Who Would Be King
Toyah Willcox talks, it's like a time-bomb
ticking over...and Toyah's time gets closer every
second. So what does make Toyah tick?
Morley sounds the alarm...
original, don't bitch me," smiles Toyah
Willcox as I leave the Royal Court Theatre,
smiling back over my shoulder.
spent ninety minutes interviewing her in a tatty
dressing room with a miniature bay window that
looked down a stumpy alleyway at a fragment of
London's Sloane Square and the top end of the
who don't even know me," she told me,
incredulous at such rudeness, "have dug my
grave in the music papers, and I just think
that's hilarious. What problems have they got
that they want to do that to someone else? I just
think, God, they must be frustrated if they feel
a need to be that nasty.
doesn't affect me." she raises her head a
little, punches her chest. "It bites there
for a few minutes, then I just think - fuckers!
You're not going to stop me, baby! Nothing will
stop me. No words."
print Toyah appears more bad-tempered than she
sounds. When she talks, it's very theatrical
fierceness - though not hollow. Whatever, she's
not atall a cold person.
think that's my problem. I'm not atall cold. I
have problems being cold. I don't like being
bitchy, I don't necessarily enjoy it. That's why
people have taken me for a ride a lot of the
time, because I'm usually a very nice person. I
usually tolerate a lot.
just not a slag, which is what the media makes me
out to be. I'm totally unlike this sort of wild
sexist-creature-on-the-stage image. I hate it.
I'm just having a good time, and I want the
audience to have a good time as well."
the world that Toyah is charging through, it
doesn't seem simplistic to proclaim she will be a
star. One of the last. In conversation her husky
yet hard-edged Cockney deals out thoughtful, even
rehearsed, lines and responses reminiscent of the
snap, crackle and boast of old Bolan interviews:
a pot-pourri of self championing, certainty,
studied aggression, mild-contradiction, cosmetic
angst, just the right amount
of self-deprecation and a dash of
spontaneous insight. She listens to her
questioner with supreme politeness. Interviews
form part of her drive towards an unashamed
'career' success. She uses them with the
professionalism of Sting, always conscious of the
image it's helping to shape - gently rubbing the
past out, setting up the next stages.
so far has been the on the make catalyst looking
to set up a hallucinatory venue for perpetual
freaking out, the girl who slept in a coffin and
dealt in black magic...
magic was just a fascination. I hate the idea of
satan. Man is satan."
or the human race?
human race. The male has a lot to do with it. I
mean, in black magic only the man is special,
which is probably why I don't like
if it was the other way around?
a negative form anyway. I still wouldn't like it.
The coffin was just another morbid fascination. I
used to lie in it because it kept men away from
me. A very effective barrier."
it seems as though she's steering and scheming
towards success purely for its own sake.
couldn't tell you why it is. I've never analysed
it. I just know that the feeling's so strong. I
couldn't do anything else. If I'm meant to become
something then I'll become something."
acknowledges the media's part in this, claiming
she will exploit its trivialising debasement. I
ask her how she will deal with being absorbed
into the media's sanitised notion of what is and
isn't a female rock star. She has it all sorted
would kid them to believe they'd absorbed me into
that for a few weeks, but then I'd spit into
their faces. I do like misleading those sort of
people. I'd enjoy that totally. They've already
tried - oh, Toyah, sexy thing - and I turned
round and farted in their faces. I wouldn't mind
if there was a great big thing launching the new
album and I was the new Debbie Harry...then weeks
later I'd shave my head and start gobbing on old
ladies. I'd do anything to make them contradict
as a singer, has attracted the kind of aggravated
dark-punk following that goes for set images,
scrawlable logos, noticable spite, that needs to
identify. Her fans will have their name painted
on the back of their leather jackets underneath
Crass and above Adam.
