Kim Wilde TV

Playlist

Kim Wilde - Heaven
United Kingdom, 1995
Click here to watch the music video
Astoria London
Kim Wilde - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
United Kingdom, 2007
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GMTV
Kim Wilde - Together We Belong
Belgium, 2007
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Stars Of Europe
Kim Wilde - Love Is Holy
United Kingdom, 1992
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Wogan
Kim Wilde - I Got You Babe
Belgium, 2007
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Stars Of Europe
Kim Wilde - Someday
France, 2007
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Live La Cigale
Kim Wilde - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
United kingdom, 2007
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Britain Sings Christmas
Kim Wilde - Dancing In The Dark
France, 1984
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Passeport Pour La Forme
Kim Wilde - Baby Obey Me
Germany, 2007
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Ballermann Hits '07


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Steve Byrd

Steve Byrd is a guest on Kim Wilde TV Steve ByrdSteve Byrd is a renowned professional musician who has not only co-written tracks and toured with Kim Wilde for more than fifteen years, but, as a guitarist, has also been involved in major bands since the early 70's. Learn more about his life, projects, and discover the truly human person who's hiding behind the pop star.  
Contents

Steve's story - part 1
Steve's story - part 2
Steve's story - part 3
Steve's story - part 4
Bonus - 2004, the "pink" party

Recent AdditionSteve's music

Related links

Steve's story - part 1 / "When the going gets tough"

My story begins in the city of Sheffield, Yorkshire.
We have been at war for two years and the opposite forces have instigated the first attacks on non military targets and are openly bombing civilian areas.

Sheffield was then the worlds centre for steel production and wars need steel like no other material. Most people worked and lived in the cottages built by the factories along the River Don.

All the enemy pilots had to do was follow the course of the river and blanket bomb the areas, taking out the steel works and the workers houses nearby.

Florence Lycett is a twelve year old girl at home with her big sister Mary, her little sister Violet, her mum, dad, and grandad and grandmother who lived in the attic. The men are in the front room playing with Violet, the girls and the women are busy in the kitchen and Florence goes out into the back yard to visit the toilet 10 metres away. Whilst she is in there the air raid sirens start up as they do most days and the familiar sounds of the bombing runs get closer.

Florence runs to the back door of the house but before she gets there the house suffers a direct hit and she is knocked to the ground. When she is able to stand she runs into the kitchen to find the women weeping, the front room is gone and fires burn in the crater of what is left.

On the table is part of the lower leg of Violet only recognisable because it wears the shoe that had been passed down to the smallest child. The father and grandfather are atomised by the blast and now the women have to work together and suffer five more years of war with no men to help them.

Florence recovers from the physical pain as do the other women but she has been destroyed emotionally and never fully recovers from the trauma. Her life is punctuated by months of lucidity followed by months of severe mental breakdowns, tended for by hospitals that were no more than prisons. She would be straightjacketed, sedated and locked in a padded cell until she calmed down.

Some of my earliest memories are of these institutions, thank god it is not the same now. Florence was my mother. Harry Byrd is a bright young man of sixteen when war breaks out, he has a promising career as a metal assayer testing the purity of gold and silver etc. Like most young men he joins the war effort and sees action throughout the entire conflict. He is at the Liberation of Paris, and the fall of Berlin and serves through the whole of central Europe.

After the war is over he serves in India at the time when they wanted back their land. When he is demobbed he returns to Sheffield where he takes up in the steel industry again. He meets the now grown up Florence who is now a waitress in a pub, they fall in love and marry.He knows of her problems but says he will look after her and she finally feels safe again.

They have three children and I am the middle child, born in the front room of our steelworkers cottage by those same rebuilt steelworks.

Where life goes on again. There was not the money to rebuild the destroyed houses yet so I grew up in a strange kind of war zone during the fifties. Life was tough and rough and run by gangs of families and neighbours who looked after each other.

If you were liked it was ok but if you weren't you moved away. To be able to cross the road you had to be on good terms with the opposite gang or you would be beaten. Then you had to earn their respect by being able to fight them and win.


I took to this very naturally as I was learning first hand by being beaten myself on a daily basis and soon found my niche as a fearless fighter. I learned to never give in and that fear was the only thing to be afraid of. If you showed no fear you could get out of any situation and it still holds true today.

As the 60's took over there was a wonderful optimism in England,we had been through the hell of World War and beaten the bad guys. A new feeling was being translated by pop music, we had The Beatles, fashion, money and we were a World power again.

I was entranced by the music and my parents paid two weeks wages to buy me a guitar in 1963. I began to learn to play the tunes of the time and would be glued to the tv watching the hands of the guitarist's to try and learn how they did it. Nobody knew how to play the guitar then, except for a young hippy lady teacher and a young male teacher who started a guitar club at my school at lunchtimes. I attended and was soon showing them how to play as I overtook them within weeks.

I have to thank my headmaster at Primary School for giving me the only education I ever had, as I was selected to be head boy and captain of the sports teams. He always told me that I would do well in the world and if I was honest, polite and worked hard I would achieve my dreams. I can still hear him now although he must have been dead for 40 years. He taught me how to be a sophisticated person even though we lived in the slums of a desolated city.

Wherever I go I like to visit the ghettos to feel that presence that is so familiar to me. If I am told "whatever you do don't walk west of 21st street" by a cab driver in New York I will seek it out alone at night. I have an angel who watches over me. I walked down sniper alley in Sarajevo when entertaining the troops during the recent war,playing a guitar and nobody shot me. I want to go to Iraq but they won't let us yet.

In Sheffield there was a singer called Joe Cocker who had a hit with a song called "With a little Help From My Friends"; the track was arranged by Tommy Eyre, a keyboard player who lived down the road from me. When I was 15 I was in a band with him and Kenny Slade the drummer from The Grease Band. We were into jazz and funk and never played a tune in 4/4. Always compound rythmns like 5/4 7/8 and so on.

Here I really learned a lot from masters at work. I left secondary school disillusioned with the purpose of education aged 15. I began to work as an apprentice electrician, basically a slave, for 5 per week. Even on so little I was able to buy/trade a scooter, a Vespa and it become my hobby to rebuild it. This was the ultimate Mod fashion accessory around 1970 and I made crash bars and backrest's and painted it red with black side panels and number 9 racing numbers on the side. I foolishly crashed into a concrete post on private land before I was old enough to go on the road, wrecking the scooter.

Thats when I saved and bought a Fender Strat on hire purchase in 1971. Next came a Marshall stack bought weekly from a catalogue, so even with so little money I had a fully pro guitar rig. I practised all the hours god sent me and my poor parents must have been driven crazy but hardly ever complained, unlike the neighbours. I had discovered Jimi Hendrix,distortion and the dive bomb sound of depressing the tremolo arm on the guitar.

