exclusively to the Record
I had decided to be a bachelor girl for the
rest of my life and then Robert proposed . .
Toyah Willcox shocked the pop world when she ran
away to marry top guitarist Robert Fripp in a secret ceremony last year.
The colourful singer - a guest at yesterday's
Women of the Year Lunch - left behind her former live in lover, Tom Taylor.
Tom later spilled the beans on their six years
together in a series of sensational "kiss and tell" revelations.
Now for the first time, Toyah has decided to tell
all ... about love AND the new man in her life.
Toyah's first meeting with guitarist Robert Fripp
was somewhat bizarre.
They met to record an album of children's fairytale,
The Lady or The Tiger, on which Toyah was to do the narration, while he
provided the musical backing.
Despite her phenomenal chart success, HE didn't
know who SHE was. And the flame-haired Toyah didn't realise that he'd become
a rock superstar playing guitar with his group, King Crimson.
But, as soon as Robert saw her, he declared: "I
am going to marry you - one day you will be my wife."
It was love at first sight, but in a far from
conventional sense, Toyah, now 26, can laugh about the romance of it all,
but at that time her world seemed to be falling apart.
Before she met Fripp, Toyah had split up with
her lover,Tom Taylor.
For six years, they'd lived in a cosy Victorian
house in London, but Toyah had begun to feel trapped by the relationship.
She decided it had to end.
On the verge of a nervous breakdown she fled to
New York - her personal life and career in tatters - in an attempt to sort
out the mess.
Robert Fripp, who was recording in New York was
on hand to offer some moral support.
Toyah and Robert then began to strengthen a bond
of friendship which was to lead to the altar.
With characteristic, refreshing honesty, Toyah
told me: "I went through a mild breakdown. I was hysterical all the time.
All day long I'd be in tears.
"Even though I supported Tom, and I felt a great
deal for him. I knew I was carrying on with something that had to
"I'd known for four years with Tom that it had
to be done, but I just didn't know how to do it. I was too scared to face
Toyah continued: "Nobody knew where I was...my
parents were frantic with worry.
"But I had to sort it out myself. I HAD to get
my life intoshape again."
Toyah also recalled the start of her courtship
with Fripp, the avante garde guitarist whose experimental musical style
has made him one of rock's most respected performers.
"What happened between Robert and me was something
I'd never experienced before. It was an instant trust.
She continued: "It wasn't just the physical attraction
that you get at the beginning of a relationship...just this
"In the past, Robert had said that he'd never
ever get married, and after my split with Tom I'd decided to be a bachelor
girl for the rest of my life.
"But he said - 'OK I'll give you three years to
think about it...'
"Within six months, it was obvious that we worked
together and our relationship was based on something far stronger than
a sexual attraction.
"We always said that if one of us felt the need
to stray, we just shouldn't get married.
"But when Robert proposed, it was so wonderful,
honourable and traditional, full of chivalry, it was t
After her split with Tom, and his "kiss and tell"
revelations in an English newspaper. Toyah suddenly found herself back
in the headlines.
So much so, that her wedding ceremony on May 16
1985 was shrouded in secrecy.
It took place in a small village church in Dorset,
with just their parents and close friends as guests. And, it was a day
to remember - for several reasons.
"We both wanted a very, very quiet occasion because
we wanted something that was real. You don't take wedding vows lightly,"
"We were both absolutely terrified of doing it,
but we took the vows because we intend sticking to them."
They decided to have no music during the ceremony
- the only sounds were the vicar doing the sermon.
"I wore a lovely pink gown, with Robert in a smart
suit and the sun was streaming in through the church windows - it was beautiful.
"The vicar gave the most amazing sermon and we
videod the whole thing as a keepsake."
But despite the secrecy, Toyah and Robert were
Breaking into gales of laughter, Toyah recalled:
"Unknown to us, there were photographers everywhere because there was a
big auction being held in the manor house facing the church.
"We had to sneak past them in our wedding clothes,
and race out the back door of the church after the ceremony.
"We were chased halfway across England, and we
stayed with an artist friend who helped hide us away. We managed to have
a week of peace as a honeymoon."
And Toyah's dad had some advice for his new son-in-law.
"My father thought Robert was mad. Then he phoned
him up and thanked him for taking me off his hands," Toyah said.
"He genuinely thought Robert should have been
warned about me.
"Both my sister and I are known to be very fiery,
but we've both married two incredibly nice men, and my father just couldn't
"I think he expected us both to end up in jail."
And from talking to Toyah, it's clear to see that
she's happier than she's ever been in her life.
"Some people think Robert's a bit weird, but that's
nonsense," she said.
"He's just very quiet and not into the tacky rock
'n' roll lifestyle of all-night parties, drugs and easy sex.
"He's very sensitive and likes to live a normal,
healthy life. He's the most remarkable man I've ever met.
"I have so much love and respect for him."
Daily Record, 1987