Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
- If you're writing a song, assuming people are going to listen, then
you have a responsibility to those people. It's important to give them a
positive message, something that can advise or help is far more effective than
having a wank and being self-pitiful. That's really negative. My friends and
brothers have been really helpful to me, providing me with stimulating
conversation and ideas I can really sink my teeth into. (1978, The Blossoming Ms. Bush)
Have three years as a superstar changed her at all? Yes, she
admits; I've become a perfectionist, for one thing. (1982, kerrang!)
Do you enjoy being famous?
- I don't think I enjoy being famous. You see famous is one of those
words, isn't it, it's so created. Sometimes, it's a buzz, being honest,
sometimes it really is a buzz. But alot of the time it embarrasses me, it makes
me feel awkward with the people I'm with, because they get embarrassed. But its
something I'm learning to accept. They're just saying hello in there own way.
(1980, Profiles In
- I know a lot of people enjoy it, they really like giving autographs
and everything and I think that is important. If anyone asks you for an
autograph you must give it to them. I think of myself when I was a kid and saw
a star and I thought, ``Oh, god!'' and I'd really want their autograph. I'd go
up and say ``hello'' and I'd be so shy. I'd nearly die and I couldn't get the
words out. So it is a matter of respect to give that to them because even if
they've never liked your music and they've recognised you it's a gesture that I
think is nice to give. (???, AVD)
haven't changed, that's my first question because uh you became a big star. You
have [Had] started when we met the first time, but now you are one.
Would you say you've changed?
- Uh, Yes, I think I have. Yeah, I've learnt a lot so obviously that
would change me. But it's good, I'm really glad that I've learnt a lot and
there's so much more to learn.
Kate bush normally I ask questions you know people may interest but
that's a question that interests myself. Kate I see on stage that makes you a
little bit special. You are sometimes a little unreal on stage it's a you're
dancing, you're full of expression, but have you here it's a very normal, nice
and friendly girl. What's the true kate bush, the very you know sophisticated
on stage which is dancing and actin', or the girl sittin' here smoking,
- I think we're all her. There's many of me, and I'm me at the moment.
Mmmm and you're you at the moment here, and you are on the moment
- Uh yes. When I'm on the stage I'm there, and when I'm me I'm here.
Yeah. (1980, Unknown German
notice, of course, that we've missed singles from you coming at the rate that
they used to. Are you aware, when there is a gap are you afraid ``oh people
might be forgetting me?''
- Yes, very scared indeed and I think there's just this pressure on
you that when you're not in the public eye that perhaps they'll forget you. But
I think in many ways people say how fickle the public are, but I don't that
they really are, in a lot of ways. I think if they like something then they are
willing to wait for it, which is beautiful, it's wonderful. (1982, Pebble Mill At One)
- When I was younger I used to dream about being famous, the way
everybody does - but even now I'm not sure I can cope with it. Being so
successful and so famous so quickly really did freak me out. It was an
incredible break for me. All I really wanted to do was to get the music out and
make it better all the time. I think if you go into the music business simply
because you want to be famous, you have to be prepared for it to fall around
your feet. Fame is really a very strange situation to be in. Anyone who thinks
it's what they want should think again!
She doesn't actually enjoy being famous, then?
- Well, it certainly help me a lot in some ways. For example, I can
ring someone up and say, ``Hello, this is Kate Bush,'' and they react in a
different way then they used to - though they don't always believe me! I don't
think it's necessary for me to use my name unless I really need something -
otherwise, it's just silly and arrogant. But I'm very pleased that people like
my music and want to buy it, because that means I can go on writing songs and
It the everyday problems of being a well-known face that kate finds
hard to handle.
- I do feel self conscious when I go to the shops and suddenly realize
that everybody is looking at me. I can't imagine what it must be like to be
- Sometimes I can go unnoticed, which I like. It's not that I mind
people coming up. I don't at all - because they are so lovely, they really are,
very sweet and understanding. I always try to be nice and, if they ask for an
autograph, of course I'll try to give them one. Why shouldn't I?
- I do worry sometimes that people won't treat me like a human being
because of who I am. I'd hate to feel that that was happening. Luckily, most of
the people I meet now are doing the same thing as I am, so there's no problem -
I just get straight in there. I really enjoy meeting and working with talented,
aware people because I find I can learn such a lot from them, and it helps me
grow and develop.
Of course, kate has her own idols and admits that she's a bit of a
sucker for hero worship!
She recently went to see peter gabriel in concert, and she says
that, when she played pink floyd's the wall, it almost made her
give up writing songs, because she felt the floyd had said everything there was
to be said!