One night I cranked up the volume to full, opened up the windows and gave them a free display of Machine Gun and Star Spangled Banner I had learned from the Woodstock album, all the houselights in the street came on and people came out of their houses looking at the sky, for a lot of them it was a sound they would rather never hear again.

I was in big demand to play in the pubs and clubs in the area and was in a trio with a famous club drummer whose name I forget. I wasn't happy playing some of the terrible pop of that time so I was writing and gigging with my friends playing Jazz, Rock and Funk.

We were called Seabyrd which we soon changed to 8th Day after a few gigs at local Universities and Theatres. Alan Dunn, my keyboard player friend from then, was classically trained and I learned all the Bach fugues and Bartok Romanian folk tunes with him; this gave me a technique like no other rock player and gave me an edge I still can use to this day.

We wrote and performed music for The Earthworks Theatre group in the early 70's and after rave revues Alan and I were asked to write and perform at the new Crucible Theatre. Very exciting for two young teenage guys. Our first play was with the then Avengers (classic UK tv series) lead Tara King (Linda Thorson) and my first business lunch ever was just me and her. I remember I had a bad cold and no handkerchief and felt so common with my strong Yorkshire accent, but she was so beautiful and kind. She made it easy for me to work with some of the most georgeous and talented ladies of the 80's and 90's. She gave me the confidence to feel good about myself.

By now our band, 8th Day was doing the best it could in Sheffield, so we had to make a move for London.We went down to London and stayed at Linda Thorson's flat in Regents Park, two boys with not a penny in our pockets.

We went to Virgin records with our demo tape. They really liked our music and Richard Branson wanted to see us live.We arranged to lend a theatre in Sheffield for a private showing. On the day though the Gods were against us and everything went wrong.

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Steve's story - part 2 / "Putting out the fire"

We had managed to lend a very nice theatre at a private school where my sister worked. It would seat a few hundred people so was quite small but with a proper sized production stage. We set up our equipment in the morning as Virgin were due to come quite early between 12.00 and 1.00 in the afternoon. We were late night people, used to jamming all night and sleeping till late afternoon, so this was a bit strange for us.

The sound system was two very tall speaker stacks on each side of the stage. They must have had ten or twelve 12 inch speakers in them as they were about four metres high and wobbled about a bit with no fixed base. We got a sound for the drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and sax and flute in the PA system and even though it was so early to play we seemed quite happy and had a break to rest before Virgin arrived.

The head of A&R was Richard Williams, a very well respected journalist now for The Guardian newspaper. We met him as he arrived and chatted for a while about the band and what we would like to do. We were playing complex mixed rythms with quite difficult tunes, all instrumentals and relied a lot on improvising to lift some difficult pieces and make them seem natural.

Without the feedback from the audience at a gig this is very hard to get into in the middle of the day playing to the head of A&R for Virgin Records and we became quite nervous as we prepared to go on stage. Our keyboard player walked on the darkened stage and caught his foot in a cable for the PA system. As he walked off this toppled over with a large crash and fell across the stage. We rushed over to sort it out to find that it had landed on the sax and flute stand, so we put the speakers back and the sax player hurried backstage to see what the damage was.

Of course we had no roadies or soundmen so we were not very good at this. The sax player was looking very pale. The sax and flute have a complicated system of levers and pads that open and close in many different ways. Both instruments had been damaged so much that it was almost impossible to get more than two or three notes out of them and most of the tunes were played on these instruments.

We were in big trouble,we had no time to get replacements as we only had Virgin there for an hour, so in the finest showbusiness tradition, "the show must go on", so we did. Now the nerves had turned to panic. Would we be able to play any of our tunes? It turned out no. We did our best but on that cold lonely stage with just one man sitting to watch, our music died. Our poor sax man suffered humiliation as he struggled to control these damaged goods. All of his beautiful melodies were reduced to crazy screechings, this guy was a genius player and he was reduced to not knowing what sound or pitch would come out next.

The interplay between the group, our main energy was gone. We struggled on for the rest of the set but knew we were hopelessly lost. The Virgin man made a quick excuse to leave before we could explain what had happened and our dreams died too. The hopes and excitement of the occasion had been reduced to a laughing stock by a cruel twist of fate. It was one that we never really got over and the band lost its way, fizzled out and we went our separate ways.

As always you get over it and I decided I would try to earn some money for recording equipment by doing paid gigs again. I was offered a job in the music shop I used. I would demonstrate guitar at the busy weekends and do some guitar teaching in the week. Also the owner said he would get me paid gigs as well.

It worked out great, I was playing guitar all day and the shop was selling most of the stuff I demonstrated so we were both happy. One day the owner said "Right I have a gig for you", he gave me the place and time and said it was easy Rock n Roll and I would have no problem with it. I asked what to wear and he smiled and said "Oh the usual, white shirt and black trousers" then he said "Here take this with you they'll like this" and he gave me a footpedal effects box. I looked and saw that it was an Octivider, this gives you a tone one or two octaves lower than a guitar making synth bass like sounds. I thought it a bit odd but said fine.

On the day of the gig I turned up quite early and the venue was a fire station. All the fire engines were inside and I looked at them and talked with some of the firemen. It was their annual ball and they drove out the engines and cleaned oil spills off the floor and built a low stage down one side of the room. They said they were all looking forward to the show as Fred and the Flintstones (the name of thegroup apparently) were well known for a good laugh. I had no idea what they were talking about, as all I knew was, it was Rock n Roll.

The band started to turn up and set up the stage. One guy set up a guitar amp for himself and one for me on the other side. I thought it would be good to ask him what we would be playing and get some chord sequences. I started to get my Gretsch Tennessean guitar out and he said "Where is your bass?". I told him I was booked to play guitar and whilst I could play a bit of bass I hadn't brought one. I said I have this bass pedal though and he said "Oh that will do fine, just play whatever you want to". I was a bit baffled by this and would tell off the guy who sent me the next day, but at least I would make some money.

When all the others had arrived they started to play a god awful racket that consisted of everybody playing an untogether madness and the singer screaming into the mic. I had no idea what they were doing, or myself, and just tried to join in. After a while they said "Thats fine lets go and have a pint", so completely bemused I went with them.

As we chatted they said "We've got you some costume backstage so don't you worry". I said "It's ok I have a white shirt and black trousers of my own thanks". They seemed to find this funny and we had another pint. They were nice enough working guys all with day jobs and liked to play for fun and beer money so I just went with flow. It was time to go back and get changed for the show.

