[A weeklong diary which Kate wrote for the teen magazine. Edited by Andrew Marvick.]
One hell of a day. I get up at about half ten. I don't have breakfast--I never do. Just a cup of tea. The first thing on the agenda is an interview with Paul Gambaccini. Before I leave I read my post, which is mostly business. Most other mail goes to my fan club, which is really well organized now. Fantastic. My driver picks me up at about noon. We go to a small studio in Soho. I can't drive. Apart from my driver I go everywhere unaccompanied. The reason I use the driver now is that it was getting ridiculous with cabs, it really was. It's so much easier now, it's just wonderful. [Actually Kate did obtain a drivers license, after one failure, in 1976.]
About three o'clock we go from Soho to Round Table at the Beeb, which Gambaccini also does. [This is a radio programme in which celebrity musicians and critics sit around to listen to and review new records.] We get there about four-thirty. A couple of kids outside--one who's always there every time I go to the BBC. His name is Keith. Must be in his early twenties. He always shows me things I've never seen before, like posters out of record shops. Old magazines. A picture of Pink Floyd before Gilmour was in it--I went WOW. I was really surprised, you know--they were all autographed and everything. I sign a few things, and then go in.
I don't have a go at anyone on the show. There's never any reason to do that. After, I have to go down to Abbey Road studios to re-mix the new single. We get there at about eight-fifteen. About this time I have my first bite to eat of the day--a toasted sandwich and chips. And of course, lots of cups of tea. The only way I can tell if I need food is when I feel sick. I smoke more at night, but I still usually get through less than twenty a day. John Player Special at the moment. We're still at it at three a.m. and I feel fine, but the engineer wants to call it a day. He's a great engineer, and I know he can finish it tonight, so I talk him into it. Come seven a.m. I'm not exactly perky, but I'm still not at all tired. I'm very much a nocturnal creature. My driver picks me up and I get to bed about seven-thirty a.m.
I live alone--in southeast London--and today I don't get up until late: perhaps one or two p.m. A friend of mine from the Hare Krishna temple rang me up about eight-thirty, but I was too tired to natter much. About three o'clock I go over to my parents'--they live twenty minutes' drive away, in Kent. I'm doing a TV show in Germany on Tuesday [the programme was RockPop, and the taping was in mid-September, 1980] and my Mum's got some clothes to lend me. I'm going to do two numbers for the show. Army Dreamers is one, and I want to dress up as a cleaning woman. My mother lends me a headscarf, an old apron, and lots of my old jumble clothes. The song is about a mother who lost her son overseas. It doesn't matter how he died, but he didn't die in action--it was an accident. I wanted the mother to be a very simple woman who's obviously got a lot of work to do. She's full of remorse, but he has to carry on, living in a dream. Most of us live in a dream
I stay round my parents for a few hours--after all, you can't just go round, take all the clothes you want and rush off--drink lots of tea and eat chocolate eclairs and sandwiches, the sort of things that mothers like to fill you up with. I feel absolutely delightful after that, and I go back to start work on my routines for Tuesday.
What I do is have a little cassette machine with the mixes I'm going to work on, and I go into my back room where I have four mirrors propped up against the wall, and I rehearse in front of them. It's all very well to work out the routine for Army Dreamers, but the two dancers I work with [Stewart Avon-Arnold and Gary Hurst] are busy--one's in Godspell and one's in France. So I needed people who would be able to perform. Paddy, my brother, he does pretty well. And the guys from the band, who are natural performers anyway. I am pretty wiped out still, and I don't get as much done as I could have. After working out for a while I don't feel too good, so I have a bath and try some more. I work out for two or three hours, then cook a meal for myself.
I'm not a bad cook. I love making bread. It's such a wonderful thing to do. So I watch the telly--the late-night movie: guys having their eyes pulled out, or something really awful. Paddy has come back by now, so we have a long chat and I get to bed about three o'clock. [Apparently Kate was still sharing the family's Lewisham building of flats with her two brothers. She has since moved to a house of her own, situated nearer her parents's home in Kent, and she uses a third building as a private dance studio.]
Sunday is definitely the day that I have to physically work out. When I get up I can hardly stand up. My calves are beginning to feel sore from the night before.