- When I do get to meet people I admire, I hope I treat them like
people and don't get freaked out by it. I was thrilled to meet Stevie Wonder
after his Wembley concerts, because he emanates a really beautiful vibe. And
Bowie - he's been so important in the last 10 years, and I'm sure he will in
the next 10. I'd like to meet him, too. Your job must be so interesting.
Meeting all these people and following their careers. I AGREED THAT IT'S THE
DREAM JOB FOR A ROCK FAN TO HAVE. (1982, Nineteen)
She admits that she found her initial success hard to cope with at
- I still find some things frightening. I've adjusted a hell of a lot,
but it still scares me. There are so many aspects that if you start thinking
about are terrifying. The best thing to do is not even to think about them.
Just try to sail through. (1982, Kerrang!)
- It's so
hard to understand how people see me - even here in Britain I have that
problem. People may have a funny image of me, but once they meet me and talk to
me, I think they understand what I'm trying to accomplish as a whole. I think a
lot of the misconceptions occur because I explore so many areas open to
- What I think is nice about it though, is that if people look at the
album covers and buy the records,
then listen to them and perhaps read the lyrics, then a lot of this mystery
about me will fade. I think you can only be mysterious for so long before
people get to know you, and really, I'm not strange at all. I'm just ... well,
you Know what I mean, don't you? (1983, Music
- It hasn't
changed much - things move very quickly for me. I spend quite a bit of time on
an album and then I have to work hard to make sure it's heard. (1985, Pulse!)
You had success at an early age. Do you feel you've missed out on
- No I don't, really, I'm glad that it happened so early, because it's
enabled me to be able to do what I'm doing now. For instance, being able to
build our own studio, and having had that much more experience behind me
because I started younger. No, I think I'm very lucky. (1985, Picture Disk)
- I can see why people do have nervous breakdowns and so on, but it
all depends on the person rather than what happen to be doing.
- Sometimes I have felt that I'm loosing control and that it's all
running away with me, but all I have to do then is to say to myself ``Well
leave then, give it all up'' and I know I never would because my life is really
music and I love it so much.
- I would like to survive like people like Cliff Richard or Paul
McCartney. If you look at them they're so strong and solid and happy, they'll
be able to go on for as long again as they have already. (C.1980, Music is my
With your family, in particular, I mean obviously they've took an enormous
interest in your career as such, do they help you out with a lot of the
pressures involved? Because there must be, for a lady, for instance with male
adoration which you must feel a considerable amount of. And I've met some of
your fans, who are very, very, very pleasant people, but absolutely on a real
cult following. How do you cope with that?
- It's something that I'm not that aware of, you know. I think people
around me would probably be aware of that more. When you are actually the
source there's lots of things you don't realize are happening. And also when
you meet people face to face, which is the time you get to hear stuff, they
behave very differently, I think. And I've not really had any trouble from any
of the guys that are fans, in fact they've been so helpful, they're wonderful.
They say great things, they write wonderful letters.
Protective element, almost.
- Yes, maybe. Although I'm not so sure about the protectiveness, but I
really appreciate that people are so good to me. (1980, Never For Ever Debut)
- I think
it's wonderful that people out there have kept up their faith in me and my
music. I think then that maybe it *IS* all right, and that gives me strength to
carry on. (1983, Music Express)
- Everything was so different. I had a life that was no longer that.
In fact, I was really taken away from making music, which was a very hard thing
to come to terms with. I was spending more of my time doing interviews,
promoting, traveling, doing televisions, and I started thinking, you know, hang
on, I'm doing this instead of making music, but what I want to be doing is
making music. So I kind of had to take a hold of that and reverse the whole
situation so that most time is being spent creatively, and then the promotional
work back that up at a later point. (1989, MTV)
- Since 1978, when everything really started happening to me, with
``Wuthering Heights'' reaching number one and the British Rock and Pop Awards,
I've been very lucky in the sense that people have really helped me out. It
made me feel that people were really interested in my music, and it was great.
It gave me an incredible amount of courage to go for things, never to be scared
of a challenge. I'm sure that if people hadn't accepted me so warmly, I would
have become a more conventional performer. (1982, Popix)
Do you think you've changed much, kate?
- I think I've definitely changed a lot since it all started
happening, the last three years. You can't not change. I think in
some ways I don't worry about things so much, but in other areas I probably
worry much more. I can't work it out. Maybe I'm a bit harder... (1982, ZigZag)
- People say there are these people [Obsessed fans]... I don't
know what they mean. No, nothing that was written about me ever
hurt me, no. Music is such a powerful force. If people are
affected by my music the I was by...early Roxy, or Lotte Lenya or Sgt.
Pepper, for instance - that, to me, is staggering. I can't
relate to that at all. (Blitz, 1985)
Do the birthday and christmas cards and presents you are sent
actually reach you?