We went back and people got undressed and one of them opened a large hamper and started to throw strange coloured, fake fur leotards out to everyone. They threw a pink one to me and said "Try this". I said "What do you mean?". They said "We're Fred and the Flintstones, this is our stage gear". I couldn't believe it, my friend at the shop had set me up bigtime. Helped out of my embarassment by the couple of pints I said "At least give me one in blue, this doesn't go with my skin colour". They threw me a blue one and I put it on. I looked ridiculous, as did they all, to make it worse I was wearing my brown cowboy boots, quite cool in 1971 but just adding to the crazy effect of the fake fur leotard and my long skinny legs.

We went on and did the gig, the strangest thing I've ever played. It was a total cacophony but the firemen and their guests loved it and danced all night and booked us back for next year. There is no accounting for taste is there?

The next day I was furious with the shop owner, but needed to keep in with him. He said "Steve you're the best guitarist in Sheffield, I can't even understand what you're doing most of the time and you can go on to become the best in England or more,but always remember what its like down here at the bottom ok?". I knew he was right and that he had taught me a good lesson. Whenever I am down I can think of that memory and it will just make me laugh.

I worked there for a while longer and one day the phone rang and I answered it. A voice said "I'd like to speak to Steve Byrd". "Speaking", I said. He went on "My name is Chris Parry, I'm the A&R manager at Polydor Records*. I have your demo tape here and I'm very impressed with your playing. I am looking after a band called Zzebra, we're doing our second album and the guitarist has left. The keyboard player is Tommy Eyre and he has recommended you for the job". I was dazed and shocked. "Is this a wind up?", I asked. "Absolutely not, can you come down to London tomorrow to try out in the studio?", came the reply. "Yes of course I can", I replied. "Good, I'll book you on the 10.30 train to London Kings Cross tomorrow, just bring your guitar and enough clothes for a few days. I'll have a car waiting for you at the station, see you tomorrow".
*[Chris Parry landed the Jam, Siouxsie and the Banshees
and the Cure, amongst others, for Polydor - PM]
I put the phone down and just sat there in a dreamlike state. London, a job offer, an album in a top studio with my hero friend on keyboards, what could be better. I went home and told my family who were very excited for me, I packed my clothes and the next day my dad went to the station with me. I was just 18 and had the chance to prove myself to the world. As the train pulled out of Sheffield and my father waved me off, I somehow knew that my life was changing now, it would never be the same again, I would never live in my hometown again and I set off for the adventure of my life.

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Steve's story - part 3 / "The sweetest hangover"

It's November 1974. I am on the train bound for London. I had been there as a ten year old with my old headmaster and class on a school trip. We caught a boat and sailed through the capital, still a great way to see it for anybody who may be interested. We sailed up to Windsor and visited the castle. I remember winning first prize in a photo competion with an early Kodak Brownie camera. It was the first photo I had ever taken, I still have it somewhere.

The next time was a brief visit to see Virgin and now here I was on my way back courtesy of Polydor Records. It was about a four hour journey on the old trains so I ate the sandwiches that my mother had prepared for me and then got out my guitar to practise. This was my big chance and I was not about to blow it.

When we arrived in London Kings Cross St Pancras I walked out into the bustling streets. I was dressed in my grey army trench coat, flared jeans, grandad vest lets face it would still look cool now, maybe? I carried my guitar and my bag and then I saw a man in a black uniform holding a board with my name on it. I approached him and he came up to me and took my bags."Mr.Byrd sir?" he enquired. "Er,yes" I replied. "If you'd just care to walk with me sir, its not far". I looked around to check that he wasn't talking to somebody else, but no. I was the only one there so it must be me.

He showed me into a white Mercedes limousine. I can remember the fresh smell of leather and lemon scent from the wood polish. I had only ever been in one posh car before when my dad was loaned a BMW for us to go on holiday in. I was used to oily vans or the back of open backed trucks. The driver pulled out into the road then stopped. Then he moved on again then stopped. He did this every 100 metres or so. After he'd done it 50 or 60 times i said "Excuse me, I'm not being rude but why do you keep stopping all the time?". "Just for the traffic lights sir" he said. I had never seen so many traffic lights in my life before. Of course it is a common sight everywhere now.

The driver handed me a bulky envelope and said "I was told to give you this sir to cover your expenses". I hadn't had any expenses, I had eaten mums packed lunch and was used to living with empty pockets, walked everywhere I needed to go, and didn't know any other way. I opened the envelope,it had my name on it so it was definitely mine. Inside was 200. I had never held so much money before and it made me quite nervous to be honest. I put it safely away and looked out at the towering metropolis. This was starting to seem a little unreal.

Soon we arrived at the studios. I was met at the door by a young guy with ginger hair. "Hi", he said, "My name is Martin, Martin Rushent" (he went on to be a famous producer, Human League etc.). "I'm the assistant on your session with Zzebra today". We went into the studio and my eyes were popping out at the equipment and the overall impression of knowing power and wealth that must have created a place like this.

It turned out to be one of the most famous studios of that era and was called Advision. I was shown into our studio and introduced to Ken Burgess, the producer, and Liam Genockey, the drummer, a very hairy and muscular Irishman. On the couch lounged my mate Tommy Eyre and a huge, hairy bearded shape called John McCoy, the bass player. I wasn't to know that all of these people I had just met were to become some of the most successful and respected musicians of their generation.

They were ten to twenty years older than me but were really warm and friendly and put me at my ease. There was an amplifier in the recording area so I went to warm it up, but they'd already done that for me. I got my guitar out and started to get a sound. They gave me a set of headphones and played me a track to balance the level of guitar to track. It was perfect, with a nice expensive sounding reverb. If you have a good sound that is half of the battle over, and these guys had given me a great sound.

Tommy came into the room and showed me a tune at the piano. We played it a couple of times and then they ran the track to me in the headphones and we started to record. After a couple of run throughs they said "Ok we have the tunes. Can you play us a guitar solo now?". They played me the sequence and after a couple of run throughs said "Ok we'll do a few takes now". I loved the track and felt inspired to show them what I could do. I felt really good about the music, I had a great sound, and these guys were my heroes.

Everything fell into place, I found my fingers went their own way as if they knew what came next when even my brain didn't. After a couple of takes there was silence. I looked through the glass to try and see what was going on. They were talking to each other. I began to feel a sense of dread creeping up on me. Had I done so badly? "Come in" said a voice in the headphones. I put down my guitar and walked in to the control room ready to be calm no matter what they told me.

"How long have you been playing guitar?" the producer asked. "I started 10 years ago, but have really studied hard for the last three" I replied. "Was any of it any good, if not I can do better,just give me a little more time". "Good?" they said and looked at each other perplexed, "Good? It was fucking brilliant. You've just recorded your first track on the album". My face cracked into a beaming smile and my anxiety melted away, the guys were on their feet and giving me hugs and slaps on the back. "Welcome to Zzebra".

