Tag Archives: awards

➤ The true story of how love helped Gary Kemp write the next line

❚ WHY DID MUSICIAN GARY KEMP find it so “hard to write the next line” in the biggest smash hit love-song of his career? He was not hobbled by writer’s block, but was tongue-tied in admiration of a “wee Celtic pixie” who sang in a Scottish pop group and starred in the hit British romantic movie of 1981.

At exactly the moment his band Spandau Ballet were desperately trying to rescue their flagging fortunes in 1982, Gary was smitten with the pretty girl. The trouble was that she had two other rivals vying for her affections. Honour required discretion, and his love remained unspoken while the three admirers stood hopefully in line. When his beloved gave Gary a book as a gift, suddenly its “words bubbled up inside, percolating through me”, he said years later. He knew he had to send them back to her in a song “so she’d know it was about her” and for double measure added the tell-tale line “I want the truth to be said”.

books, Lyrics of Gary Kemp,Lyric Book Company,

As it happens the Spandau songwriter has recently published an 88-page coffee-table book, titled The Lyrics of Gary Kemp from Lyric Book Company

Gary pretty much identified his never-to-be sweetheart in the autobiography, I Know This Much, published in 2009, where he convincingly dovetailed the one-sided romance with a sequence of other events to account for the genesis of his band’s first No 1 hit, True. In the light of which, perhaps fans can better relish the song-words, when they are re-published this week in a book titled The Lyrics of Gary Kemp.

The very keen will want to invest in the special limited edition signed personally by Kemp and available exclusively through his own website Garykemp.com. The collection represents a songwriting career that has spanned four decades.

All the lyrics from all his songs for Spandau Ballet, plus his solo album Little Bruises, make up this anthology of 60 tales of love, loss and of course London… from growing up in Soho in the 1970s (Chant No1) to the entirely autobiographical 1983 hit about unrequited love (True) through to bittersweet reflections on life (An Inexperienced Man, the solo single in a Celtic groove, released in 1995).

BMI MillionAir, awards, True, Del Bryant, Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp and BMI President and CEO Del Bryant: at the 2011 BMI London Awards in October, Kemp received a BMI MillionAir award for the song True. (Photo by Brian Rasic)

Kemp is widely acknowledged as one of Britain’s finest songwriters, and won this year’s prestigious BMI Multi Million Award for True after it notched up 4 million radio plays in the US — a significant achievement for a song released in the 1980s — partly because it embodied enough of “the sound of my soul” to be played on black stations too. The song was written on his bed in his parents’ north London house at the age of 22, while he competed with his mum’s vacuum cleaner. At the awards ceremony, he said he’d never imagined True going on being used in films and TV shows as different as The Simpsons, Modern Family and Ugly Betty.

“If you can write one song that’s still being played 28 years later, you’re lucky! We were playing at a time when a lot of people only bought records, they didn’t buy computer games. Music is much more important to that generation.”

The 88-page coffee-table book, The Lyrics of Gary Kemp, is presented bound in a cloth cover, and the first 250 will be personally autographed.

➢ A regular hardback edition of The Lyrics of Gary Kemp (from The Lyric Book Company Ltd) is also available through Amazon


➤ Katy’s Firework finally falls to earth but the gay kiss will live happily ever after

Katy Perry, Firework, pop video, censorship,gay kiss,MTV, awards

Fireworks in Firework: British TV viewers see only a pixelated version

❚ YESTERDAY KATY PERRY’S SINGLE FIREWORK finally fell out of the UK singles chart after 58 weeks, having left the US Billboard Hot 100 last July after 39 weeks, and selling 4.7m copies in the US. To date, the video has been viewed 253m times on YouTube, and picked up MTV’s video of the year award.

Despite depicting fireworks shooting from Perry’s chest, this daft yet lavish and cinematic promo video shot in Hungary was censored for British television because it captured the fleeting kiss shown above between two young men. Yet many another video has failed to raise such outrage. A year ago when Firework had reached No 4 in the UK chart, Shapersofthe80s went in search of 20 gay kisses in pop that did make it past the censor.

The UK leg of Katy Perry’s California Dreams Tour 2011 returned to the UK at Sheffield in October and ended in Dublin this week.

❏ iPAD, TABLET & MOBILE USERS PLEASE NOTE — You may see only a tiny selection of items from this wide-ranging website about the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and site index either click on “Standard view” or visit Shapersofthe80s.com on a desktop computer. ➢ Click here to visit a different random item every time you click


➤ Step up Dr Nick Rhodes, honorary scholar at Luton in Beds

Love the New Romantic outfits! Popstar Rhodes today with the eggheads of Bedfordshire. Photo courtesy Gerard Franklin

➢ From the newsdesk of Duran Duran:

❏ Star names from the worlds of music and cinema joined hundreds of graduates from the University of Bedfordshire at ceremonies today in Luton. Duran Duran keyboard player Nick Rhodes, music producer Peter Asher and film producer Katy Haber were among those being honoured during graduation week at St Mary’s Church. Each received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree.

Nick Rhodes is being recognised for his contribution to the music industry as a songwriter, performer and producer. Katy Haber, who starred in films such as The Getaway and Cross of Iron and co-produced sci-fi classic Blade Runner, is recognised for her outstanding career in the film industry. Producer Peter Asher is being recognised for his distinguished career in the music industry, working with global stars such as Cher and Neil Diamond.


➤ Does chart-topper Adele really need to be on the Mercury shortlist?

Mercury Music Prize 2011, shortlist,

Mercury Music Prize 2011 shortlist: 12 contenders for album of the year

Bring Me The Horizon, Mercury Prize, shortlist 2011, Guardian poll,music❚ BRING ME THE HORIZON (pictured), a British metalcore band from Sheffield, topped a Guardian reader poll (now closed) to predict contenders for this year’s Mercury Prize 2011 shortlist for albums of the year. Announced today, girls include Adele, Katy B and P J Harvey, with Elbow and Tinie Tempah among the boys, but not many bands. Amazingly the Guardianistas’ favourite metal band does not get a mention. Two months to wait for the awards themselves.

➢ View Guardian video verdicts on the
Mercury Music Prize nominees

Is the Mercury Prize there to reward commercial success? Guardian music supremo Caspar Llewellyn Smith says the shortlist calls into question what the prize is for: “If Adele’s on the Mercury shortlist, why don’t you have Take That as well?” — Caroline Sullivan, Tim Jonze and Smith review the runners for 2011.

➢ In the Telegraph, chief rock critic Neil McCormick believes this shortlist is the start of a new sound in pop

It is an interesting Mercury Prize list this year, that suggests to me a nation of adventurous musical talent, stirring a bubbling cauldron of musical possibilities, and starting to forge something new. This is the sound of pop at a crossroads, looking out towards new horizons. It’s interesting how well all these albums actually sit together, from the mainstream pop successes of Adele, Katy B and Tinie Tempah to the dreamy underground experimentation of James Blake and Ghostpoet; the intelligent, emotional songcraft of Elbow, PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi and King Creosote & Jon Hopkins to the multifarious genre adventures of Everything Everything and Metronomy…

❏ FOOTNOTE Tell the Guardian how good or otherwise you thought their seven-day survey A History of Modern Music — in the course of which there isn’t one, NOT ONE direct reference to J-a-a-a-a-ames Brown, the father of funk.