Man who made her see red

She's been up, she's been down. She's been cosseted like a major star and humiliated like a little girl

But now Toyah is getting her own back. In the Channel 4 film Midnight Breaks, she takes her sweet revenge on the people who have made her professional life a misery.

In the hard world of rock music, she has often come across ruthless, manipulative, glossy, record company executives.

This time around she gets to be one. She plays Billy Jones, a tough rock band manager.

"I hate the character I play," says Toyah, "especially her ghastly hair and clothes, but sadly in real life she really does exist."

Toyah is coy about revealing the identity of this person but she does admit that SHE in real life is a HE.

"He should have been hung, drawn and quartered," says Toyah, narrowing her eyes at the memory. "He is no longer in the music industry and quite rightly so.

"He was totally insensitive," explains Toyah, "He used to call me into his office, listen to my demo tapes and give them marks between one and five.

"I was furious. I could have wrung his neck but he thought he had the authority to do it.

"The record company always put you under pressure to produce. They seem to forget that the creative process is very sensitive and vulnerable and that the artist must be left alone."

These days Toyah has grabbed the initiative of running her own affairs. "I like being in control of my life and I'm happy to be responsible for my own successes and failures."

Toyah is no stranger to failure. She was a huge success as a punk singer in the Seventies.

After five years of huge acclaim, her high profile disappeared. "Literally overnight the world turned me off. It was a terrible shock to my system and I couldn't understand what was going on. At the time I blamed myself and thought the world was falling down around my feet."

What Toyah needed was a knight in shining armour to rescue her and right on cue along came guitarist Robert Fripp. It was love at first sight for both of them.

"My personal life had been terrible, but Robert has given me independence and liberation for the first time. When I met him there was no way I'd go shopping on my own or drive off to Scotland on my own. Now he can't stop me."

The couple live the quiet life in Wiltshire with a rabbit called Cecil. And Toyah likes it that way.

Daily Express, 1988
Thanks to Jenny Parkin