Interviews & Articles


"Ask Aspel"
September 5, 1978

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 00:29:49 -0800
From: rhill@pnet01.cts.com (Ronald Hill)
Subject: Ask Aspel September 5, 1978

19. Wuthering Heights: the second lip-synch of this song for the U.K. TV programme Top of the Pops, summer '78. Kate is dressed in a white gown similar to that worn for the "official" video of the song. Some multiple-image video effects are also very similar. An excerpt from this performance was re-broadcast as the introduction for Kate's appearance on the U.K. TV programme Ask Aspel. Her backing was from a large studio ensemble, with whom Kate had had minimal opportunity to rehearse. Nevertheless, the result is very professional, far more assured than her first Top of the Pops performance.

20. Kashka from Baghdad: live, solo w/piano on the U.K. TV programme Ask Aspel, September 5, 1978. She is also interviewed. This was a children's programme, although its host is more polite and asks more intelligent questions than most of Kate's interviewers had done up until that time. Kate is extraordinarily poised in the interview segments, and her solo performance of Kashka, with self-accompaniment on the piano, is completely assured. All in all, a very satisfying early clip.

[Transcribed by Ronald Hill, above notes by IED. Bracketed words are Ron's comments]

I: I'm very happy today because my guest is Kate Bush. Welcome Kate.

K: Hello.

I: And you're going to play for us latter on?

K: Yes, yes I am.

I: You've promised.

K: Yes I have.

I: Ok, then. Straight away, Susan Alton of Fleetwood, Sharlock Campel of Hampton Hills, Micheal Burch of Wetherby, and Soleen Meean of Vardbee [I have no idea if these names are right] have asked dear Kate to sing the song that got her to number one in the charts. From the Top Of The Pops program, here's Kate singing Wuthering Heights.

[Wuthering Heights is played. This version has several Kate's superimposed next to each other]

I: Those were Kate Bushes with her first hit. And Adam Currey Whiteney of Surrey, Kate, wants to know if you were you a bit apprehensive doing your first song in that very high voice? But then, have you always sung like that?

K: No, no I haven't. It was really specifically for that song that is was that high. Because of the subject matter and the fact that I'm playing Cathy and that she was a spirit and it needed some kind of ethereal effect, and it seemed to be the best way to do it, to get a high register.

I: Very much an acting job as well, isn't it?

K: Yes, I think so, yeah.

I: Absolutely. Now lets get back to the beginnings. You're 19 now?

K: 20.

I: 20.

K: Yeah, just.

I: And you're from Kent?

K: Yes.

I: And is Kate Bush your own name?

K: Yes it is.

I: Now your fathers a doctor.

K: Yes.

I: Is it a musical family?

K: My brothers are very musical, yeah. They were really responsible for turning me on to it in the first place. They were always playing music when I was a kid.

I: You got lot of "O" levels, you got 10. [Kate laughs] Seems like a world record to me.

K: How did you know that?

I: Oh, I know a lot of things. [Kate laughs] Did you always want a musical career in spite of all those qualifications?

K: Yes, I did. I've always wanted to be involved in music. I never thought I'd actually be able to sing them, sing my songs. But it seems that I've done it.

I: Well, I don't think anyone else could do them really. You left school at 16, what did you do as soon as you left school?

K: Well I started training as a dancer, because it seemed very complimentary to the music, and I just didn't want to waste my days doing nothing.

I: You were writing songs then, from way back. How old were you when you started writing songs?

K: About 11, I think.

I: And mostly late at night I read, or just these days.

K: Well, it always was, really. It seems to be the time of day that things gather, you know?

I: Your mind really works, then?

K: Yeah, I'll wake up about 11 o'clock. I'm sorta sleepy all day, then about 11 I really wake up.

I: Now your first single, Wuthering Heights, was a success straight away. Did you do anything excessive with the money it brought you.

K: Well I think the main thing I've done is try to use it. Because it's so rarely that you're in a position where you can have money, you know, especially for your work.

I: So what did you do?

K: Well, um, we built a studio at my parents place, so we've actually got a demo studio and we can use it for recording and helping the band and all sorts of things. Pretty useful.

I: And a really good piano.

K: Yeah, a really great one, terrific.

I: Must be nice. What was the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, simply the story?

K: Well, I'd hadn't read the book, that wasn't what inspired it. It was a television series they had years ago and I just managed to catch the very last few minutes, where there was hand coming through the window, and blood everywhere, and glass. And I just didn't know what was going on and someone explained the story, and it was just hanging around for years. So I read the book, in order to get the research right, and wrote the song.

I: And that had just stuck in your mind, all those years.

K: Yeah, it seemed so strong.

I: Yes. Well it's a haunting song, certainly. Well now we've got something for Rebecca Maycok of Darbey and D.P. Aleen of Preston.

[My tape cuts here, right into this question :-(]

K: Oh, it's great. I love lions.

I: Do you. Well, I look forward to that coming up on your next song perhaps. Now [??? mentions two names] want to know, and I've think you've answered this, how old you were when you first started singing, it was, what 11, wasn't it?

K: Yes, I guess so, yes. I've been singing since I was a kid really.

I: But Deborah Loaph of [??? inaudible city] asks, Do you find it easier to write songs now, then when you were younger. Is the process becoming easier.

K: No, it's not easier. I find it's much more difficult, actually, because I'm much more critical of what I do. I mean, I used to just write loads of rubbish, and definitely lots of people think I still do, but it's a much more complicated process now, but I'm much more satisfied with the songs then I used to be. And I think that's good.

I: Well, of course. And it's a perfect cue now for a live performance which you did promise us. We've wheel our BBC piano in, what's it going to be?

K: It's a song called Kashka From Baghdad, and it's off the new album, which is in fact called Lionheart.

