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(Article courtesy of Peter David Fitzgerald-Morris)
The Kate Inside
(No writer's name given)
What lurks behind the flawless flesh of beautiful hit-making Kate Bush...?
She receives any compliments about her work with an ecstatic, childlike delight
With her luscious looks, her art school eccentric dress and her weird wail of a voice, Kate Bush is, at 20, already a star.
Her short story may not be a classic case of rags to riches -- but it does nevertheless, exude a strong fairy tale flavour.
The Bush background is impeccable middle class - her father is a country GP, and it was in this safe, secure sanctuary that Kate's embryonic talents unfurled, flowered and eventually flourished.
Before she was even eleven, the Bush baby had taught herself to play the family piano and it was around this time she first put pen to paper producing piles of poetry, prose and eventually, and inevitably, several songs.
She left school at 16 with ten "O" levels (including distinctions in English and music), and a brain bulging with musical ideas.
"I knew I had to leave school then," she said "I wanted to do something in music and I had to get away from the alternative career opportunities being rammed down my throat."
An inheritance from an aunt who had died gave Kate the financial security she needed to follow her own mind and so for a while she continued to create within the comfortable confines of her own family.
But discovery was imminent. Ricky Hopper -- a friend of the family -- worked in the music business and was so Impressed with Kate's talents that he hawked tapes around the record companies but with little success. The A&R men at this point remained impervious to Kate's choral charms.
But the Bush break was near at hand. And the waver of the wand that set the wheels in motion was none other than David Gilmour, whose two most notable attributes were firstly that he was a member of Pink Floyd, and secondly due to his connections with aforementioned band he was extremely rich.
Due to this latter fact Gilmour put up the readies which enabled Kate to go into the studios and record a demo tape. With a little encouragement from Mr G EMI were persuaded to put Kate under contract.
With £3,000 in the bank (courtesy of EMl) Kate spent the next two years under wraps, perfecting her pitch and piano technique, writing songs and generally preparing for her recording debut.
"I remember I'd spend hours locked away in this little room with my piano, screeching my head off," she recalled "In fact," she added as an afterthought, "I must have driven my family bonkers. "
At last the time was right. Kate went into the studio and commenced work on her debut album 'The Kick Inside' which was released to several less than favourable reviews at the beginning of '78.
The fact that the album still succeeded in making the top five was largely due to the huge success of her wavering "Wuthering Heights" single: a high-pitched, haunting song based on the book of the same name (surprise, surprise) and which occupied the number one spot on the singles chart for several weeks on end.
Kate was now catapulted firmly into the limelight. When her next single "Man With The Child In His Eyes" also shot into the top five, Kate proved that without a doubt she possessed the Midas Touch.
Up until the present time Kate has done virtually no live work apart from several carefully choreographed television appearances both here and abroad.
With her latest album release 'Lionheart' currently enjoying chart success, now seems the ideal time to tour. Although Bush has admitted apprehension at the prospect of playing to a captive audience she also regards it as an important part of being a true artist.
"There's no pressure on me to tour," she explained, "I've been told that the records will sell regardless. But I do feel that I owe people a chance to see me in the flesh -- (figuratively speaking). It's the only opportunity they have without media obstruction."
When Bush does embark on her first major tour -- apparently very soon now -- she plans to do more than just sing.
Having studied mime with Lindsey Kemp after seeing him in the revue 'Flowers', Kate intends to incorporate movement with her music, ie in each song she will not only sing but express herself physically as well.
Ms Bush singing and performiing her songs will either be (a) very entertaining or ((b)) highly embarrassing. Either way the result should at the very least be interesting.
With her meteoric rise to fame and fortune has come problems aplenty for her record company. She is (luckily for EMI) highly identifiable, but any attempts to promote her as a sex symbol have been politely foiled by Kate herself who keeps a careful eye on all her company's publicity campaigns. She is it seems, determined to succeed on her musical merits alone although she admits that some photos and posters of herself do have an erotic appeal.
"That's a very obvious image," she explained. "I suppose some pictures of me are reasonably sexy but I think the true vibe from my face is there."
"I'm anxious to avoid being projected as a sex symbol because it distracts from my music."
Despite her protestations, Bush is undeniably beautiful. Even if she doesn't enjoy being a female with a flawless face and figure it's very obvious that her army of male followers do, as sackfuls of fan mail bear testament to.
The fact that people actually bother to write to her never ceases to amaze Kate. In fact any compliment she ever receives about her work is invariably met with ecstatic, almost childlike, delight.
We know that Kate is a vegetarian. That she loves cats, chocolate, David Bowie and Steely Dan. That she is very rich -- to the point of giving cars as presents and tacking a studio onto her doctor daddy's house.
But as a person she remains an enigma. The word most often used to describe her is invariably "nice" and many a frustrated journalist has tried (and failed) to penetrate her friendly, poised, polite exterior and expose a few personality pimples lurking beneath the flawless flesh. Seemingly she has none. She is kind, considerate and always good natured. She naturally admits to some faults but other people never get to see them.
Whether you love her or loathe her (there's no in-between) the talented, individual that is Kate Bush is most undoubtedly for real. A certified, genuine person.
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