We carried on like this for some hours. I had no watch and there were no windows so I had no idea of the time or any care for it either. I would stay here forever if they wanted me to.

Eventually we were joined by a giant Nigerian man. He was introduced to me as Loughty (Lofty) Amao. He stood well over 2 metres high, he was dressed in flamboyant, highly colourful Afro/Euro clothes. He had the tribal markings of a warrior and when he smiled his teeth had been sharpened. He smiled a lot, and pointing to me said "Who's this". "This is Steve, a guitarist" they told him. "Oh what's he doing here?" asked Loughty. "He's just played on your track" they told him. "My track? Which one?" he bellowed, flashing his eyes and snorting. "La Si Si La So So" they said. "What, but he's just a boy" he screamed. "Well have a listen then" came the reply. "Sit down, shut up and listen". He glared at them but did as he was told and they played him the track.

As the song developed Loughty was giving me sidelong glances, but his body language was mellowing as the track went on. A few smiles appeared, and then, when it was my turn to shine with a guitar solo, he sat up and spun his head from side to side. He said to me "Did you play that? Did you really play that?". "Er,yeah" I replied. He said "It's not possible, you are a boy, yet you play with the heart and soul of a man". This will sound crazy to you people now, but remember we are talking a long time ago and things were different then.

That is why the movie, This Is Spinal Tap, is so hilarious, but true. We watched it many times on tour buses with Kim and we used to foolishly ape the scenes, but the truth was, back there in the mid 70's, my solos were my trade mark. How embarrassing is that? (answer, not at all because I don't give a shit). That was then, this is now.

After a long day in the studio we went to get something to eat. Soho was the same throbbing, vibrant place that it still is today. We pushed through the crowds and went into a Greek restaurant nearby. By now it was midnight and the basement restaurant was packed with drunken, noisy revellers. I'd never seen anything like it as I don't think I'd eaten at a restaurant before.

We eventually found a table amongst the noisy, smoky crowds. The other guys started to order food and drink. "What do you want Steve?" they asked. "Anything vegetarian" I replied, as I had no idea what Greek food was like and it got me off the hook. Soon plates of hoummus and pitta bread arrive and I tucked in as I realised I hadn't eaten for over twelve hours with all the excitement of the day. Wine was poured and a glass was thrust into my hand. Ken the producer stood up, raised his glass and proposed a toast. "Here's to our latest band member, may we sell a million albums with him, here's to Steve".

He threw his head back and emptied the glass in one go. We all did the same. I gulped mine down and my eyes watered. It was the first wine I'd ever drunk as I was only just old enough to go in pubs and back home we drank the local beer, Bitter. I shuddered but didn't mention it. Then one by one all the other guys proposed a toast to me and in ten minutes we must have had six glasses.

I started to feel a bit unwell and the room took on a strange and surreal atmosphere, everyone seemed to be shouting and screaming all at the same time and the room was starting to spin slowly. Then to my amazement people started standing up, dancing and smashing their plates all over the floor. I thought a riot was breaking out but everybody else thought it was funny and clapped and laughed. I didn't know that it was a Greek tradition and thought it was really weird but just went with the flow.

I had been attending a meditation centre, studying Buddhism for the last two years and my idea of a fun night was to meditate and read the scriptures. I found this place like a madhouse,but kept quiet and enjoyed the hilarious banter of the band. I woke the next morming with my first hangover, ouch!

Life went on pretty much like this for the next few months until the album was finally finished. Now it was time to get back to the live concerts so we rehearsed and were soon on our way to Paris to start a European tour. Our first club was Le Gibus, a bohemian venue that was quite infamous. I was really excited by my first trip abroad and Paris was so beautiful to my young eyes. We played the gig to a rapturous reception and after we had rested for a while we left for the hotel. At the door were two stunning young ladies who came up to me and started speaking to me in French. Loughty the percussionist was African and spoke fluent French, he said "They're asking you if you want to go with them". I said ok and walked off into the Paris evening unable to understand what they were saying, but they showed me the best hospitality that France can offer.

Next was Amsterdam. What another amazing city. I had no idea as to the diversity on offer in Europe and we should all be proud to live in such a great place. We stayed in an hotel mainly used by touring bands and walked along the canals to the venue The Melkweg (The Milky Way). This was also a famous venue and in the day there was a hippy market until they reopened for the show at night. I walked around with John McCoy the bass player looking at the stalls. There were food stalls and John stopped to talk to a guy at one of them. He turned to me and said "Try this cake it's delicious". He handed me a huge chunk and it tasted great really sweet and spicy too. We wandered on eating our cake and went into the closed concert area to do our sound check. Then we went back to the hotel for the rest of the day. As time went by I started to feel very strange and everything started to take on different colours. Also we were all starting to laugh a lot and no matter what anyone said it seemed absolutely hilarious.

McCoy found one thing so funny that he fell off his bed and was rolling around on his back unable to speak or hardly breathe laughing histerically. This had the same effect on me and I was crying with laughter too. Soon Tommy the keyboard player came into the room and was shocked to see us like this. "Whats so funny?" he said, which just made us laugh even more; he was a bit angry as we were due to leave for the show and were incapable of standing, just rolling around laughing our head's off. "They've had some Space Cake" said Liam the drummer. I had no idea what that meant. In fact the cake was laced with LSD and Hashish. I would have to be on my guard against these guys from now on, and how we got through that concert was a mystery to me. Maybe it was because all of the audience had eaten the cake too.

Life in Zzebra went on in much the same way. We played Reading festival and the amphitheatre at Orange, France. We toured Europe and the UK and made another album, but there was a new energy rising in the country, Punk Rock. We thought it would be a passing phase but it totally took over the music world here for the next 5 years. We were labelled a dinosaur and we all know what happened to them, they became extinct.

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Steve's story - part 4 / "All About Kim"

It's 1982 now, I am just in the final stages of making love with a dolphin in one of my most vivid dreams ever, when just at that vital moment I am woken by the phone ringing next to my head. I look at my watch and wonder who can be ringing so early at 9.00 am. It's a singer called Martin. He tells me that Kim Wilde is auditioning for her first live band and gives me a phone number. I call when I have had a coffee and done the usual things one does at that time of the day.

I call the number and am answered by Joyce Wilde. She tells me that they are looking for a wild and aggressive band to act as a foil to the demure and lovely star that they manage. I tell her that I have just spent a year with Ian Gillan so I can rock and that I am as ugly as they come. Also that I was just working with ex Martha and the Muffins singer Martha Ladley.

Martha had just joined The Associates as we were recording tracks with them at their North London studio, and Alan Rankine had fallen for the lovely Doris Day like charms of Martha and given her the gig with them as backing vocalist and keyboard player. Suitably impressed Joyce gives me a time to arrive at a rehearsal complex the next day. I had just bought a handmade woolen jumper with guitars all over it in Covent Garden which I wore the following day to the audition.

