To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 1991 00:31:07 -0800
From: email@example.com (Ronald Hill)
Subject: "The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop" U.K. TV, January 20, 1979
27. The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop: Kate is interviewed by Noel Edmunds, on U.K. TV, January 20, 1979. This is an amiable, leisurely interview. Kate also takes questions from phone-in viewers, and handles all of them beautifully.
[Transcribed by Ronald Hill, above note by IED. Thanks to Ed Suranyi for supplying me the tape.]
[Wuthering Heights is played]
I: Wuthering Heights. Of course the number that brought my next guest to prominence last year. Kate welcome. That must mean an awful lot to you that song, actually, mus'in it?
K: Yes it does. It means an awfully lot. I mean that really why my name is known, because of that song, and because of the book.
I: Yes. How did the interest in the Bronte subject come up?
K: Well it was originally from a TV series years ago and I'd just caught the very end of it. ANd it was like really freaky, cause there's this hand coming through the window and whispering voices and I've always been into that sort of thing you know and it just hung around in my head. And the year before last I read the book and that was it, I had to write a song about it.
I: When did you write the song, cause the record came out the beginning of year, was it January or February?
K: That's right, and I'd written the song in the summer before. Really just before we'd recorded the album, it was my latest song.
I: So, what, six months before that first single came out you were planning to start a strong record career.
K: Oh, yea. I mean I think I've always wanted to record, since I was a kid, that's what I wanted to do, I wanted to be, if not a songwriter, a singer. And I'd never thought I'd be a singer, and I still in a way really don't consider myself a singer. And it's just fantastic for me that other people do. It's great.
I: From an observers point of view, an amazing year last year, but you were dubbed by lots of journalists as the voice of '78, the singer of '78 [Kate laughs] is that a problem, do you think that you made such an impact, do you feel that that could become a little bit of a burden?
K: I've no idea. I think possibly I could get a problem with the fact that most people associate me with just one song. Then again I'm so lucky that people even remember me for anything, you know. I've been so lucky in this last year and really all I'm concerned about is just carrying on doing what I can and hoping that people will still like it.
K: That's all you can do, you know, just take it as it comes.
I: True. I was lucky enough to be on your first Top Of The Pops and ...
K: It was my second one actually, if I remember.
I: Was it the second one?
I: That was with that song.
I: I remember you being incredibly cool when things were getting a little bit heavy [Kate laughs] because you couldn't get the timing right with Johnny Pearson's orchestra and Johnny was trying to be sympathetic and sort it out.
K: That's right.
I: And the terrible time problems recording Top Of The Pops. You really kept calm about the whole thing, I thought that was quite amazing. Have you found it difficult to adapt at all to some of the pressures of television or live appearances.
K: Well, it's such a strange process the whole thing, you know. Like you get very nervous before you come on, and then when you're actually doing it you're so concerned about giving your best that... I was quite happy to say "Um, 'cuse me, can we just stop and do it again"
I: There was a problem with orchids all over the piano, wasn't there.
K: Oh, yes! Plastic orchids. They were worried that they were going to blow up, you see, and the whole place would go up in flames.
I: Well you carried it off absolutely brilliantly. [Kate laughs] What about live appearances, are you doing very much at the moment, are you going out and ...
K: No, not really. It's something that I've done very little of, live work. I mean really, the main place I did it was in pubs a couple of years ago. And I mean that was great, but it was on a very different level.
I: What were you doing then?
K: Standards, Honky Tonk Woman, all that sort of thing.
I: Just standing up in a pub and letting it rip.
K: Oh, yeah. I had a little band, it was great.
I: Marvelous, oh I don't know about that, that sounds really interesting. If you like to pick up the phone there we might be able to did up some nasty questions...
K: What this one?
I: ...about your past for you. [They both pick up phones] Line 5, hello?
Elaine [on phone]: Hello.
I: Hello, who are you?
Elaine: Elaine Durey.
I: Hello Elaine. You're the first one through to Kate Bush. Elaine: Hi Kate.
K: Hello Elaine!
Elaine: I'd like to ask you, do you know about your highest note that you can sing.
K: [Laughs]. I have not idea. Probably in the bath, I'd have thought. I can singer higher notes in the bath than anywhere else.
I: You do have an amazing range, don't you. Has it ever been sorta written down, how far you can go?
K: Oh, no. That's the last thing I'd do, cause if you set yourself a limit then you're probably never going to get over it.
I: Give us a high note.
K: What now?
I: Yeah, break the phone.
K: [Sings] EEEEEEEE [Laughs] It's very early in the morning.
I: Do you find your voice alters during the day?
K: Oh yeah, incredibly, it's very interesting.
I: You wake up as a tenor...
K: [Looks at phone and laughs] It's weird talking to you like this!
I: It is, but we can put the phone down, now. We just didn't seem to know that. Sorry, I turned over a couple of questions. Line 6. Hello.
I: Who are you?
David: David Lang.
I: Hello David, what's your question.
David: You know one of your songs, the Man With The Child In His Eyes?
David: I want to know what the meaning of the songs about?
