Date: 20 June 1983
Originally published in: Liverpool Echo (UK)
Written by: Peter Trollope
The thought seemed remote. The conversation as surely surreal as the summer sunshine that glinted off the gold discs purposely placed with spirit-level precision around the walls. They told their own story. Success begets success. The room had the rich smell of the very rich. A long, large leather settee stretched wall to wall and there in the middle sat Kim Wilde, at ease and at home among the familiarity of fame. The Pop world has its own claustrophobia. It’s very own insular isolation where everyday events are every day forgotten, but there was Kim Wilde, talking about Liverpool, the dole, and Binns Road.
“It’s hard to imagine just what it’s like not to have a job, to be dumped on some scrapheap. You look in the papers, you read the figures of people out of work and it just passes you by. You just don’t take it in.”
She pauses for a moment and tugs at a strand of hair. The real point of the conversation arrives in a quick hurry of words: “I was watching television and it really comes home to me just what it means. It was on the news the other day about United Biscuits in Liverpool, about the 2,000 there facing the sack, and I suddenly thought that’s where my Nan used to work, imagine what it would be like for her now and her friends. I knew she would have been crushed to have been given the sack. I could feel a bit of the pain the people there must be feeling. It’s stranger really the way things go, unless you get a personal way into things they can just pass you by”.
Kim is no stranger to Liverpool. In her teens she would idle away hours window-shopping in Lord Street. Her mother Joyce was one of The Vernons Girls, and her grandmother still lives in Huyton.
“I don’t get up there as much as I would like anymore. Being in London and part of all the excitement you can become cut off from everything else. I’ll never be that way. It’s a choice really, you can eithyer be yourself or be something somebody else wants you to be.”
Her career has been guided with parental intuition and the experience of her father former Fifties idol Marty Wilde. “He found out things the hard way, and he was determined I shouldn’t make the same mistakes.”
She sits back on that rick settee. It belongs to Mickie Most, her record boss, and someone else who has a keen interest in her career. His office is a testament to someone with the Midas touch with pop music.
“Let’s face it,” she says, “I could have been totally exploited like some people are. They have no say in anything, what they sing, what they wear, where they go. I would never let that happen to me, never…” She takes the obvious contradiction with being portrayed as a sex symbol in her stride. It’s as simple as the slight blush that come on her face and quickly goes. “I’m not an insecure person. I am my worst critic, I don’t have a temper although I can turn on someone when I do get nervous at times. What does make ME mad? Well I hate that dumb blonde Marilyn Monroe thing.”
Two things are immediately obvious. She isn’t dumb, and she isn’t blonde naturally. Kim’s real colour is a mysterious dark root secret, but there’s no pretence about the peroxide finish. Her bright eyes smile – the only outward signs of an inner joke that is slowly about to make its way public. The last year has been spent out of the charts and most of the limelight working hard on a new album and single.
“Actually the single is due out in July. It’s called..” she pauses for that inner joke to burst out into a giggle… “It’s called Love Blonde. I guess you could say it’s me coming out.” She talks enthusiastically about the song. “I’ve decided to change my image just for the single. People have always said that I haven’t looked the part of a sex symbol in the past, y’know me I’m happier in jeans. Well this time I’m really hamming it up.”
This includes wearning a black leather dress that clings where it should and it shouldn’t and has no back to it. “It’s totally stunning and incredible to wear, and is not what people usually think of when they think of Kim Wilde. But honestly you couldn’t really wear anything else for the song, and she promises to play it to prove the point.”
Mickie Most obviously likes to hear his music LOUD. The speakers roar into action. Kim skips and dancer around teh room to the laid back strutting beat that’s almost Wilde senior in its vintage. Kim lets herself go and for a few fleeting moments sings along… “Uhu I’m a Love Blonde… Ooohooo… woaooh…” The hips whip from side to side. Bellissimo burlesque.
Will she worry if it isn’t a hit? “It’s always at the back of your mind, but I have always wanted my career to be a long one. I want to still be singing years from now, so you choose your songs carefully, and work hard to make as much effort as possible to set them in the charts.”