A WEEKLY DIARY EXCLUSIVELY WRITTEN FOR MIRABELLE MAGAZINE
Would you believe it! My very first holiday in such a long time and I just couldn't stand it! Actually, I loved the idea of it, and Italy was of course, very charming and very sunny but I have just so many ideas running around in my crazy brain these days and so many things I want to create for you that I just had to return to London and get back to work. I just didn't want a vacation right then, I'm having too much fun working! I felt so wonderful as soon as I was back in the studio mixing my new album.
Anyway, more about Italy, I think I promised some time ago to write to you from Italy, only it turned out to be such a short stay and I was very busy working for most of that time. You know, when I start working, I just don't seem to be able to stop! I get really involved with my creations.
We were staying in a fabulous, enormous house, about half an hour from Rome. The house belongs to a very grand titled Italian lady, so you can imagine what it was like! Incredible gardens, beautiful house. Even though it was quite near to Rome, we didn't go out much.
You know, we have been rushing about, touring so much recently that it's a nice change to be staying quite quietly in one place for a bit.
By the time we got to Rome, I was getting more and more excited about my work and all these mysterious plans and projects for the future (which you will be hearing more about soon) so really I felt I needed to get back to London and back to some serious work. You see, some of those kind and wonderful people who surround me and help me thought I should be on holiday, so they purposely omitted to take any real equipment to Rome! There was a piano there, and I did a lot of work on that, as you know by now your good old friend Mr. Bowie is not one to lie in the sun and idle his life away!
I must say I am very well looked after. We had our own chef in Rome who Mainman, my management company, had flown over especially, so we would eat sumptious, delicious meals sitting on the terrace in the warm Rome sunshine.
I hope it won't be long now until you will be enjoying the fruits of all this working and creating and thinking that I keep telling you about, it's all being done just for you, my friends.
13th October 1973
After Italy I had to go back to France again, to that famous old Chateau d'Hérouville, which I've told you so much about, so as to do some work with Ronno on his new album. I'll tell you all about that another time - right now I'd like to tell you about another friend of mine who has an album coming out soon.
Her name is Dana Gillespie, and she is currently playing the role of Mary Magdalene in the West End Show 'Jesus Christ Superstar', also, she just got signed for a big role in the next film being made by the director Ken Russell, which is going to be about the composer Gustav Mahler.
I first met Dana at the Marquee Club in London, where I was singing at that time with my band, The Manish Boys. I'll never forget seeing her standing there brushing her hair in the mirror. I walked up gently behind her, took the brush from her hand and ran it softly through her beautiful long dark hair. She was only fourteen years old, but she had her own set of drums and lots of great musician friends. We all used to get together in her flat which was on the top floor of her parents' house in South Kensington and we'd just play music for hours. One day we got so carried away making music and dancing that we crashed right through her floor. Luckily no one was hurt, but Dana's parents thought it would be a good idea for her to move to the basement flat, where she still lives!
Well, it's been a long time since I carried Dana's toe shoes home from school and I'm so proud of her all she's done, especially her new album, 'All Gone'. She even sings one of my songs on it, 'Andy Warhol'. Actually I wrote it especially for her a few years ago, but I just couldn't wait to record it myself, so I put it on 'Hunky Dory'. You'll hear a few touches by Ronno and myself on the album, but Dana wrote almost all the songs on it herself, and produced it too!
20th October 1973
Well, I guess while I'm telling you about my friends who sing and dance and play guitar, I should also remember not to forget my MainMen and crew who display their talents in the lights of an office, and who helped me so much to do my thing in the lights of a stage. Without them I would never have been able to 'get the show on the road' as they say. Even though I don't have a show to get on the road right now, there are plenty of other schemes and projects that they are helping me with. They are my friends, and they are the people who relieve me of the burden of keeping all the loose ends together while I surge ahead in a stream of creativity, but most of all they are totally 'bannanas' and an endless load of fun!
Most of the people at MainMan, U.S.A., were formerly actors in 'Theatre of the Ridiculous' type plays in New York City. These are usually very low-cost productions performed in a very small theatre with a maximum of outrage and a cast of Max's Kansas City Stars. (Maxi's Kansas City is a very fashionable New York restaurant/club/entertainment spot where a lot of very interesting people seem to meet).
They are the most highly creative and entertaining plays I have seen, though sometimes terrifically boring!
Tony Ingrassia's plays are by far the funniest, craziest, most real and even most outrageous of all these kinds of plays, and now I have Tony and almost his whole stable of actors working for me, and they seem to love it!
It all started back in the summer of '71. I was playing at the Country Club just outside London. I had long blond hair then, a big felt hat with a feather and yellow patent leather 'Mary Janes' (shoes!). Mick Ronson was with me and Rick Wakeman was playing the piano. Lee Childers and Cherry Vanilla walked in and the whole place just lit up. Cherry immediately introduced herself to Angie and me and told us all about the column she was writing for a magazine entitled 'Circus',... called 'Cherry Vanilla... with scoops for you'.
Looks like I've run out of room again, so I'll save the rest of the story for next week...
27th October 1973
Last week I was just beginning to tell you about the lovely Cherry Vanilla. You remember I mentioned she was writing a column for 'Circus' magazine; well, also she was playing Pork in the Andy Warhol play 'Pork' which was in rehearsal in a London theatre called the Roundhouse. So that evening (if you remember I was playing in the Country Club), when I came to singing my song 'Andy Warhol', I asked Cherry to stand up and take a bow, which, of course, she did - in great style! Lee Childers was taking photos.
After the show, we had a drink and chatted some more whilst Cherry enticed us to come and see her show, due to open in a few days. She promised me a 'good mention' in her column, a few complimentary tickets to 'Pork' and a night of dancing in a club after the show one evening. So then they left... they had to get their sleep for an early rehearsal next morning.
Lee was 'Pork's' stage manager and photographer.
Next time I saw them it was from my seat at the Roundhouse. There was Cherry up on the stage dressed (or rather not dressed) outrageously. We went backstage to see Lee and Cherry afterwards and then all went dancing. Cherry and Freddie (I hope you remember who Freddie is by now!) just never sat down all evening they were so busy dancing. That was just the beginning of our great and long friendship. Little did we know that one day we would all be working together!
So when Angie and I sailed to America on the QE2 to begin the first American tour, we found that DeFries had hired the whole lot of those theatre people to run MainMan. They were sort of 'between plays' and extremely energetic and enthusiastic and they performed their jobs as if they were roles in another show, and they were still on stage. Of course they had to make up their own dialogue and improvise constantly! Most of their previous rock 'n' roll experience (especially Cherry's) was strictly social! Well, they came through with flying colours and have run all three of my tours since then, as well as the day to day MainMan business... and most of all, they have provided me with great fun and inspiration.
|Created: April 1998 © Paul Kinder||Last Updated: 10/10/07|