When I arrived the waiting area was full of musicians trying to impress each other by saying who they had worked with. These people can be a vexation to the spirit, so I sat alone in the farthest corner and read Krishnamurti.

After a while a pleasant young man called Nick Boyles came over to me and said it was my turn. I picked up my black Les Paul Custom guitar and went into the room. I was introduced to Ricki who was warm and friendly. The keyboard player Graham Pleeth had just played on the tracks I had written with Martha Ladley and he told Rick that I was "serious". The drummer was Trevor Murrell who I also knew from my Jazz/Funk days.

Rick showed me the chords to Chequered Love and Kids in America and we were off. Kim was not present and of course I was slightly disappointed as I love to show my skills to a beautiful girl and she was one of the hottest at the time. We got through the songs with no problems as they are not technically demanding,relying more on energy and vibe and I had both in abundance. They thanked me for coming and said they would call me later.

I left quite happy but not knowing their feelings about me. I only found out last week at Kim's Pink Party that in fact she was watching from behind a one way window with her two blonde girl cousins. They said that as I walked into the room they all said pick him, pick him, I love that jumper its sooo cute. When they heard that I could play as well that swung it and I had the gig! So ten years studying and suffering for my art and I got the job because they liked my top! Women eh, don't you just love them?

I recieved a call from Nick Boyles later and he told me the job was mine. It was to be an immediate start and the rehearsals and first tour were to be filmed for a Rockumentary [First Time out - PM], was I cool with that? I said of course, no problem.The next day we were invited to Marty and Joyce Wilde's house to meet Kim and the camera crew.

Kim was lounging on a garden bench wearing tight black jeans, a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off down the sides which gave tantalising glimpses of the curvature of her pert young breast's and a mane of peroxide hair that seemed to have a life all of its own. In short she was drop dead gorgeous. I had seen her on tv of course but nothing could have prepared me for this and my heart leapt into my mouth and struck me silent.

I was introduced to her and the huge warm cheeky smile she gave me made my stomach turn somersaults. I don't remember what we spoke about as I was in awe and it was lost to the cosmos. The house is a huge detached property in the countryside with a vast garden. The camera crew were filming now and it was all very distracting. I was obviously very pleased to be a part of all of this but it all seemed so unreal. I was in a time and space that I had only ever inhabited in the deepest moments of meditation when you are both at one with the Universe yet somehow totally alone in an emptiness, but hey, this was my job, I had to pull myself together and get back to the here and now.

So,we had fun learning all of Kim's material. Ricki is one of the nicest, funniest, talented guys you could ever be lucky enough to meet. He also walks with the Devil in terms of his sense of humour. The thrill of it all was absolute. I had to keep doing a reality check that this was not a dream, but no it was really happening and it was happening to me.

We learned all of the music with Rick singing as you don't want to tire the voice of the Star by singing all day. When we were ready Kim would arrive and sing once or twice through each song to make sure that she was happy. As she was gifted with a brother of such capacity it was not a problem and she only requested the most minor of changes which we all quickly took on board. When we were ready Marty (Big M, he's well over two metres tall) would come and give us advice. He is the King of British Rock and Roll and I was humbled by his remarks. I can't think of one occasion over a 16 year period when he was ever wrong. So we were ready.

The first gig was to be at a London theatre that my little grey cells have lost that particular synapse at this moment. It is across the road from Centrepoint and The Astoria on Tottenham Court Rd. We had final production rehearsals there prior to the gig. This was watched by Mickey Most who signed Kim to RAK, all the family, promoters and of course the omnipresent tv crew. OK we were all professionals but even we feel stress you know and it was quite a gruelling time.

Mickey Most came from the school of hard knocks. He was one of the greatest record producers of all time in the UK and he did not pull his punches. We had an after rehearsal meeting and he told us that the band were useless, all pulling in different directions and he wanted to replace us all with his musicians. Don't get me wrong Mickey only used la creme de la creme of London session players, but I think he got the wrong idea and Kim and the family vetoed his advice.

We were all very experienced and more to the point we all adored Kim and gave a nice family feel to the gigs. I feel so fortunate that they gave us the chance to show what we could do and anyway the rest is history. So, film crew in tow backstage we made the first live show for Kim and it was a resounding success.

The UK stage of the tour continued with great success and as we moved north we played at the Sheffield City Hall, my own town where I had seen big stars as a boy. It was so exciting for me as my own family could all come to the premier concert hall and see me playing with Kim. On the night, I met my parents and sisters and my father was so proud as I introduced him to Kim. It was a pleasure to see. I don't think he ever thought his own boy would get to that stage, even though they had all supported me for years to get there. That moment was possibly the absolute pinnacle of my career, even over many other amazing experiences.

The night was a resounding success and we all had drinks and talks after. The tour continued north and went through most of Europe too. The film crew filmed weeks of footage which they edited down to First Time Out. At the end of the tour they put on a party in the function room of the hotel. Everybody was in very high spirits as the tour and filming were a great success and the drinks were flowing freely. The band and some of the production crew had been to a novelty shop and bought indoor fireworks and practical jokes.

As we got more and more drunk the fireworks were lit and the buzzer handshakes came out. Some people had aerosols of foul smelling gas and these were being sprayed liberally around. The atmosphere was very loud and getting a little out of control. Mel Bush was promoting the tour and his younger brother Bev was Kim's security minder. He is not a man to mess with, as strong as an ox and as mean as a tiger. He was getting into a heated argument with some guy who had walked in and he just picked him up by the throat with one hand and threw him at the wall, the guy just slid down the wall and lay there. A beer fight had broken out by the bar and glasses of beer were flying through the air. I was drenched by one so I walked round the back of the bar and picked up the slops bucket, used to collect all of the waste beer. I poured this over the barman's head and think I made my point. Back over with Bev Bush he was getting sprayed by a girl production assistant with the fart spray. He took it off her and emptied the entire contents of the tin into her hair. She wasn't going to find any male company for a few days! So the first part of the 80's story is told.

Well we've had a great time playing live and its time to record Kim's next single. The band are booked into Mickey Most's RAK Studios to record a single. We are Trevor Murrell on drums, Mark Heywood Chaplin on bass and myself on guitar. We set up to find that the song is a swing/rock song called Love Blonde. Ricki shows us how it goes and we play through a few times to get a feel. I decided to play jazzy inversions of the chords ascending to the end of the verse, then descending for the chorus. The drums play a soft rimshot in the verse then a ride cymbal and full snare hit to lift the dynamics. I play small 4 note chords in the verse then full 6 strings for the chorus and middle 8. We keep rehearsing and lay down some takes. Rick is in the control room listening and we soon have a basic backing track laid down. We do a few so that Rick can choose between different takes or edit them together.

