Interviews & Articles


July 14, 1981

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 90 10:39 EST
From: PBMANCHESTER@ccmail.sunysb.edu
Subject: Razzamattazz UK TV July 14, 1981

The recent thoughtful attention to "Sat in Your Lap" by Jon, Doug, and IED brought to mind some incidental information about the video for that song that comes up in an interview Kate did on some British children's TV program, at the time it was being made, that I happen to have on tape. Probably this was posted years ago and reposes in the archives; but just in case....

I call this the "Snow White" interview, because Kate looks like a refugee from a Disney set. Her hair is dyed much darker than usual--colored and cut as it appears in the video. She is wearing a low-cut red dance leotard, a print skirt, low-heeled rope wedgy slipons. She hits exactly the mix of sexy and demure of a Disney maiden.

The set is simple; three rows of children sit on Kate's and the interviewer's left and right. They look to be 10, 11; what I would call 4th graders, whatever Form that corresponds to in England. Behind them is a large rainbow painted on a wall. The interviewer is a sandy-haired young woman whose name is not used on my tape; on that tape the show begins with the video for "Babooshka" already in progress, coming to the end. (I.=Interviewer)

[from The Garden:

54. Razzmatazz: Kate discusses with the host and a group of children the making of the video Sat In Your Lap. Aired on U.K. TV, July 14, 1981.

This clip shows Kate sitting among a group of about fifteen children. She is wearing a skirt over a leotard. She discusses the making of her videos and her way of devising ideas for the visual presentation of her songs; and she shares some of the costume-props which were made and used for the Sat In Your Lap video. Also, two of her official videos are shown.]

[Babooshka is played.]

I. A really amazing video there by a really amazing lady--Kate Bush! (Children holler "yea!" and clap). Well, we're really obviously pleased to have you here, Kate.

KB Great.

I. Actually, when you perform this song, there's none of this sort of standing up in front of the mike and just belting it out, it really is quite a work of art. When you're writing songs, Kate, do you think, always, in the back of your mind, how is this going to look on a video?

KB ummm... Not always, at the writing stage. There is a lot of visual ideas because when you're writing a song you've got to think of the character who's singing the song, who often isn't yourself. And that character will be in a particular situation, either an unhappy one, or in a certain room, with a certain person. And I think all these things, you actually mentally push yourself into it, to write the song so that you'll be closest to that atmosphere. And when you make a video often you can't afford to visually do what you have in your mind, so often we'll change it slightly, make it a bit more abstract, rather than go for the full thing.

I. I think Dave has a question. (Boy in front row to Kate's left speaks.)

D. How do you make your videos, Kate?

KB Well, umm, it's quite a long process, it depends on the song. The song really dictates what you have to do with it. Some songs are very simple, and other songs almost become little epics, where you've got to section lots of things together. And if you're using other people in the video, then you have to get choreography for them and make sure that they look right and they do the right things and, uh...it really is a lot of fun, actually. For me it's almost like making a film, and I think of it as something very special.

I. Now, you've brought some story boards along today, haven't you?

KB Yes, I have (reaches behind her chair and brings up a large bound portfolio). Something that I do for the videos just recently is, umm (opens folio), in order to let the people that are working on the video know--like the cameramen and all that--I draw these little pictures. I don't know if you can see (holds up first story sheet for "Army Dreamers"); the video starts off with an eye, blinking, in time to the music.

I. It's very rough drawings (cut to the video itself, the eye, blinking).

KB (Over the corresponding part of the video) And the camera moves out. And as the camera moves out you see a little baby boy on my lap. And this is really step by step, almost like a cartoon (picture cuts back to Kate speaking; audio from the song continues in background).

Girl What other interests do you have apart from singing and dancing?