Again, I get up around early afternoon. I don't bother buying Sunday newspapers--I don't read newspapers much at all, though if there's one around I'll read it. I don't read books very much either. I have a big guilt thing about that--I'm missing out so much, I read fact rather than fiction, usually when I'm on holiday. I tend to read religious things or theories on the universe. [This sounds like an early reference to Stephen Hawking, whose book, Kate has since explained, partially inspired her 1989 recording, Deeper Understanding. Another example of the long gestation periods typical of Kate's work.] I love Don Martin (of Mad magazine), he cheers me up. And if there's a Beano around, I've just got to look at it. When I was a kid that was really my thing. The illustrations are really great.
I spend all the day working out the routine for Babooshka. All Sunday is working out--dancing and miming. For miming you have to get the inflexions exactly right. I don't do that in front of mirrors, though. I hate watching myself sing. It's really weird. I also do more work on Army Dreamers. Gary, the dancer who's in Godspell, rings me up--and I've been sending out messages for him to ring me all day. We have this weird telepathic thing with the telephone. Whenever I want him to ring and whenever he wants me to ring him I get these 'messages'. So he rings up and says, 'I've been getting these messages all day, what's the matter?' I tell him that we've been trying to work out these routines, and quite honestly it would be useful to know what he thought of them. He says he wants to see me anyway, so he comes around at about midnight. He gets home at about five or six in the morning. I have a bath and go to bed.
I have to get up early because the single is being cut. I have to be at Abbey Road at two o'clock, and while I do the cut, the band go off to get their army gear for Army Dreamers. Then we all go over to my parents' to rehearse--there's no room for full-scale rehearsal in my flat. We do it in the garden. That song is pretty well tied up by the evening, so I go home. I generally get stuff ready for the trip. I don't take huge amounts of stuff with me, just hand luggage. Waiting for luggage at the terminal roundabouts is such a drag. Again, I get to bed around four a.m.
The car for the airport leaves at eight-fifteen, so I'm pretty wiped out. No one hassles me at the airport. A few years ago there used to be loads of photographers, but they don't bother me anymore. It makes things a lot easier, not having to walk up a corridor with everyone going 'OOOH LOOK'.
We arrive at about half one, and go straight to the TV station. I'm not very successful in Germany, and it's a big market, so it's an important show for me. Problems straight away. The stage has three tiers, which are going to get in the way. It has a big glass section they want me to work on--I work ninety-nine per cent of the time in bare feet, and there's this huge chunk of broken glass in the middle. I say, 'no way, you'll have to get rid of it'. It takes them half an hour to take it apart, and then I notice all these huge staples sticking out of it, so I ask this guy to pull them out.
The show starts at about eight--I fill in the time doing my make-up, sewing up little bits and pieces of my costumes that are falling to bits. I like to do that myself, it saves time. I'm so pleased when the show is over, and it went well. We go for a lovely meal courtesy of the record company. Things like that normally aren't lovely but I enjoyed this a lot--really nice. Leave the restaurant about one, go to the hotel, have a FANTASTIC bath and go to bed about three.
We have to be ready downstairs by half eight, and go straight to the airport. Flying doesn't bother me too much--only when I fly a lot in a short space of time, because then the odds seem to get higher. I try to be philosophical about it--once you're in the plane there's not too much to be done. Arrive in London later than morning. Do an interview at the Heathrow Hotel, and have some photos taken. Then I go home and feel wiped out again, so over to my parents' to sit in the sun. I recuperate, and go home again. I slob around, clean the flat up--it's in awful shape...I feed the cats, Zoodle and Pyewacket. Even when I'm that tired, I still don't get to bed till three or four. I spend a lot of time on the phone.
Radio all day. I was meant to start with Luxembourg, but they pulled out, so I go straight to Capital. [Capital Radio is the independent station that broke Kate in 1977 by playing Wuthering Heights months before its official release date.] There for three, a very short chat. Then I do Radio One, then hang around a bit to do Brian Matthews on Radio Two. I leave about nine, and go home. On the way I pick up a Chinese takeaway. I don't need a bodyguard or anything for stuff like that. If people do recognize me they're not too likely to smother me in kisses or anything. Get home about ten, look through some photos with my brother [this would be John Carder Bush], and natter about odd bits of business. If I've got nothing to do I have a quick tinkle on the piano, which I try to get to all the time. Bed as usual three a.m.
Kate Bush (1980)
©1990 Andy Marvick