Its the early 80'so we are recording onto analogue 24 track, 2 inch tape at 30 inches per second speed. On a Studer machine this is as good as tape sound gets. You can compress a signal to tape in a way that digital would distort badly. That is why White Stripes recorded their hit album at Toerag in the UK, 60's equipment you see.

After a while Mickey Most comes into the studio scowling. He has a discussion with Rick and says we are doing it all wrong. Send us home and he will replace us with his musicians who are twice as good at half the price. Nice one Mickey, is that how you inspire your artists, through fear? I don't like to speak ill of the dead,but he clearly wanted to produce Kim instead of Ricki. To Rick's great credit, he ignored him and we continued together to make the record you heard.

I overdubbed the lead guitar and Gary Barnacle played saxes, backed up by Rick's new Synclavier Digital (wow!) keyboards. Kim did the lead vocals and Rick, me and Marty did the backup and woah woah vocals. After a while editing and mixing Rick mastered the track that you know today.

So Kim has a new single and she needs a video to promote it too. They pick Mike Mansfield, a very famous tv producer for the job. We are booked to arrive at the back of some old warehouses in east London by the river. We all had to go and be fitted for the tuxedos and it was a laugh as we were all punky in our normal dress.

So suits on, make up on and out we go to stand in the doorways leering at Kim as she prowled up and down in her skin tight leather dress. Let me tell you we needed no time at RADA to train for that particular sequence. Then finger snaps around Kim and vocals for the chorus. Near the end of filming, Hillary Mike's boyfriend said "Steve can you drive?". I had just passed my test and bought a white mini the week before so I said of course I can drive. "Ok", he said "open the door for Kim wave her into the Rolls Royce and then climb in and drive it off". I became very nervous, a mini and a Rolls Royce are like a goldfish and a Blue Whale size matters at these times, let me assure you of that.

As I sat in the Roller I couldn't recognise any of the controls, where was the gearstick? Where was the clutch, I looked around to no avail. "Come on then Nums", said Kim, "drive us off they're all waiting for us". I still had no idea what to do. Hillary came over and said "what's the matter". "I can't find anything" I said. He said "put your foot on the brake, release the handbrake and press the accellerator". The handbrake was a tiny lever under the steering column so I still didn't recognise it. "Never mind, I'll do it", he said, "you won't be in shot anyway". So I never got to drive the Rolls Royce, but hey who cares?

So after the success of Love Blonde, the team decided to do another Rock n Roll track. When I arrived to do the guitars they had a slap bass (upright string bass) part and drum track laid down these were very skillfully programmed by Ricki. Bet thought it was live maybe?
That is a very tricky thing to do as computers are not great at sounding like real humans so Rick did an ace job.

Marty has a fantastic collection of vintage guitars that he is always happy for me to use as they lie there unplayed a lot of the time. For guitar fans I picked out a 50's Gibson Scotty Moore, a 60's Gibson Barney Kessell, a 50's Fender Stratocaster and my own 70's Strat and Les Paul Custom. I played straight into the desk through a Rockman pre amp. All of the clean sounds and distorted sounds came from that box and the excellent engineer Pete Schwier did an amazing job. So no real bass or drums and no guitar amps. How on earth did they make it rock like that?

I played through a Yamaha E1010 echo unit and had a tremolo pedal set to a fast speed. That made the wobbly sound after the "7 little Indians row all dressed up and nowhere to go". There were lots of gaps in the track and as I sat there I came up with a little riff. The song is in F sharp, not a good key for guitar, so I cheated by leaving the top E string open so that every chord had a drone in it.

I came up with that little riff dooby dooby bop bop on the guitar and it became the vocal hook too. When Marty and Rick heard me playing that they were very excited. "Who's riff is that?" they said eagerly. "I just made it up" I replied. "Quick record it record it" they shouted. So we put it down so as not to forget it.

After that an electricity swept through the room and I just felt better and better about this song. So I put about 6 tracks of guitar on that track and for me it is my best pop work and I was so happy to do it for that family. That track also showed that I could write catchy tunes and soon after they asked me to do some writing with Kim.

By now Kim and I were well used to each others company and I never had a cross word with her unless she had pmt. So I used to go over to her apartment in St. Johns Wood and we'd jam around with a drum machine, I'd play guitar and bass and Kim is a pretty good keyboard player.

We worked on a 4 track Tascam portastudio which I foolishly gave to a friend in need. I could get a few bob for that on ebay as we wrote all of our tunes on it! Kim would engineer and then we would take those ideas to a twelve track writing room in Knebworth to re record and add harmony vocals and overdubs.

Then these demos could be presented to the family. If they liked any Ricki would come into their 24 track studio with us and we would try them out properly. If they still sounded good Rick would work on them until they were finished and propose them to the Record company. You probably know better than me, but I remember The Thrill Of It and Missing from early on.

So we were out to do tv promotion for Rage to Love. The video was filmed in The Electric Ballroom in Camden, north London. It was a baking hot day and the stage was illuminated with many Kilowatts of lighting. So of course we all wore leather and ran around like lunatics. Marty was directing and his old mate Justin Heywood from The Moody Blues had a cameo as Kim's manager. There was so much energy expended in that video and after a 7.00 am call we still were filming at 10.00 pm so were becoming exhausted.

On bass was my old mate John Rhino Edwards, he had just finished with Dexys Midnight Runners and left Kim to join Status Quo, 18 years later he is still with them. I also did the guitars on his superb Rhinos Revenge album.

So we're all exhausted and Marty wants one final scene. When the guitar solo starts he wants me to run across the stage and slide on my knees. Don't try this at home as it HURTS LIKE HELL! I had to do it over and over until they filmed it right or I didn't fall over. The next day my knees were skinned and black and blue with bruising. Sometimes you have to suffer for your art!

I want to move on to Michael Jackson but the chronology should have my lttle jaunt away from Kim. I kept on writing and recording with Kim, doing tv promotion and tours. When Another Step was released I foolishly (as I had the lead track and single) and I decided to team up with Culture Club drummer Jon Moss, Steve Lambert singer from Roman Holiday and Mark Heywood Chaplin on bass. We were called Heartbeat UK.

We got a big advance from Virgin and led a high cost lifestyle of decadence. Everybody was using the company credit card to excess and our videos were all done by the top people, and clothes and stuff were all handmade so that we could never stand next to someone in the same outfit. This was Jon's influence. He is a really intelligent, funny man. A multi millionare who likes to get pissed with the lads and have a food fight in the most debonaire restaurants in the world. Mad as pants but lovely with it.