Kate: Oh, well it's something that I feel about men generally. [Looks around at cameramen] Sorry about this folks. [Cameramen laugh] That a lot of man have got a child inside them, you know I think they are more or less just grown up kids. And that its a ...[Cameramen laugh] no, no, it's a very good quality, it's really good, because a lot of women go out and get far to responsible. And it's really nice to keep that delight in wonderful things that children have. And that's what I was trying to say. That this man could communicate with a younger girl, because he's on the same level.
David: Oh, that you very much.
Kate: Thank you.
I: [Mimics David] Thank you very much David. [Everybody laughs] Line 2.
I: Hello, who are you?
Martin: Martin Swift.
I: Hello, Martin. A question for Kate please.
Martin: Hello Kate.
I: What would you be if you weren't a singer?
K: Oooh, dear. Probably working at Woolworths, something like that. I don't know. [Long pause and then Kate laughs]
I: Weird. That's very good, you just floored her completely. [Inaudible] When you were at school were you aiming at a career of any sort?
K: Well, yes. I was really into being a physiatrist. [Everybody laughs] I mean it's really good I never made it, you know, yeah.
I: Well that's a bit of an amazing answer, really. It's not the sort of thing you just drop by the side saying "Well, I was going to be a physiatrist." When the brain surgery fell through. [Everybody laughs] Thanks you very much for the question.
Martin: Thank you.
I: Line 3. Hello who are you?
Kim: This is Kim Susan Revell.
I: Is who?
Kim: Kim Susan Revell.
I: Ah, are there two of you there?
Kim: No, just the one.
I: Oh, I thought I heard somebody else. Ok, what's the question?
Kim: I'd like to ask Kate, how long have you had your hair like that.
Kate: [Laughs] How do you mean, you mean the color?
Kim: No, I mean the style.
K: The style?
K: Oh, long time. I mean, it's just how it is, you know. It does what it wants.
Kim: Oh, you don't do any special hair styles?
K: No, not really. I've plastered it, i've put it in plats.
Kim: Oh, cause I've tried to do that and it's always come out well.
K: Oh, good!
Kim: I think your hair looks really nice.
K: Oh thank you. I'm sure yours does.
I: Ok, thank you very much.
Kim: Bye, bye. Bye now.
I: Bye, bye. Line 4.
I: Hello, who are you?
Monique: Monique Vinson.
I: Could you say you're Christian name again.
Monique: Monique Vinson.
I: Monique. Sorry about that. A very good morning to you Monique, what's your question. Kate, hello Kate.
K: Hello, Monique.
I: Um, where do you get all those nice clothes when you sing? Do they put your real, own clothes?
K: No, I go and get them from shops. Normally antique shops because the older clothes are just generally more interesting, you know. I get them specially for the things I sing.
Monique: I like your hair very much, like the other girl said.
K: Thank you.
I: Compliments flowing. Thank you very much for the call, Monique.
Monique: Bye, bye.
I: Bye, bye. Line 1.
I: Hello, who are you.
Sarah: Sarah, Sarah Tooley.
I: Hello, Sarah. Hello, very good morning to you and what's your question?
Sarah: I'd like .. Hello Kate!
K: Hello Sarah.
Sarah: How young did you discover your musical ability?
K: I'm not sure if that's something you discover yourself, really. Since I was a kid, I've always been singing and playing the piano, and it was really only through the things that have been happening to me recently that I realized that I could actually it as a living.
Sarah: Oh, I see. And also, what's your favorite of your records?
K: What's the favorite, what you mean out of all my songs?
I: Ooo, that's quite a hard question. I guess I'm pretty fond of Oh England, My Lionheart.
Sarah: Oh, yeah.
Sarah: Right, thank you.
I: Alright thanks you very much, thank you. You can put the phone down for a moment. [Puts the phone down] And you'll say, "Why we hanging on the phones." The dancing, the dancing is a very important part of your work. Can you just tell me a little about it, you've obviously had training, what sort of training have you had?
K: Well, I haven't really had that much training. The first thing I had to do was with Lindsay Kemp and I just went to see a show one night. And it was incredible! I couldn't believe what this guy was doing on the stage, in a night. He was completely demanding the audiences attention...
I: He's mime artist.
K: Oh, yeah, fantastic. I was just at tears at the end of the show. And I went to some of his lessons and he just opened up a new world for me, the fact that you can express so much with your body. And I thought, "well you know maybe I can combine that with singing as well." So I went along and started taking some proper lessons because it's important to discipline your body. And I did a couple years at a place in Covent Garden, like five days a week. And I really enjoyed it.
I: Are you going to incorporate that skill at all in any concerts.
K: Um, that's something I've yet to find out for myself. And I can say, "oh, yeah I want to do this and this." When you actually start working it out you find that you have very obvious limitations. You know, like you can't leap up into the air twenty times and keep singing a high "A". You know, you'd soon explode into little pieces. But, I'm going to try to do something like that. I think theatre is a very important part of concerts.
I: Great! Well you've got load of things here. [Makes weird voice] I don't know quite what to call them. All part of your swap, hopefully.
I: Tell us about your swap.
K: Well we've got some shorts here. [Picks up various items as she talks about them.] Ta da. And it got they "I'm a Lionheart." It's sort of mock-english. This is from New Zealand, that's a jacket that they gave me and in fact it's to small for me and I thought someone might like that. And this is a Lionheart jacket, from England.
[Blah, blah. It get too goofy to type from here. No more questions are asked]
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