"I don't know why. Our music is very jazz
you, isn't it?
definitely me. Because of my image, the media
made me out to be some outrageous rebel, and I'd
done Jubilee, the Punk Rock Movie. Some of the
girls who get to me are bent as well. Little
girls rubbing me left, right and centre. Very
peculiar. I didn't know there were so many
lesbians about." She laughs, a quick
"Mind you, I get equally as many little boys
it identification? The possibility of
There's this problem child onstage performing to
kids going through their teens."
you a problem child?
was a fucking bitch. I used to be so quiet and
then I just lashed out at something and when I
lashed out I physically hurt someone. I used to
sit there and then explode and people could never
make me out. One minute I'd be all demure and the
next minute I'd be holding them up against a wall
smashing their faces in. I had total lack of
control. I couldn't control my temper. If I
didn't want to go to school, I wouldn't go to
school. I had to be physically locked in my
mother's car in the morning and driven to school.
To me school was just one long prison sentence. I
really hated it."
did you want to do and be then?
wanted to go to a snotty acting school in London.
I've always wanted to be an actress. My mum was
one, but I never found that out until I was in my
teens so that's got nothing to do with it. It's
just been a mad desire, really mad. I think it
was because I was a compulsive liar. I was always
lying to everyone to cover up my mistakes,
to cover up the fact that I'd been playing
truant. And because I could convince people with
my lies and I found it very exciting, I wanted to
lie for a profession."
Actor, Toyah is currently featured in Nigel
William's self-consciously savage play Sugar And
Spice at London's Royal Court Theatre. Williams,
a glum Rob Halford lookalike, has an
intelligentsia cultivated reputation as an enfant
terrible of new theatre. His plays, Line 'Em Up,
Class Enemy, Trial Run and now Sugar And Spice,
all chipped from the same coarse, heavily
stylised block, have earned him an inevitable
punk/new wave tag.
plays frame resentment, bigotry, the clumsy
emotions of tribalism, reproducing in fantastic
setting the gripes, fears and loathings of an
idealised working class. The great tension and
barbarism in his plays comes not from the
generous shower of expletitives - his loving use
of fuck, cunt, piss, has become an easy handle
for media - but from the confusion and
disillusionment of the victims of prejudice:
usually adolescents and the working class.
And Spice is an ugly and funny play about hate,
despair and sexual derision. It's simply
structured. In the first half, motherly
Honey-punk Suze (Carol Hayman) picks up a gang of
girls and takes them back to her off-Kings Road
council flat for shelter and whisky. Toyah as
Sharon is the defiant leader of the gang; Carol
(Gwyneth Strong) is the neurotic temptress who
lures Steve (Daniel Peacock) into the flat,
separating him from his mates who wait outside;
Tracy is the obsessively tidy, uncommitted
punkette in love with marriage, whose
domesticated hooks are deep inside the poor Derek
(John Fowler) who, after ahilarious opening burst
of mock bravado, becomes almost sexless as the
play progresses; Linda (Caroline Quentin) is
happy to shadow Sharon, almost as tough but much
girls taunt and goad Steve for fancying Carol.
Sharon spits morally destructive anti-male
invective at him, and insidiously persuades best
friend Carol to castrate Steve - who, due to a
mixture of his own conceit and Sharon's
toughness, is naked. As she moves towards him,
almost hysterical, Steve's 'hard' mates, skinhead
John (Tony London) and rude boy Leroy (Leroi
Samuels) burst in to save him.
second half switches emphasis. John wildly
attacks what he sees as the uselessness and
stupidity of women just as Sharon attacked the
ego and selfishness of men: Sharon addressing
Steve's vulnerable penis, John screaming at
Carol's pubic hair - Sharon now also naked,
through her gullibility and John's chauvinistic
demands. The play climaxes with an unsettling jab
of physical violence - Steve having his genitals
twisted out by the broken whisky bottle.
stunned gang ring 999. The play ends with an
endless ringing tone. No one cares.
grotesque caricature of adolescent emotional
warfare, Sugar And Spice is exuberant
entertainment. Toyah projects Sharon with a
mercurial blend of facetious wit and alarming
attack; she'svery impressive.
night after the play's premier we talk about it
in the boy's dressing room. Toyah sits on a
wooden folding chair a couple offeet in front of
me, casting occasional glances at my tape
recorder and the peculiar lie of my hair.. She's
dressed in black. Her boots are exquisite, of
course - suede, with toes as long and lean as
stilettos, which are high to give some inches to
her 4' 10".
most, Sugar And Spice will tickle the fancy of
the liberal middle class, but it won't be
appreciated by the kind of audience Toyah hopes
for - her music followers, the fifth form
schoolkids the play romanticises.
critics have torn it to pieces because they don't
understand it," gloats Toyah perversely.