We went to New York to do some tracks. We had done our demos for the deal at Olympic studios Barnes before it was refitted. In our dark old studio were doodles on the wall by people like Mick Jagger and Hendrix. Phil Lynott was recording his last to be, track next door. I used to share a pint of heavy with him at the pub across the road, what a top man he was, such a waste of talent.

So we have the deal and go to New York to record with Lew Hahn, he was with Arif Mardin on loads of stuff. We are staying at a Virgin hotel on Madison next to 5th Avenue, is that right? Believe me you could get anything on room service in that hotel, yes anything.

We worked in the studio in Times Square all day. Then out for a meal then to The Limelight or other club. Then back to the hotel, entourage intact for fun and that endless room service list.

We had limited success in Italy with Jump To It, but at the rate we were spending money (pro rehearsal rooms and staff to pay too). We spent our quarter of a million in nine months. I remember having to pay £500 pounds at the best Japanese restaurant in London for Sake, Tempura and Sushi. The bastards. We used to pay for dinner in turn. One night a pub, the next a pizza, then comes my turn and Jon goes "I know lets have Japanese", knowing it was my tab. Easy come easy go.

Anyway, talk about coincidence. Kim was in New York to do promotion and live pa's. So I arranged to meet her at her hotel. I was quite stunned when as I walked into the foyer she rushed up to me and gave me a giant hug. I was there with Steve Lambert the singer. We all had in the band a custom made antique Levis suit in blue denim or white. Steve wore his white jeans and jacket.

Kim invited us to a party for Julian Lennon, so of course the lure of free drinks took us there. Later after a few drinks, Kim was sitting by me drinking red wine and as we chatted she had a devilish grin and started very casually to slip her fingers in her red wine and quite distractedly flick it at Steve, staining his white suit forever. He took it for a few minutes then left good humouredly. Thats the only time I've seen Kim do anything like that. I guess she was thinking, you pinched my guitarist, you so and so, get out of here.

We all went to see her pa the next night and as she walked past I said Hi. After the show we went to see her on the invite of Nick her manager. When we got to the backstage door the security wouldn't let us in so we started to get jumpy with him, we were lucky that Nick came, as we were told later, never mess with doormen in New York, as they are killers.

Heartbeat UK didn't have much success and I was wondering what to do next when I had a call from Nick Boyles, Kim's manager. He asked if I would be interested in a tour lasting up to nine months opening for a very large act. I said that I would be. "Who is it with?" I asked. "I can't tell you", said Nick, "I'll get back to you".

Within days he was able to tell me that the act was Michael Jackson. He was promoting his Bad album, am I still interested, of course I said yes. We would be opening the show at some of Europes largest venues. Olympic stadiums, motor racing circuits, horse racing tracks, I think the largest one gig was at Aintree, Liverpools horse track, it was rumoured that 180,000 people attended. We also did five nights at Wembley football stadium, a record.

So we got our act together. Our road crew had been asked how long they would need to set up and clear the stage. They said one hour, a half hour to set up and a half hour to break down. The tour manager said ok you've got fifteen minutes to set up and fifteen to break down. Our tour manager Keith Crabtree said ok.

He then went and mounted every item on wheels so he could set it up offstage, wheel it all on, plug it in and we were ready. He would then get it all off in minutes and pack it up offstage. The response was ok you've now got ten minutes. So he would rig our hi tech set up in five minutes and pack it down in five. Sounds dull but it was incredible.

Michael Jackson was managed by a very powerful manager named Frank. This guy was the epitome of a music mogul. He wore the most immaculate Italian suits, his long black hair was swept back into the tightest and shiniest of ponytails. He was a man mountain, when he entered a room he filled it with an electricity. You feared, liked and admired him. He was the kind of guy who would get stuff done, you could be sure of that.

Our first gig was at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. When our stage manager arrived in the early morning, he was given a meeting time of 2.00 pm. He stood in the hot Italian sun with no shade all of that day. Bear in mind that Keith has the skin of a Viking, totally white, ginger hair. He can't even take the sun in England (he will but he burns like paper, and ignores it). The poor guy stood there for all of the day and was severely sunburnt and dehydrated. He managed to find a cold beer and just then the assistant of the tour manager came out and said "how dare you drink alcohol on a Michael Jackson gig?". She bawled him out and he just finished his beer anyway. So that was the atmosphere that I saw unfolding.

When Michael Jackson did the gigs that I was involved in, he liked to have 100 of the finest Police or Army or whatever the local force was, to form an entrance that he would enter the Stadium through. He always looked very happy and excited by this. Of course he would have done this 1,000's of times before, but I think it made it all worthwhile for him.

In Italy we had a great time. Michael had a schedule of a few days off a week for the voice and also meeting his friends such as Sophia Loren, the prime businessmen and of course to commandeer the Theme Parks. We had no contact whatsoever with Michael, but we were getting on really well with his band and the crew (hundreds of them) so all was well.

When Michaels entourage arrived at a Stadium, the whole backstage areas would be closed down by his 100 personal security. This would mean that if you were just enjoying your delicious backstage caterers food, he would arrive and you would be locked in to whichever room you were in. One day I needed to pee during meal, so I went to the toilets that apparently had no locks, I didn't know this but walked out of the loo and opened the door to the canteen and there was Michael with two or three minders.

He gave me a nice smile and said Hi. The next day...he had new security.

Some of the best fun on the Bad tour with Kim opening was, for me , when we had Police motor cycle escorts in and out of the Stadiums. You can imagine that if you have 100,000 people all trying to get to the same venue or away from it, at the same time that the local traffic was a nightmare.

As we had to be there just the same as Michaels entourage did, we were part of the motorcade and the Police would go ahead on motorcycles and cars with flashing lights and clear the junctions and traffic signals ahead. We then drove along in the tour buses through red lights and closed off junctions. There aren't many people who get to do that apart from World leaders, so I always found that a great thrill and we would shout and cheer at each and every closed junction and wave to the confused drivers being held up.

At each concert the crew would be in four or five days before to build a small city which would accommodate all of their crew and of course the massive and complex stage set up. The stage was like a small town with many hidden passageways and rooms underneath to operate the highly complex technical trickery and pyrotechnics that the show used in abundance. It also housed the equivalent of three state of the art recording studios for the live recordings, special sound effects and live sound backup to recreate the incredible Bad album.

These were off limits to all but specialist personnel but as we got to know these guys and they were bored after two years of doing the same show, we had guided tours and inside knowledge of how stuff was done.

Apart from Michaels incredible singing and dancing (all live vocals as far as I knew), the effects were awesome. If anyone saw it they may remember him being flung out over the audience in a blast of steam and dry ice on a huge hydraulic arm, blasts of air dragging his clothes back and it was truly scary.

