Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
We all smiled again and kate asked me if I'd seen
alien. I wondered if she got out much herself.
- Well, I don't get out to parties and that. I have this thing about
Oh really? Which thing is that?
- Y'know, I nag at myself all the time for being a waster. I think,
``Gosh you could be creating the world or something...'' (1979, NME)
- Well when I started, I felt really conscious of being female amongst
all these fellas. But these days I feel like one of the lads.
That doesn't sound very healthy.
- Oh yeah, it is. When I'm working it's really important for me to get
on with it in that way. But at the same time, I sense that they're very
respectful, because they make me aware of being aware that I am a woman and
will lay off the dirty jokes an that ...
Incredible. Do you find men are in awe of you?
- Socially? Well I find that with people that I haven't seen for a
couple of years, because they won't treat me as a human being. And people in
the street will ask you for autographs and also won't treat you as human but
... ah ... Sometimes I get really scared. Sometimes when I'm going to the
supermarket to get the coffee and cat litter, I get freaked out and see all
these people staring, and you turn around and there's like forty people all
looking at you ... and when you go around the corner they're all following you!
You start freaking out like a trapped animal.
- However, I don't notice guys doin' it on a personal level. Maybe
some will keep their distance but that may be because they don't get off on me.
- Y'see when I first got started I thought that I'd better watch out
for all these rip-off artists and stick with old friends. But it's amazing that
since I've been in the business I've made so many more real friends, especially
on a working basis. I find that I can get so involved with a guy working with
me - and usually on a platonic level, which is great! That's so special, like
these two minds linked on this one project. And that is a very beautiful thing
that's I'd never have experienced had I not been in this business.
- And what's more, I'll keep these friends for life, because not only
do they care for you but they give me information and their teachings. What
more could I ask for? (1979, NME)
Do you think there's a danger of becoming detached inside music?
- Probably. I don't read newspapers and I've said I don't watch the
new. I love books but I don't read much.
- What I do is I get people to read to me and I put the stories in my
head. And films. I watch an awful lot of TV films. (1979, NME)
Do you think you might be avoiding real life?
- Well no, because I think that all these heavy issues - equality,
black and white, etcetera - have all been done before and if you do it now it
has to be very cleverly handled. It all gets too negative and cliched. So I
find that working with fantasy I can handle the same issues perhaps but in a
more positive way.
Don't you think that albums can make you feel and think without er,
pussyfooting. I remember the first time I heard the Clash and ...
- Oh yeah, some of these new bands are amazing. They're just springing
up. The Police are just amazing... (1979, NME)
Is she much of a socialite?
- No, I don't go to parties much, the last one must have been, oh,
Christmas I suppose. When I get home I tend to sleep, especially at the moment
because I've been working so hard, or I clean up, wash-up and hoover. I find
that very therapeutic. When I've got a lot on my mind I like to get away to
something totally non-taxing.
- I see friends whenever possible too, and watch television, because
that's something you can just switch off when you've had enough. (1980,
- I'm not a star. My name is, but not me. I'm still just me. (1980,
Does she not meet many artists at these notorious record-biz ligs?
- Well, I don't go to parties very often. Only if I'm invited (SHAME!)
or I've got time, or there's someone there I want to meet. Often I don't like
the hype of the situation and that worries me a lot - because there are things
I do which I feel are hyped, but because there is a good motivation in there, I
think you should do them. But it's a drag that there always has to be a forced
situation. (1981, RM)
- I like to stay at home when I can. I don't go to the cinema or
theatre. I rarely go to parties. And when I eat in a restaurant, it's either
dinner with the record company or a business lunch. (1983, Sunday
So when you were younger you were much, like, closer with your
family then with people outside? I mean,
were you a shy person to people outside the family?
- Yes, I think so. I think I'm still quite shy. It depends on the
situation, but I can be very shy with people. But I think it just depends on
the situation and the person.
Ok. Do you feel you're a reclusive person or social person?
- I think I'm really fighting between the two. I think there's a side
of me that really loves being social and really loves being with people and
there's another side of me that doesn't, that finds.. for instance most of my
creative work I couldn't do with people around. I couldn't write a song with
someone else in the same room. It's a very private process for me. I think I've
probably got a bit better about it, I mean when I first used to start writing,
even if someone walked in, it would just completely blow my concentration. And
at least now I can keep it going maybe if they're one person in the room. But
yes, I think there's a strange struggle in there between those those two areas,
for me. (1985, MTV)
Can you stand the scrutiny?
- By and large, yes. When it started I had to be quite strong. I
couldn't cope with it as well now as I did then. I've changed a lot since then.
I wasn't naive, no. I was more innocent then, but not the lost little girl the
press presented me as. They patronised me. I do get shocked by the attention,
though. The way I work is very isolated. I won't go out for months - literally
- so there's definite culture shock when I do.
Are you shy?
- Yes. I am. Not as shy as I used to be. I'm still fighting it. Why?
Oh, there's nothing good about being shy. It should never stop you from doing
things, especially on a work level.
Can you chat up people?
- Oh... I don't know. That's probably when I'm at my most shy - in
Her voice trails away, as if she'd almost forgotten my presence.
Do you feel vulnerable, at a disadvantage, meeting people?
- No, not really. It's true a person's music says a lot about them -
is revealing - but that doesn't unnerve me.
How do people react to you? Do you frighten them?
- I think they're great, actually. Great. I do frighten them a bit,
They think you're a bit strange?
- Yes, maybe.
Do they take up the image... The sexuality... The strangeness...
- The weird energies...?
A perfect phrase.
- No, people are mostly very nice. Very gentle and positive, mostly.
And are you a bit strange?
- A bit, yes, I suppose. (Blitz, 1985)
She does... Confess to a certain conflict: Being shy and wanting
communication, being a loner and liking people. Feedback is very important to
me. (blitz, 1985)
Would you consider yourself a social creature at the best of times?
Do you have a community of musicians, aside from your family obviously and
those you work with, that you would see regularly and party with?
- Yes I think there's, again, two parts of me. One that's a very
social beast and the other side of me is probably very quiet and likes to work
alone, and in fact can't really work if there's more than a few people around.
Did you ever feel that you may have missed out on other aspects of
life that other teenagers may have enjoyed, 'cos of you rather isolated life.
You spent a lot of time in the recording studio and promoting the next album.
Did you miss out on a varied social life, for instance?
- No, I think in many ways, it made me meet more people in a way I
wanted to, more that ever would be possible if I hadn't gone into the business.
And it's isolated in that you meet certain types of people at the time. But,
it's continually challenging and I think, probably, I have met more people and
had much more experience through what i'm doing now than if I hadn't. There are
Have you ever felt that you were pushed into adult life too
- No. I think that's something that happens to kids now, uh, much
sooner than it did for me. I think it's something that is generally happening
sooner all the time. Kids just grow up quicker now. (1985, Profile 6)
Bush admits she does spend a lot of time in her own home studio -
and when she isn't there she's most likely to be found in the garden - if it's
summer - or watching television, watching a film, trying to catch up on sleep.
But, while no party animal (again, madonna she's not), the singer
also enjoys asking friends around to dinner, or maybe going to the theater with
them. I love being with my friends, relaxing and talking.
In fact, bush says, there's nothing more important to her - in her
life and in her work - than relationships.
- I think that's really my big fascination - relationships. I suppose
in some ways you can look at everything in terms of relationships. It's so
crazy! I think I could spend the rest of my life just working with
relationships. (1990, Los Angeles
Cloudbusting / Subjects / Social Life