"I think it's a brilliant play, so bloody
funny. It's so true, the perversities in a young
boy's mind. I think he's got it down to a tee.
But it's a complicated play to perform.
can't do it with taste because there is no taste
in the play. You've got to be basic gutter cat
sort of thing."
there anything in the part of Sharon that you
added to or adjusted from the original
I took some of the writing out. Some things that
to me were too similar to the character of John,
just perversities against women. I had some
failure because it was a man writing it?
felt it was a man writing it and going slightly
over the top. Nigel Williams is a super-realist
writer - it's not real, it's made bigger - and I
just thought it was a little too much when the
character Sharon kept going on and on and
repeating how much she hated housewives and
certain things like that. She kept repeating
things throughout the play that would have
got monotonous and boring whereas the character
John gets boring and monotonous and eventually
bores all the other characters into hating
you immediately like the play when you first read
hated it at first. I was offered the part of
Carol, who is the bird that ends up naked, and I
instantly refused it. I just couldn't handle a
part like that. I sent the script back, and was
offered the part of Sharon, which I was quite
happy to take. I feel more capable of performing
it. I just wouldn't feel right doing that sort of
performance for the character Carol. I just
haven't got the right physique. I'm not
physically right for the part."
that the only reason?
nudity would freak me out. Completely. It would
be wrong for me to do nudity cos when I go out
onstage with the band everyone immediately shouts
out 'Show us your tits, show us your tits'. The
audience only go there to see your body in that
case and that really annoys me."
you see any of yourself in Sharon?
I was younger, yes, quite a lot. The violence
side, the aggression towards men, I had a hell of
alot of that when I was younger. I didn't have
the same amount of confidence that Sharon's got.
I was too well brought up. I sort of kepy my
thoughts to myself."
way your "careers" have developed, it's
been a case of massive confidence.
my case it's been a lot of bullshitting. That to
me is what confidence is. It's just a case of
being able to deal out the bullshit. When I first
moved down to London I was the most naive little
twat I've ever heard of, looking back. I was so
fucking thick. I didn't know when members of the
National Theatre were laughing at me,
I didn't know that people were laughing at me
when I walked down the street. Why do people keep
laughing at me? Am I making them happy? I was
soon learnt to start bullshitting when people
started ripping me off left, right and
centre, using me in every way because I allowed
myself to be used. I like dealing out the
bullshit. I like misguiding people who think they
have power over you. I can't really give you
examples...Like last night you have a load of old
farts in to see you backstage, casting directors,
all that, and they come and see you and say oh
dahling, what are you doing next? Oh actually I'm
off to Hollywood to do a big movie, and OK I'm
being asked to do a big movie in Hollywood,"
she shakes her head as if it's all so tiresome,
"But I don't know if I'm doing it yet. But I
give them all this bullshit, about how big the
movie is, and they go away wanting to employ me,
because I've made them think that I'm
important. Which is a load of crap.
just give people what they want to hear, which is
a load of bullshit sometimes."
much satisfaction is there to your sense of
creativity to play Sharon?
great sense of exhaustion after the show. It's
not so much the audience reaction, it's the
silence at the end of the play that I like, the
silence during the play when they're listening,
that I prefer to the laughter. It's just the
great sense of having so much adrenalin running
through you and not being able to control it.
