And look at. "Some people in rock are smart," says Chicago rock critic Bill Wyman. "She's very smart. Some are talented. She's really talented. Some are babes. She's a real babe."
A complicated babe at that. The promiscuous chick is merely a persona created by the levelheaded adopted daughter of a Chicago AIDS researcher and his art-historian wife. They remain supportive of Phair, an Oberlin College grad who lives with Chicago film editor Jim Staskauskas, 36, and his 15-year-old son Aidan.
Though success landed Phair the cover of Rolling Stone, stage fright and stubbornness keep her off the road. "That would mean getting on a bus with a bunch of smelly boys," says Wyman. "You would have to be insane to do that. And she's not insane."