Return Of The 80s Pop Princesses

Once they were rich, famous and idolised by millions. And now - oh, no! - they're going back on the road 

Toyah Willcox, 43, began her career 25 years ago and had one of her biggest hits with It's A Mystery. 

What have you been doing?

A bit of everything. I've always been painfully insecure. Fear of poverty has driven me to work hard for financial success. 

Highs and lows?

The level of success I enjoyed in the Eighties was staggering for me. One minute, people laughing at my pink hair, the next, they were all copying me. Fame has been a blessing. 

What's not so good is popping out to the shop while suffering from PMT and looking like shit - people still recognise you. 

Your most memorable fame moment?

Playing in front of 10,000 people in Belfast in 1981, at the height of the troubles. the crowd went mental. They pulled the heels off my boots, ripped off my clothes and pulled out my hair. I got back on stage in only my tights and bra and had to be saved. by the tour bus backing through the crowd up to the stage.

Most embarrassing moment?

Ra-ra skirts, legwarmers and boob tubes. I felt a prat in them the first time around, and there's no way I'd ever wear them again. 

What about your love life?

I've been with my husband, rock guitarist Robert Fripp, since 1986. Meeting him was a godsend. People think we're an odd couple, but we get on so well because we're as weird as each other. We don't have kids - I forgot.

Have you made your fortune?

Certainly not from music, but I've made plenty from investments. People are always surprised that our properties (in London, the Midlands and the U.S.) are relatively inexpensive and I drive around in a normal little car. 

But then, we own everything outright. I hate being in debt. 

Would you make a comeback?

Well, I'm not yearning to be on Top Of The Pops again. 

What do you think of today's stars?

Nowadays, the music industry is more about marketing than talent. But I love Bjork, PJ Harvey and Tori Amos. And, although I 'd hate to be her, Madonna rocks. 

Any regrets?

Fame brought isolation. I had very few mates and never met any of these wonderful women back then. We were too busy competing against each other. If I could go back, I'd change that.

What about the future?

I'm on the Eighties Here & Now tour and I've got a new EP coming out. I'm also working on an album, touring with Calamity Jane later this year and taking life-drawing classes. I love being in my forties. I think I'm happier than I've ever been.

Now Magazine/Scottish Daily Mail
May 2002