That's what I get from acting.
whole time I'm on that stage I'm on a complete
high. The words take you over completely. Toyah
no longer exists. It's great to escape from this
person for two hours a night."
talks about acting with great passion and
perception, with a deeper sense of grace and
coherence than when she talks about music. As
actress she is respected, and she knows why; as
singer she is still searching for respect,
searching simply for the right way. "In my
acting career, people come to me. In my music
career, I have to go to people."
came before music. After dreaded school, a single
O-level in music, she accepted a place at
Birmingham Old Rep Drama School.
appeared in the BBC's Second City Firsts' Glitter
along with Noel Edmonds and was offered a place
with the National Theatre in London. She played
Emma in Tales From Vienna Woods and in the summer
of '77 she persuaded Derek Jarman to let her play
Mad in Jubilee: a vain attempt to feel under the
surfaces of punk for...something.
think it's a film in its own right. When it came
out I thought it was brilliant, but it's boring
looking at it now."
you feel that it was going to help you?
had incredible doubts about it. I'd never seen a
nude person before." She looks for a
reaction from me. I give it her. "I was 18.
I'd never seen one. It had quite a few in it. I'd
never seen a nude person. The absolute truth!
Except myself. And there was this scene where I
jump into bed with two brothers and get the
lighter out and the first time we did it they had
their clothes on and then we did the take and I
jumped into bed and they had nothing on! I
completely freaked out. I'd never seen a nude man
you scared to be involved with those sorts of
it excited me actually. They were the sort of
people I dreamed about spending my company with.
Very few people like that existed in Birmingham -
colourful people, just being themselves, not
caring what society said about them. I just found
it exciting. I soon found out they were arseholes
like everyone else."
1978 she appeared in The Corn Is Green with
Katherine Hepburn, began filming the TV
Quatermass for Euston Films, and during the
latter months of the year filmed the part of
Monkey for Franc Roddam's Quadrophenia, rudeness
and developing versatlity winning her the
talking about the directors she's worked with,
revealing respect and love for Derek Jarman and
compatibility with Bill Alexander (Sugar And
Spice) she says of Roddam: "He was OK, but I
knew he was completely manipulating everyone in
was fast growing up. She appreciated that in the
film there were certain faces used, but that this
benefitted the faces used - Sting, Phil Daniels,
Toyah - as much as anything else.
course! I wouldn't have stayed otherwise. Getting
up at five, catching pneumonia. I didn't have a
day off. I had to keep going, there was this
nurse with me the whole time. I really was very
ill. But I realised the film wasn't only
benefiting Roddam. It was benefiting me as
early 1979 she presented the BBC chat show Look
Here from Birmingham, appeared in Stephen
Poliakoff's play American Days at the ICA
Theatre, forced her way into an episode of
Shoestring, started filming the BBC series Jekyll
and Hyde, and was offered the part of Miranda in
Derek Jarman's film version of Shakespeare's The
Tempest. Her 'wild child' performance here
described as "naive and knowing",
exotically puffed out her image. Did she feel
that appearing in The Tempest was going to do her
knew it would benefit my acting career within the
acting world." She affects a silly snobby
voice. "Punk rock star Toyah Willcox doing
Shakespeare. It had that sensationalist aspect
about it. But
not only has it benefited my acting
career. It's opened up a new audience for
Toyah, very important. But did she simply do
Quadropheniaand The Tempest to further her
careers, or were there other reasons?
did Quadrophenia for other reasons. It was at a
time when mods hadn't re-occurred and I
loved the fashion and I loved the
music...and then it re-occurred and I fucking
hated it. I still like the music. I Just hated
the hype. The Tempest I did purely as a
challenge, because I was frightened of
Shakespeare. I didn't think I was capable of
you feel that you were doing Shakespeare, or
felt I was doing Shakespeare with added
added life was important. "Oh yes. I knew
Derek wasn't going to 'do a punk version of The
Tempest'. Load of crap He was going to do a
version as true to life as when Shakespeare wrote
it, and that's why I wanted to do it. Because I
knew it would be mystically beautiful." A
touch of her impressionable soft centre seeps
through the hard business exterior. "The
filming technique is marvellous, but I hate me in
it, because...well, I just don't like
Shakespeare. I got to like The Tempest after
reading it six times. I've just got an
anti-Shakespeare feel left from school."
you feel that through acting you were
communicating other people's feelings, and you
made music because you wanted to communicate your
own ideas and feelings?
yeah, music is something very personal to me. I
want to achieve something within music because I
love music. It is definitely my own
communication. You've hit the nail on the head.
