Music

(click on covers to read articles – you can enlarge pdfs for readability)

East Village Eye - Georgia on My Mind
This is one of my first long features. I agonized over it for days and days, in part because the members of the bands The B-52's and Pylon were really good friends and I didn't want to let them down. In the end I was ecstatic to see my byline, and luckily eveyone liked it too. This story was also memorable as I wound up in the ER during my Georgia jaunt. Fred Schneider of the B-52's was a stickler for earplugs, so when I went to some gigs I followed his advice and inserted my trusty wax thingies, but it was so hot one of them melted and got stuck in there. I was staying with Vanessa from Pylon, and when she asked me why I was tilting to one side the next morning, I had to 'fess up. Sweet thing - she only laughed a little. A lot less than the nurses and doctor in the ER who stuck the longest torture device known to MDs in there while I lay trembling, and yanked that sucker out.
Samantha Fox
In the mid-1980s, I lived in London for a while with my boyfriend, musician/producer Jon Astrop. He had a deal with Jive/Zomba, and came home one day to tell me that he and a bunch of the other contract players had to write and produce a one-off for single for the teenaged Samantha Fox. Well, Sam's greatest claim to fame at the time were her 36D assets, proudly displayed in all their gorgeous nude glory when she appeared as a Page 3 pin-up girl in the Sun newspaper (www.thesun.co.uk). She was all of 16 at the time. She was also extremely sweet and vulnerable and a lot more talented than many music types expected.

The first single Jon cowrote and co-produced was called "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)", and much to everyone's shock, it flew up the charts. It hit #3 in the UK in 1986, and #4 in the US in 1987. Suddenly, an album had to be made.

"Hey, I'm a writer," I naively told Jon. "I can write song lyrics, too!"

Not exactly!

A great song is excruciatingly difficult to make sound effortless and eminently hummable it needs that special kind of instant hook - especially when you don't have a clue what to do. I sat with a rhyming dictionary and basically drove myself crazy trying to be simple, hampered because I can't sing a note so I didn't understand how lyrics have to scan properly - in other words, be singable. Words that might scan well in a book or in a poem won't necessarily sound good when sung.

Nevertheless, I muddled on and came up with the lyrics for "I'm All You Need" on Sam's first album, Touch Me, and "I Surrender (to the Spirit of the Night)" on the second, Samantha Fox. "I Surrender" was the second single and the B-side to Full Force's song for Sam, "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)," which was a big hit. I remember being shocked while on assignment in Hong Kong, and hearing my earth-shattering words of wisdom - "The darkness is my lover, and nights of pleasure..." - on the radio.

So, now, I have my gold record framed and hanging in a proud place of glory in the guest bathroom, along with many of my other treasured rock'n'roll photos. Sam is still making music, and is as adorable as ever.

And that was the beginning and end of my songwriting career.

Official Samantha Fox website: www.samfox.com
Samantha Fox Fan Club:
www.samfox-fanclub.com

Egg - Spandau Ballet
Although I spoke to Gary and Martin Kemp about their acting roles as the nefarious Kray Twins in the movie, The Krays, they're still best known as part of the 1980s pop band Spandau Ballet. Check out the haircuts. And then check out the fact that they didn't have indoor plumbing in their north London flat until 1973.