boston was hooking up with Aimee Mann. She split her time between her place and mine where she was living with another guy. What we had was much more than just a fling, and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. She told me the hit song she did with ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” was about me, which was very flattering.”
In a 2013 MTV interview, Jourgensen was asked about his relationship with Mann, and he reiterated, quite coyly I might add, that “Voices Carry” was about him. Al then seems to lose his memory about what the name of the song is, and admits he’s never even heard it, nor seen the nearly ubiquitous 1984 music video that made ‘Til Tuesday famous. If the idea of Aimee and Al being a thing is all kinds of difficult to wrap your mind around, perhaps you’re just stuck on the Psalm 69 version of Ministry from 1992. The early 80s version of Ministry was, as you may know, much different than when Al and the band had Jesus build that hot rod for them. It was all synths and if you are familiar with the band’s debut With Sympathy, then you probably already know where I’m going with this: pretty much every song on With Sympathy is about shit going sideways with a girl. Also important to note is that after parting ways with her band Young Snakes, Aimee would become a part of Ministry for a short while at the behest of Jourgensen, during which time she said she “learned how to write efficiently” and build her confidence—eventually forming ‘Til Tuesday in the early 80s.
Uncle Al in the early 80s.
So, does this mean that “Voices Carry” is not about Al? The definitive answer comes from Al’s former flame who, you know, wrote the song:
On November 22, 1985, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published an interview with Mann conducted by Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke, in which she discussed the inspiration for “Voices Carry.” Originally, Mann penned the song while thinking about a skittish girlfriend of hers which left Epic Records executive Dick Wingate feeling as though Mann was pining away for a girl, giving the song a “gay vibe.” Mann reworked the words, replacing “he” with “she” as she reflected that the song was indeed about a “relationship” she was going through at the time. It’s also been said that Mann drew inspiration from her failed relationship with Michael Hausman, ‘Til Tuesday’s drummer and later Mann’s manager.
In another interview with Fricke on Friday, October 18th, 1985 in Colorado’s Gazette Telegraph Mann plainly stated that the song “No More Crying” on Voices Carry was about Al Jourgensen and “nothing else.”
Continues after the jump…