When I'm acting I'm someone else's puppet. I'm
the director's or writer's puppet. That feels
very expansive. You feel that you are eating
other people's minds to create a totally seperate
person. You're creating something that doesn't
exist, and it's great. You feel like a
roles Toyah has played have all had great
attraction: been bright boosts. They have meant
that as actress she is solidly established and
undeniably "hot". As musician, much
less so. She's busy getting to grips with that.
As she admits, in the past she tried too hard,
wore masks, and contrived an ill-fitting image.
She desperately wants her music to be as accepted
as her acting.
difficult to compare the two worlds," she
admits, "and say why you're doing both. I
generally just do whatever I want to do
are always suspicious of actors who perform music
onstage - they feel it's a con, certainly a
I'm still the one person about, I think, who's
managed to keep the two careers completely
separate. Very little of my music gets involved
with my acting, and I wouldn't like it to.
a movie I'm doing next year for which I'm writing
the music, but it's not supposed to be a rock
musical, the music is all atmosphere, like Eno's
sort of, not rock songs. I'm not interested in
that at all.
like doing both music and acting. I get a lot of
inspiration from acting and the music. Doing a
play like this leaves the days free to work on
music. It's just perfect. I need to work day and
night time, so having both enables me to do
doing one take away from the other?
one complements the other. The only commitment is
time, but because I'm capable of working longer
hours I can fit into other people's
schedules.There was a time when I was doing two
movies and an album." She makes it sound so
natural. "Quadrophenia and Quatermass and
the 'Sheep Farming In Barnet' LP. I didn't sleep
for two weeks and I was very happy." A
short, sharp snatch of giggle.
wouldn't sacrifice one for the other?
because I don't believe in those sort of
sacrifices. If I did that I would be sacrificing
for someone else, not because of my career, but
because some selfish bastard at the other end
wanted to make more money out of me. Fuck that. I
do what makes me
happy. I know that sounds selfish,
but you've got to be like that otherwise you're
someone else's puppet."
glares through me. "I've got two
personalities that both need feeding at the same
time. I couldn't tell you what they are. I've got
the snob in me and I've got the commoner in me.
The snob does the acting and the commoner the
would have said the other way round. (I wouldn't
actually, but that's what I said at the
anymore! Because I'm fighting for my music career
now. I feel I've taken a step back doing the
music and I want to take a step forward
group 'Toyah' began to take shape prior to the
bulk of her acting successes; end of '77, early
'78. The group that made the singles 'Victims Of
The Riddle' and 'Bird In Flight', the six-track
'Sheep Farming In Barnet' (these all compiled for
a German import LP with the same title), the
Safari LP 'The Blue Meaning' and the single from
the LP 'Ieya', have now fallen apart. Only Joel
Bogen, guitarist and founder member along with
has her bile against her former group well
organised, using their inadequacies and negative
fastidiousness - their laziness to fend off
attack against the music's erraticism. I ask her
how aware she was of the music's erraticism,
especially neat to the fluent acting
she affirms, hungry to get it all off her chest,
dragging the group in. "When anything went
wrong with the band a particular member would say
it was because Toyah was acting." Toyah
bitches with a practised persuasive sheen of
authority. "Which was a load of crap. So the
band would go out, make
mistakes, not rehearse enough, lose
money, and they'd blame it on me because I was
away acting. They couldn't live without me. They
were totally dependent on me, so that overworked
me. I was having to mother them the whole time.
Which was ridiculous. They were like a bunch of
old women, continually having periods as far as I
was concerned." She grimaces, spreads out
loads of examples of the group's exasperating
says the group - absurdly - resented the
attention she was getting, her tendency to want
to write the music, the time she was away
pursuing a role that created her image and
diminished theirs. Yet during the time the group
was splitting at the seams, Toyah was happily
protecting them in interviews, broadcasting how
well they were all getting on. "Of course I
fucking was," she shoots back, "I was
trying desperately to make things OK, even though
surely inevitable that Toyah is the group is the
leader is the face is the one that is
can't do anything about that. I tried, I really
I actually cared for the band."
seems a bit wet.
know it's a bit wet. I actually tried to keep the
band together. I didn't want to lose them. All I
wanted to do was get on the stage and perform in
front of an audience. I didn't want to be the
main number. But I realise now that I have to be.