- All the ones I've received have reached me. (1984, KBC 17)
So, kate, do you get recognised when you're out shopping at
- Yes. I find it very interesting and very positive, because I haven't
actually been in the public eye for a while and people do constantly recognise
me, and they're very nice. They're very nice people.
What do they say to you?
- Hello. (1985, Bitz)
When you're not presenting a public eye, you're like a very private
person. Nobody can seem to get through to you, as it were. Do you feel the need
to have a certain amount of isolation?
Is that essential to your creative feelings?
- Yes, absolutely. They're two very separate things, two completely
different energies, and I can only really concentrate if that's all I have to
do. If there's other things to do besides make an album, they just become
distractions. (1985, Picture
The years between seventeen and twenty-seven are normally
considered to be the most developmental in an artist's life. [This is
absolute nonsense.- ied] when Mozart was seventeen, he was playing to the
crowned heads of Europe. When Kate Bush was seventeen she had her first hit
single with `` Wuthering Heights.'' I asked her how spending those 10 years as
a successful pop singer influenced her art.
- I'm not convinced they are the most influential years,
I must say. I think when you're a kid, they're incredibly influential, I mean
so many writers, and I don't know about singers... But from a creative point of
view you're always drawing back to things way back in your childhood. But a lot
of things have changed for me in that period you were talking about, and I
think it's been incredibly useful for me to be successful during this time, in
that I've been able to work with people and find sources of information that
perhaps I wouldn't have otherwise. Unfortunately, so much of what we do in this
business is based on money. Equipment is so very expensive. So if you are
successful, you stand a chance of having more of this equipment available and
that does definitely affect the way you work. (1987, MuchMusic)
Kate's debut some eleven years ago provoked an epidemic of weak
knees amongst schoolboys and grown-men alike. Many have never recovered and in
fact seem to get worse with each new bush sighting.
- Well, I think they must be completely mad. [Laughs] It's
extraordinary. You know, I find that even more extraordinary than the fact that
people are willing to wait four years and then want to buy an album, and the
fact that people still even bother to ask me if I'm going to tour, you know...
I think you're all completely mad... [Laughs] and thank you very much,
but ... [Laughs] (1989, Rapido)
- I think most people tend to think of me as the weird `` Wuthering
Heights'' singer - that is definitely the image that's stuck with most people,
which I find extraordinary because it's...so long ago.
She laughs and, when she laughs, her cheeks dimple like a disney
- Extraordinary is a very good word, I think. I don't know why people
are still keen on...I don't know why people bother with me.
- Really. (1989, MM)
- I went
through a period where I didn't actually speak to anyone [In the press]
at all. Or if I did I was very careful about when I did it and
who I spoke to. And I think two very positive and interesting
things came out of that...
- Firstly, I think I achieved what I wanted - suddenly my music
started speaking for me instead of this personality whom the press had
tremendous preconceptions about anyway. And though that I think people took my
music more seriously.
- And, secondly, it created this sense of mystery about what I did; I
think that helped a lot as well with the way people were ready to receive my
music. (1989, RAW)
reluctance on her part due to a fear of giving too much of herself away?
- Ooh, is that deep! I think you're absolutely right. I loved touring,
but it left me completely exhausted. Not necessarily at that stage, because I
was going from the road straight into recording another album, but I did reach
a point a couple of years after where I felt incredibly exposed. I felt really
vulnerable... and I didn't like it. And, yes, I wanted to get those pieces of
me back that I felt had been taken away.
- For me, that's what this kind of exposure did - it made me feel like
I'd lost pieces of myself. That I'd become a public person, and the private
person - and that's who I really am - was actually getting very frightened and
- I think this is a problem for any famous person, particularly for
creative famous people. Creativity and sensitivity are very similar and you do
have to be very, very strong. It doesn't surprise me at all that people go mad
or become incredibly addicted to things. Because it's the psychological
pressure of what happens to you when you're famous. Everyone sees the glamour,
the fact that you have fame, lots of money, riches - it's all incredibly
superficial stuff. Money is no longer a problem, it's more the psychological
pressures which come in when you get famous that people crack up. (1989,
continually surprised by how nice those people are. Not that I would expect
them to be horrible, but for people to take time to write to you and say: ``Are
you alright. We don't want to hassle you or anything but the album has been a
long time coming and we just want to check that you are alright? Are you
working on an album or have you done something else? Whatever you're doing we
just hope you're alright.'' I think that's fantastic, it's so affectionate,
it's such an incredible thing to do for someone that you don't even know. But
presumably they feel something for my music that makes them feel affectionate
like that toward me. And I think that's absolutely incredible, very moving.
