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The feverish quality of the pop world barely intrudes into the calm atmosphere of the large comfortable family house on the edge of the Kent countryside where Kate Bush grew up.
Kate, the 19-year-old daughter of a family doctor, is the singer who knocked Abba off the top of the charts earlier this year with her first single "Wuthering Heights."
She has since scored another Top 20 hit and one suspects that her parents have become a little startled to find that their daughter has suddenly become a highly successful pop singer.
Nevertheless, life at home continues fairly normally. Although Kate has a flat of. her own in South London, she spends much of her free time at her parent's house, where her brother Paddy has built a recording studio in the back garden thanks to the profits from "Wuthering Heights."
"We always encouraged Kate to write songs, but we never thought, we never dreamed it would all turn out like this," says Kate's dark-haired Irish mother Hannah.
"We're very proud of her, naturally, but it's all happened very suddenly, hasn't it?
"The doorbell is ringing all the time now from fans who want autographs. I have to collect them up and give them to Kate to sign at one go."
In the last couple of months, Kate has travelled to Japan and the United States on promotional tours and is due to go off shortly to Australia and new Nealand. Following this trip, a new album will be released and she will then prepare for a British concert tour.
"Of course I worry about Kate at times. What mother wouldn't?" says Mrs. Bush.
"But she's a very stable girl and always seems to know what she's doing. She hasn't become affected in the slightest."
Indeed, although Kate Bush has eased herself into public consciousness through a combination of eerie, mysterious songs and a frail, delicate appearance, in person she comes across as much more like the traditional girl-next-door.
(NOTE FROM VM: I have a photocopy of this, and at this point it cuts off. Since this article is basically the same as the one that appeared in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle on October 21, 1978, I'll assume that it ends in the same way, so what follows is taken from that Newcastle article.)
She does not go to discotheques or enjoy parties. Work is her only obsession. "lf I get time off I'd rather spend it at home," she says.
"I'm rather a down-to-earth domesticated person when I'm left to my own devices. I really do find things like cleaning and all that rubbish very therapeutic.
"If I get home with all these thoughts in my head about what's coming up over the next few days. I find that a bit of cleaning or washing up makes them go away."
She has also tried to keep in touch with her old friends, although she admits her sudden change of lifestyle over the last nine months could make a point of contact difficult.
Kate goes on: "My best friend is a girl I used to know at school. She is a telephonist.
"Whenever I'm free, I'll call up and she'll come over with her husband. I don't sit there and say 'Oh I've just got back from Tokyo and you should have seen all the money around,' and so on. Why should she wantant to know about that?
"I do have a boyfriend at the moment, but the trouble with this business is that you can't really have a strong, emotional relationship on a continuous level because you're not in one place for long.
"It's what you could call on uninvolved relationship. He's not in the music business and sometimes I'll call him up and we'll go out somewhere.
''I do occasionally miss not being able to have a close relationship, but I can't complain really. I'm just so lucky to be in this position of having so much work."
Towards the end of this month ate Bush's second album, Lionheart, will be released in Britain. The initial demonstration tapes were recorded in her brother Paddy's studio at her parent's home and the album was completed earlier this month in Nice. Paddy, 25, will also be part of her backing band when she goes on tour.
As for the album, Kate explains that it willill consist of a mixture of rock 'n'roll and ballads.
''After the success of 'Wuthering Heights', I was worried that people would just think I was simply a squeaky voice. That single was quite bizarre in a way and I was afraid people just liked it for the novelty value rather than for the music.
"I think the last record, 'Tile `.ian . with the Child in his Eves' did a lit al to get away from that because it was in a lower key for a start.
"It would have been terrible if I'd had to spend the rest of my life squeaking and very sore on the tonsils, I should think."
Kate admits that her parents have been highly influential in her rise to the top.
"My father plays that piano and my mother's Irish -- we all owe a lot to her because she's very musical and everybody in Ireland seems to play some kind of instrument.
"They were always behind me writing and singing. They didn't push me exactly, but they didn't discourage me in any way. It was really good because if you get any pressure on you at that age you're liable to rebel in one way or another.
"I think when things started happening this year, my mother worried about, you know, maternal instincts, my little girl in the big time and so on.
"But my parents could see I wasn't nutty or outrageous and I could look after myself. It's been a sort of graduation for all of us."
- James Johnson
To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents
"The pull and the push of it all..." - Kate Bush
Marvick - Hill
Willker - Mapes
Grepel - Love-Hounds