You've got to be number one..
music's improved no end by the loss of those
three members of the band. I don't think there'll
ever be a Toyah band again. I won't call it that,
the next group, cos the five members we all wrote
together and the music is part of 'Toyah',
whereas now we've lost three members the music is
completely different. A new image and a new
presentation. It's lost all its self-indulgent
musical favourites include Marianne Faithful, Tim
Buckley, Laura Nyro, Jimi Hendrix, Eno, Lou Reed,
Pere Ubu, Marc Bolan, David Bowie. With loves
like that you know she'll make music more heroic
than she has done. Does she strive to equal the
music of those idols?
like to equal Tim Buckley's imagination,"
she considers. Pause. "I'd like my voice to
be as sweet as Laura Nyro's," she prays.
Pause. "I'd like my imagination to be as
perfectly correct as David Bowie's. I love them
all because they have a certain
music so far - which she doesn't completely
denounce, but neither does she admit to feeling
proud of - vulgarly extends the cosmically
deranged elements of Patti Smith like Pauline
Murray gracefully extends the easy listening
elements. (A critic described it as Patti Smith
on speed. In fact, it's closer to Patti Smith off
speed. "I never use drugs for inspiration.
They blott my mind out.") Enchantingly
uncouth ghost music even more extreme than Pink
military, 'The Blue Meaning' is Toyah in
achieve the hit singles that the face and the
fury demand and deserve, she needs to pack all
her flights of fantasy and diabolical fanciness
into a taut commercial framework. She'll appeal
to lovers of Sting, Gary Numan and Kate Bush, if
properly disciplined. Right now her lyrics are
precious and precarious - she's called them
doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. I am a
pretentious person in a way. Well, I don't think
I am now because in a way I've proved myself
quite a lot. But I don't worry what the lyrics
are like as long as it fits the music, and I've
created a good melody line. I would love my
lyrics to be accessible and for people to repeat
them, sing them, which is something that my
lyrics haven't got yet. I'd love it if people
could walk along the streets singing my
do think about things like that, but if I'm not
capable of writing like that there's no point in
trying cos you'd just come out with real crap.
The lyrics are very personal to me. At the moment
I'm still developing, and that's the thing about
music. I don't care if it doesn't work at the
moment, cos I'm developing so quickly and there's
so much inside me to develop. There's no way I've
burnt myself out. I've only just grown up in a
new music, she confidently reveals, is 'more
sellable'. "It's sort of controlled chaos,
studio-based chaos. I'm keeping the word chaos
there because I think that's a very valuable part
of our music - you could move to it and there was
action there. Movement to me is the main form of
communication. It's not just going blah blah
blah. If you move, and you make the music to move
to, the people will like it.
won't be able to break away from the punk thing,
but I'll be able to make it grow into a bigger
thing. I hope so. I'd like to think
you want to be a star?
want to be on the move."
moves around on her hard wooden chair, fiddles
around with a heavy looking eye-ring, attention
occasionally wandering as a struggle through a
question. Midway through the conversation there's
a solitary yawn, discreetly and inoffensively
performed. She seems surrounded by a halo of
energy - stamina, perhaps derived from her
stockiness, enough for four. "Basically
onstage." she had said, "I am a man,
and y'know, that's all I can say..."
press charges. There must be more to that?
only way you can be asexual, for a woman to be
asexual, is to say that she's a man. It's
no good saying 'I'm asexual' cos then you get
everyone left right and centre trying to chase
you. But if you say you are a man, people will
say oh? oh; and stay away."
explains that when she's onstage singing, she
likes to forget her body. She often refers to her
body with slight distaste. "Oh yeah, I do
like to forget about the shape of it and all
that." Another quick giggle. "I don't
know why. I just like to forget that I'm female
the shape you're referring to. "Oh no, the
shape I don't like is being small, like a dwarf.