- I find the whole process completely extraordinary. The fact is that
the last time I toured was ten years ago, yet people are still asking me
whether I'm going to tour again. Why on Earth haven't they given up? Why are
they so patient with me? Why do they even care?
- And not to do an album for four years... for all those people knew I
could've been off in the Bahamas, flying private jets. They didn't know I was
actually in a studio working hard. (1989, RAW)
Your critics might say that because you were discovered and signed
so young that you never really had to deal with real life so that you kind of
have a different view of things.
- Well I think you know, I wasn't famous that young. It wasn't like I
was child prodigy. But I guess you know everyone has to go into life in their
own way and we all seem to have paths chosen for us somehow don't we, that
don't necessarily have that much control over.
- So I've just been doing my life the way I do it [Laughs].
Your fans are among the most devoted in music. Lacking the feedback
of a live audience, are you aware of many people's more than averagely intense
interest in you and your work?
- It sounds really corny, but I feel so honoured that people into my
music are so .....patient. Their priorities are gorgeous; I don't feel there's
a fickleness - they're happy with whatever I do. It's almost a form of
love. When we did the shows last time, I
did love it. The contact with the audience was fantastic. But I did feel a
tremendous sense of intensity towards me and I felt very exposed. I'm really
quite a quiet, private person, and it was very difficult for me,and that's got
a lot to do with why I haven't toured, which has left me without a great sense
of contact with an audience. It's quite a surprise to me to think I'm a famous
person. It jolts me and I think, Oh my God! Right now, I would like to have
more contact with audiences again. I think it would be a nice thing. (1990,
- It's a lovely question, actually. It says, ``DOES IT COMFORT YOU
WHEN YOU'RE A BIT DOWN TO KNOW THAT WHATEVER YOU DO FOR US WE WILL LOVE AND
SUPPORT YOU?'' [Massive cheering and applause, lasting twenty seconds.]
- You've left me all afluster! Particularly when I'm in the middle of
making albums, when I don't know when I'm going to finish the project, and I
don't know if I'm a songwriter or a singer, or what I am; and I get the odd
letter that says, you know, ``We'll wait! [Laughs.] We'll wait for you
till you've done your time! [Laughs.] And you're out in the free world
again.'' Um, it really means a lot, so thank you. Thank you! [Massive
cheering.] (1990 Kate Bush Con)
I wanted to know what you do when you go shopping.
[Laughter from audience.]
Whether people come up to you and sort of disturb you, or if you
just want to stay in.
- Shopping is one of those
facts of life, right? You, you have to do shopping. I find supermarkets really
difficult. They're like... What's the room in 1984? What's it - 1
101... That's kind of my room 101. I'm all right if they're empty.
But, uh, big supermarkets, they freak me out. Actually I found out I'm not
alone in this. I have a friend who uh, completely freaks out every time he goes
to the checkout counter, and leaves this huge basket of
shopping just at, you know - and goes
off, because he can't handle it!
- It made me feel really good!
- But I must say, generally people are just so nice with me, and the
problem I have with them is, is in here [Points to her head]. You know,
if I'm feeling a bit vulnerable and tired, I - I feel vulnerable and tired. But
people are generally just really nice to me. I'm very grateful for that. I know
some people that have a very hard time, and you're very kind to me. Thank you.
(1990 Kate Bush Con)
Now, the thing is, people wait with bated breath for the next kate
bush album, and they get very excited about it. How do you feel about it? How
do you feel about that - knowing that people are still excited about you?
- I think that's quite hard for me to take in, really. I just feel so
lucky that I can spend as much time as I need to to make an album, and that
people are actually still waiting to hear what I do. It's very exciting for me,
and I think sometimes it feels like a big responsibility. It is really
important that I put as much as I can into each album, so that it is,
hopefully, worth waiting for. It's not something I'm terribly aware of. It's
almost too much for me to think about, really - that there are people who want
to hear it after such a long time. (1989, Greater London)
- My contact with them has been fantastic. I get letters, a lot of
nice ones. When I'm in the middle of an album and I'm worried because it's
taking so long, I'll get a letter that says, ``I don't care how takes, I just
hope you're happy with it.'' They're very supportive and enthusiastic. I'm
impressed with them as people. They seem very intelligent and respectful of my
privacy. I can't thank them enough for that.
Del Palmer: You do get
the odd one or two. But they're usually very discreet. They just want a picture
or an autograph. And they're quite patient to wait almost five years for an
album with no complaints! (1990, Option)
- The showbiz life simply doesn't appeal to me. You find yourself
being pulled in all directions by people who are trying to persuade you to
behave differently. It's all very seductive. But not for me. (1989, Daily Mirror)
Cloudbusting / Subjects / Fame & Fans