The Space Lady

Interview by Maija Jussila
Illustration by Geoff J. Kim

We reached out to present-day visionary The Space Lady for elucidation on matters of otherworldly nature. Drifting into San Francisco in the 60s, her Casio-driven street performances smoothed the path to an outsider music compilation Songs in the Key of Zescorting her presence into a larger consciousness. In light of her upcoming performance on 7 April, we asked The Space Lady for some fundamental answers.


You have room for three earthlings in your shuttle to outerspace. Who are you taking and what will you show them?

I will take my late husband, Eric (the original Space Manager), to whom I owe the re-launch of The Space Lady (and so much else), my spiritual teacher Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and my Tibetan spaniel, Lhasa, my direct link to the earthly animal kingdom.

If it’s blinking that means I’m thinking

What’s the most otherworldly occurrence you’ve experienced?

In 1971, after spending the winter in a cave on Mt. Shasta, my late ex-husband Joel and I decided to try to seek asylum from the draft for the Vietnam war. We enlisted the help of a young friend, Fred. We loaded up his car with all our worldly possessions, including the winged helmet. We woke up on the morning of our departure to find our campsite enveloped in a fog so dense we couldn’t even see the car, let alone drive it. So we sat ourselves down on the mountainside waiting for it to lift. Suddenly a bright shaft of sunlight beamed down on us, and we looked up to see a big hole had opened up in the fog directly above us. As we stared up, a huge silver, cigar-shaped ship slowly moved across the hole, just over the treetops. We felt sure whoever was inside that ship had scanned us!

What secret power(s) does your winged helmet hold within?

It has the power to mesmerize people, make them smile, spark their imagination, invite conversation, serve as an identifying trademark, and transform an ordinary earthling like me into a Cosmic Messenger. Also, as I often remark, ‘If it’s blinking that means I’m thinking; that’s how we know.’

What can you tell us about alien abduction?

All I can say about alien abduction as I experienced it is that it is beyond description using language, much like a psychedelic experience. It’s just beyond words. And it’s life changing and transformational in the most profound way. My encounter with aliens and being in their ship was a very loving one and a very instructive one, and afterward I knew I had to put everything they had taught me into practice, although I had no idea how I would do that, and furthermore I couldn’t even remember their instructions in a detailed way.

Can you recommend a hotspot for UFO sightings?

Mt. Shasta, California!

…we ourselves are space creatures dwelling in deep space

You are a hero to many, but who do you look up to?

I look up to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and his long-time disciple, Sister Chan Khong. And I have to mention the contemporary American writer, Charles Eisenstein, whose book The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible saved me from deep, dark despair about the future of our planet.

Could you recommend some of the finest space music tunes?

I would recommend Tomita’s album Snowflakes Are Dancing for beautiful, spacey interpretations of piano classics on synthesizer. Of course I love Peter Schilling’s ‘Major Tom/Coming Home,’ which I consider a masterpiece of space-pop, as is John Lennon’s ‘Across the Universe.’ Then there’s Elton John’s adorable ‘Rocket Man,’ and David Bowie’s ‘Starman‘ and ‘Space Oddity,’ which are nothing less than iconic space songs. On a more obscure level, I recommend the song ‘UFO Lady‘ by Attila Kovacs, which can be found on YouTube.

If you were to advise earthlings on the matter of cosmic intervention, what piece of wisdom would you share first?

I would begin by reminding people that we ourselves are space creatures dwelling in deep space, and that the aliens we hope will swoop down and save us are very sensitive and vulnerable creatures just like us in that sense. So until we get rid of our weapons and our hostile, defensive attitude, they are very unlikely to intervene on our behalf, except maybe on a psychic level like I experienced. So basically we are on our own and will have to start evolving faster than we destroy ourselves and everything else we hold dear on our precious planet.

The Space Lady plays at OCCII on Saturday, 7 April.