I haven't got a hang-up about it, I just feel
that it's a bit of a drag sometimes."
it upset you that you have these feelings?
because they make me look after myself a lot
more. I think if I liked the way I looked I
wouldn't look after myself. But I really look
after myself physically. I'm sort of a keep fit
health freak, what I eat and everything. Because
I'm so afraid of going bumph!" she flings
her arms wide.
affects your self confidence?
happened once and it did totally. Not only that,
it's cos then I can't move around a lot and I
have a lot of physical energy. If I get half a
stone overweight I'm completely fucked. The
slimmer I am, the more hungry I am, the better
nothing to do with the kind of vanity Sharon
think vanity does come into it. Vanity is a form
of giving yourself self-confidence. I do so like
to wear decent clothes and things like that and I
do wear make-up and I do have my hair done and so
that's vanity, isn't it?"
has intense moral concern about certain
I ever see of woman is usually groupies. They
disgust me." She crinkles her nose, shakes
her head. "How can they jump into bed with
someone they've just met is beyond me. The man I
live with now was my bodyguard on tour and he
used to disgust me more than the lot. He used to
go through about six a day on tour, you know the
incredible male ego."
you've ended up with him.
preaching eventually got to him. I used to go in
and thump these groupies in the face, tell them
to get out, I don't want you around. They used to
sleep with everyone in the crew to get near me,
some of them. Some of them were dykes and they
used to sleep with the crew so they could talk to
me during the night or something. They used to
disgust me." Her skin visibly crawls.
"I just don't understand. There's no brain
there as far as I'm concerned.
no self-respect or pride there, and therefore
those people would stab you in the back. If they
don't respect themselves they won't respect
anyone else. And I just used to generally worry
about members of my crew catching things. Ugh?
There's some awful dogs on the road. That's what
we used to call them - dogs."
can she be so involved if she feels this way? She
can put up with them. As soon as they get to me
they change. They want to talk to you rather than
pull your body. But as soon as I see them
pulling, I just leave the room. I don't want to
be associated with that atall. The band used to
go out pulling every night and I just used to go
back to the hotel. I wouldn't go anywhere with
them. I get so many men trying to pull me, but
only a few try now cos of my bodyguard. They know
I don't like it.
just don't like being taken for granted like
that. I'm not one of those
women, er...So I am very heavily
protected when it comes to fans getting near me.
I'll talk to them, I'll do whatever they want,
but I won't be balled by them."
Toyah, grand dreamer and shrewd determinist,
wishes it known that she's really just started.
Everything thus far has simply been experience
for the ultimate.
in a very tricky situation," she puzzles,
locked away from external reality in this
dressing room. "I've got so many movies in
the pipeline. I've got an enormous worldwide
record deal in the offing, unbelievably big,
along with a world-famous producer wanting to
work with me - someone who once had trouble
finding a producer who liked my voice. It's an
offer you can't refuse, no matter how rebellious
you're supposed to be."
and fortune at all costs?
offers are going to give me something that I
wouldn't really like to be, but are going to give
me the chance to do things in later life. I need
fame and fortune to carry on my own ideas. My
ambition is to be self-financed, not to be held
down by censorships and thing like that. I just
want to be completely free and have time to
myself and buy people for a change rather than
them buying me." She laughs her stacatto
giggle, as if to say she doesn't mean it - she
Willcox dreams her dreams - and lives some of
not leaving my punk fans behind atall," she
reprimands me, though I don't really care.
"That's where the original chaos comes in. I
always want to have that sort of energy there. I
want to be big because it means I've got a good
chance of fucking the whole world up." She
pours her conversation into a dream. "Which
is a really nice image to have. I think it's
really great! What's the point of having a good
thing on a small scale when you can have it on a
big level, and let everyone suffer it? It's a
fucking great idea.
idea of a good time is seeing a world revolution
and no-one knowing what to do, when everyone
dumps the cars and starts looting."
like you will be the first to go when that
threaten me but I'll enjoy it very much. Don't
worry, I've got my fair share of tommy guns
you, her public.
25th October 1980