I: Ah, the lion bit. You know I wasn't wrong.

K: Big coincidence.

I: Certainly.

K: Yeah.

I: Well there you are, as Kate makes her way to the BBC piano, we'll here this one, called Kashka From Baghdad.

[Kate plays Kashka From Baghdad. To quote Peter FitzGerald-Morris from Homeground, "She later explains that she wanted to sing In the Warm Room, but felt that it was too risque for a children's show. She sings Kashka From Baghdad, a song about two gay lovers, instead."]

I: Um. Unmistakably Kate Bush, extraordinary song. You've written it yourself, but it still, as its so complicated, be difficult to play. Kate Walshire of Canterbury wants to know, do you get very nervous before you perform your songs?

K: Yes, I do. Especially when it's live. There's so much you have to think about, really. And you can't help but be aware of yourself, you just find you're out there looking at yourself. It's a very strange feeling.

I: Do you ever put on a kind of disguise to get over that?

K: Oh, yes. I mean I use all kind of props, I think like any actor. Like the makeup, and the clothes, and especially the piano. That's a really big prop.

I: Hide behind them.

K: Yeah, right.

I: Well [mentions several names] want to know, as many people do, when your second album is coming out.

K: Well it should be out late this Autumn, hopefully October.

I: And this song will be on it?

K: Yes, it will, yes.

I: And Sophie Bell, there's a nice name...

K: It's great.

I: Sophie Bell of Rochester wants to know who's responsible for releasing the tracks that are released as singles?

K: Well, I certainly have my idea of the singles that I want to release, and I put them forward. But they have to be agreed by the company, because obviously the company aims to sell records, and unless they think the single's capable, they're not going to release it. But so far we've agreed and it's been great.

K: No quarrels, yet?

I: No, not yet. [Well....]

K: Right.

[Tape cuts here.]

I: Have you any hopes to branch out into films or to theatre.

K: Yes, I have hopes. No plans, though. I think that's very much something that will come along and I'll know when it is. And I don't think it's in the near future.

I: Really?

K: No, I don't think so. I've got to much to do in music, I've only just begun. [Inaudible]

I: Well, we'll see. John Edmonds of Tapista wants to know, what will your backing band consist of, when you go on tour?

K: Well, we're not actually sure, as yet. Because we're going to need quite a few extra musicians, because with the production on the album, people are going to expect to hear the same quality when they come to see us live. But we'll obviously have drums, probably two guitarists, bass, hopefully some kind of string quartet, if not a synthesizer player, keyboard player.

I: And you're brothers, will they be with you?

K: Yes, I hope so, yes.

I: Keep it in the family.

K: Yeah.

I: OK, well lets hear another song from you. Not live this time, we've got it recorded. It's at the special request of Karen and Tracey of Glasga, Gary Ackinson of Gateshead, and Loranda Richardson of Redding. And they would like to hear Kate singing The Man With The Child In His Eyes.

[The Man With The Child In His Eyes is played]

I: Now Kate, all that specialized movement, comes a question from Graham Raderson of Leeds, who wanted to know if you've been influence by mime artists like Marcel Marceau or Lindsey Kemp?

K: Well, I've definitely been influenced by Lindsey Kemp, because he's one of my heroes and he was my teacher for a while. Mercel Marceau. I admire his stuff, but it's a little too, staid for me. You know, it's the art of illusion, it's not really the actual showing of emotion, which is really what Lindsey teaches. And for me that's perfect because it's what music and any form of art is about, it's emotion, it's from inside.

I: Well, here's another one from Cameron Underwood of Shefield. He asked asks a question that lots of people ask about a fan club.

K: Ah, right. [Looks at camera] Well hello Cameron, I remember you 'cause he in fact wrote to me the other day.

I: Really?

K: And your letter's in the post. [Both laugh] Yeah, we're forming a fan club very soon and I'd like to apologize to all the people who have written to me, and I just haven't managed to get around to replying to you, but it's on the way, and we'll inform you as soon as we've got something done.

I: Well, that's the thing. If you're successful you have little time for other things.

K: Yeah, but they write such wonderful letters, I mean it's incredible. It's really lovely.

I: One last question from Jane Fear of Dungannon. About your hair, what do you do to it, she loves it ?

K: Well, we just pull it out... Well I put henna on it because it is a very good conditioner, and it's like a mud and just all [makes slurping sound] slip in on all over, and I plait it and it makes it frizzy.

I: And that's that.

K: That's that.

I: Well, there you are Jane. It's up to you now. [Kate laughs]


From: ed@wente.llnl.gov (Ed Suranyi)
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 10:04:37 -0800
Subject: Re: Ask Aspel

Thanks to Ron Hill for posting the Ask Aspel interview. I just wanted to say that those places where the tape cuts are places where Aspel is talking about other subjects, not with Kate.


From: nbc%inf.rl.ac.uk@mitvma.mit.edu
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1991 07:53:46 -0800
Subject: Place names and Cathy

Ron "fingers" Hill had some problems with place names in some of the (many) interviews he has kindly been typing in. I know they are only very minor things (like children's addresses) but I can help with some.

> Subject: Ask Aspel
> ...of Hampton Hills, Micheal Burch of Wetherby, and Soleen Meean of Vardbee [I have no idea if these names are right]

Derby could have been misheard as Vardbee

> I: Yes. Well it's a haunting song, certainly. Well now we've got something for Rebecca Maycok of Darbey

This one is Derby.

> I: OK, well lets hear another song from you. Not live this time, we've got it recorded. It's at the special request of Karen and Tracey of Glasga, Gary Ackinson of Gateshead, and Loranda Richardson of Redding.

These are Glasgow ... and Reading.

> I: Well, here's another one from Cameron Underwood of Shefield.

This is spelt Sheffield.

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