KB Well, in many ways, before all these things started happening to me, they were my interests. Like when I got home from school, I used to want to play the piano and that sort of thing. And, um, I'm very lucky because my interests are my work. And in so many ways, any interests that I have can become part of my work. Like a few months ago I bought a pair of skates and just fancied learning how to rollerskate. And we're going to have a rollerskating section in the video. I think in a way that's the wonderful thing about art, like music, dancing, that sort of thing. Everything you do can then become your work. You know, like if you're cleaning up one night, you might suddenly realize what a great routine it'd make, with the broom, you know. It's just keeping your mind open for all these things. And it's really fun. Life becomes work.

I. What about your training, though, in the early days, Kate? Tell us about that.

KB Well, when I left school, I wanted to do something that would help my music and I didn't want to be sat around all day doing nothing, though I knew that I wanted to push myself into my music, and I thought that one of the best things I could do would be to learn to dance, because they're very close arts. Music and dance are meant to go together. And I went to see an incredible performance, by someone called Lindsay Kemp. And I suddenly realized that this is what I was looking for--this sort of movement combined with music. So I took some classes with him, and went on to the Dance Centre, which is still existing, and took lessons with a wonderful lady called Robin Kovak, and a lot of other teachers, and I've been going ever since, really--on and off.

I. One of my favorites is "The Man With the Child in His Eyes."

KB Yes, that probably was the simplest one we've ever done. Again, the song dictated it. It was a very intimate song, about a young girl almost voicing her inner thoughts, not really to anyone, but rather to herself. And it just started off, I just sat down on the floor cross-legged and ready to work out some ideas (cut to the video) to the routine, with the music on. And my brother Jay came in and saw me sitting there and said, why don't you just keep it like that (video continues briefly, then cut back).

I. How do you keep up with costumes, and especially your hair, during touring? KB Well, on tour we had a lady who looked after all the costumes, 'cause it wasn't just me that was wearing costumes, and all the band had clothes, and the dancers, and the musician--the magician, I mean. And she had to keep repairing them every night and getting them dry-cleaned. And my hair, I really just tried...I had to have one perm before the tour and that tried to hold it for the rest...it didn't do very well, but...yeah.

I. You've brought some costumes with you today.

KB Yes, I have brought...(reaches behind again to bring out the dunce cap from "Sat in Your Lap"). The video that we're doing at the moment is some characters featuring that background, so--that's fine (sets the cap on the head of a boy to her right, pulls the elastic over his chin). Welcome to dunce! (Children laugh.)

I. That's Jacobin--we want to know who it is.

KB The song's all about the search for knowledge. So... (pulls out one of the three-pronged red and yellow fool headdresses).

I. This is your new song, is it? The search for knowledge.

KB (Hands headdress to a boy on her left, who studies it for a bit, figures out it goes on your head, and puts it on.) Seemed like a good idea to have some figures that epitomized looking for knowledge. And uh (pulls out one of the bull caps) this is a bull. And what Pammy did here...this was originally a cow's mask, and it was a very pretty cow, and it was pink, and had big eyelashes. And she managed to cut it down and completely changed it; she put these horns on, on top of what was there, and turned it into a bull. Incredible.

I. Let's give that to Marie, shall we? (Kate sets it on the head of the girl who asked the earlier question.) What about your costumes for this video, Kate?

KB (Reaches behind and pulls out her costume). Well, we tried to base it on a sort of ballerina's costume. Obviously I've got a lot of interesting dance to do. But also, the flavor of the song, everyone kept commenting on how Spanish it was. And this was one of the reasons for the bull image here, everyone thought it was very Spanish and bullringy. So we tried to keep this looking like a ballet tutu, but at the same time making the skirt slightly Spanish, so that I'd be able to pick it up and wave it around (the video for "Sat in Your Lap" starts). And Pammy based this on a ballet tutu.

(Complete video for "Sat in Your Lap" is shown.)

KB (Reprise) It really is a lot of fun, actually. For me it's almost like making a film. And I think of it as something very special. (Children holler yea, applaud.)


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"The pull and the push of it all..." - Kate Bush

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Marvick - Hill
Willker - Mapes
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