He was injured by a mechanical error one night I believe (I forget which venue). He also had a double who was a master of martial arts, so he could be his double in the real world, or on stage, or protect him if need be. That would explain how he could be on one side of the stage, then vanish in a puff of smoke to reappear 100 metres away in a second, then reappear again and sing and dance on the other side.

The crew were asked to wear rubber animal heads when Michael went on stage. I think this was mainly fun for him but also maybe it made the whole thing more managable for him emotionally. It also meant that if you were a mate of the crew you could stand on stage during the show, unknown. That could have been a security risk, but by that time all the backstage areas were so secure that only an insider with all the passes would be allowed there.

Who can think of the stress for him of carrying this huge load of responsibilty on his shoulders. At the end of the day it was all down to him, what a burden that must have been.

I saw Kim upset a few times on this tour, I never pried into what was wrong but I could tell the strain was hard on her sometimes. Myself and the band just offered our friendship and support, what else could we do. All in all it was a very successful period for Kim. She had hit singles and good album sales. She also must have had the satisfaction of knowing that she could perform at the highest levels herself. I have some home footage of the seven nights at Wembley stadium that I will show on the site soon hopefully. It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to participate in this tour and I shall treasure it now and forever.

[TO BE CONTINUED]
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Bonus - 2004, the "pink" party

Well fellow Wilde ones, I'm home from the partying now and can give a brief resume of Kims party for you. I shall respect Kims wishes for privacy in what was really a family party, but I see no harm in giving you all a feeling of what happened.

The invite said wear something pink so I bought a pink cotton shirt and silk tie. I haven't worn this since I left school and found that I couldn't remember how to make a tie knot! I finally got it right and then decided, as it was a dress shirt with cufflinks, I would wear my only suit, purchased for the sadder moments in my life, my own parents and uncles and aunts funerals. I have seen it hanging there in my wardrobe for years now and it brought back painful memories. I decided it was time to wear it with a different vibe. It's a hand made dark grey micro pinstripe affair with a Nero collar which I have loved since The Beatles wore them.

As I drove up to their town I was struck by a massive sense of Deja Vu. I had made this journey so many times in the 80's and 90's but not for many years. I was slightly early (the session player in me) but I turned up anyway. They were making the final preparations and I met Kim resplendant in a beautiful Indian outfit, pink from head to toe with delicate embroidery and jewels. She also had a jewel on her "third eye" the centre of her forehead. Her daughter Rose was a demure and shy similarly attired lovely blonde girl a little "mini me" next to her mum.

As I entered the courtyard to the premises there was a fully functioning tank aimed at the entrance maybe to deter any gate crashers. Kim was making the final touches and said "Nums [=Steve - PM] would you place these roses in the cannon on that tank as its a bit too macho for my liking". I climbed up and placed three pink roses in the cannon and it turned it into an artwork (think Vietnam and the soldiers with flowers in their weapons).

The barn and garden was beddecked with hanging Morrocan printed drapes and the caterers were being led through their final briefing. I met Hal's mum first, a lovely actress and then Hal in pink shirt and pink courderoy flares. He's a handsome and manly fellow and I felt so pleased that they had met. Then I met Edwina who ran the office for so many years and Nick her manager and his stunning wife and two daughters.

The English weather did its worst but we didn't care, if it rained we went under cover and also we had some lovely sunshine warming the rolling green countrside with horses all around. The food was Morrocan in theme and full of fresh herbs and barbecues for the carnivores [i.e. the other people! - PM].

I met Kim's cousins who told me that they were there with Kim behind a dark glass screen when I did my audition in 1982. They said that they all picked me when I walked into the room based on my look. I said thanks, I studied for years and you picked me because you liked my jumper.

The schedule had to be rearranged as the poetry was going to be outdoors so we sipped our Champagne and Mango cocktails with the starters. The day continued with chatting with Kim's new friends in Horticulture and I met some really nice people. Later Martin Fry from ABC turned up with his family and some band members and I met a really lovely backing singer.

There was more food and cocktails being brought around all of the time and the staff were so cool, most with pink wigs but with a really nice cheeky attitude; if you were nice they were georgeous but they didn't take any shit if you were stroppy.

By now it was the evening and the poetry readings of the classic Romantic poets began. Hal's parents read and some of his peers and also Hal himself. It was wonderful, set to soft delicate music by Eric Satie and the like. Then four musicians joined Hal and he sang maybe six classic songs from the golden age, Sinatra, Weill, Brecht, Gershwin (if any of you kiddies don't know this stuff seek it out it is ace!). Hal sang perfectly with immaculate timing and a good understanding of the phrasing and dynamic of the piece, in all he was a consummate professional. A duet PLEASE!!!!!

Then came the Rock and Roll, I had seen this weird lookind old rocker guy all day with an even weirder looking jet black haired son in tow. He was an Elvis revue and he waws brilliant. I was rocking and jiving with Edwina even though I've never done it before and he was such great fun, dealing with people shouting out lewd remarks in good humour and great wit.

Then it was down to the art of serious drinking at the cocktail bar.The guy and girl serving were so cool and had a quick drink of all they made so they were flying too. Eventually at midnight they said "we're off guys, help yourselves". By now I was with Rick and Roxanne by the bar and we had to be stupid Brits and have a drinking contest. I made I think quite nice mixes, white rum, cointreau, mango and so on. Then Roxanne steated to pour all of the bottles into pint glasses so it was gin, whisky, rum and anything else. We felt compelled to drink it and after this had gone on for an hour or so I staggered back to my car and slept in the fields with the horses. It was a great, fun, happy event, and I drove back to London for the end party of Notting Hill Carnival.

So three days without sleep I am to bed.

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Steve's Music

Here you'll find audio samples or full songs written or co-written by Steve during the last years.

Steve's Media Center

Click here to access Steve Byrd's media center.

Steve Marriott - Astoria Memorial Concert

On 20th April 2001, a stellar cast of musicians paid tribute to Steve Marriott upon the 10th Anniversary of his tragic death. The Mods joined the event to perform three tracks live. A DVD (which can be ordered online at Steve Marriott's official web site) was released in Spring 2004, including the whole concert plus documentary, interviews and behind the scenes footage. Artist Royalties from the sale of this DVD will be donated to the Small Faces Charitable Trust.

Click on the DVD sleeve above to listen to an exclusive live performance of "Songs Of A Baker" by the Mods (with Steve Byrd and Johnny Warman on guitars, and Steve Ellis as a lead singer). Many thanks to Steve Byrd.

Gotta Get It Right (L. Fiagbe / S. Byrd) - ©1993 Mother Records

Click on the sleeve below to listen to a 30s sampler of the song




Related links

www.byrdsongs.org
www.nchanted.com
www.honey-music.co.uk

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