'ashamed' to sing Eighties hits, claims Toyah
punk rocker Toyah Willcox has accused Madonna of
being "ashamed" of singing her classic
Willcox said she could
"hear the audience groan" when she went
to see the London-based American star play at
Speaking as she prepared
to return to the stage for a live show singing
rock classics, she said of live artists:
"People want to hear their hits and not
their arty songs."
She added: "When I
went to see Madonna at Wembley she did an hour of
B sides and you could hear the audience
She concluded: "I
just don't think people should be ashamed of the
hits that mean so much to so many
The Queen of Pop does
appear to have taken some of Willcox's advice
already, singing Like A Virgin to an audience in
Rome. Madonna, 50, controversially dedicated the
performance to Pope Benedict XVI.
But Willcox, also 50, said
she did not think Madonna and other live
performing artists knew what their fans really
wanted - which she maintained was to hear the
anthems of the past.
While Madonna has embarked
on her latest worldwide tour, Willcox is playing
a devil queen in a sing-along extravaganza called
Vampires Rock, in which members of the audience
are invited to dress up in costume. A national
44-date tour begins on Friday at the 650-capacity
Majestic Theatre in Retford, Notts.
The live show, a cross
between the Rocky Horror Picture Show and We Will
Rock You, is a vehicle for a string of hits
belted out by her and the show's founder Steve
Steinman, such as Alice Cooper's School's Out For
Summer and Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N'
"People are coming to hear the music. When
they come along they are baying for blood. People
want the hits."
She said the appetite for
nostalgic music had never been stronger.
"I'm making more money out of music now that
I was in 1981."
Steinman, who plays Baron
von Rockula in the "fang-tastic rock
musical", said Britons were becoming more
and more willing to shed their inhibitions for a
night of outright fun.
But he added Southerners
still needed some convincing to get into the
spirit of things. "Those in the north tend
to dress up more," he said.