Date: 11 June 1988
Originally published in: Haugesund Avis (Norway)
– Are you crazy? Do you really think you’re so stupid that I’m taking up the fight with Michael Jackson on his home turf?
Kim Wilde, 27, laughs heartily, but seems almost a bit wary of the track paint. When Michael Jackson comes to Gothenburg this weekend, it is with Kim Wilde. She has the year of being a warm-up artist at all of Jackson’s concerts in Europe. Not the most grateful task in the world, but Kim Wilde takes it sporty and goes into it with her eyes open.
– I know that the audience at these concerts come to see Michael Jackson and not me. But I also know that I have many followers around Europe, not least in Scandinavia, and some of these will surely be present. So she looks happy, anyway. And when it comes to dancing, I know it’s not my greatest strength, so I just leave that job to Michael Jackson. I rather concentrate on the music.
Says Kim Wilde. And concentrating on the music she has done for many years, to the extent that this week she also released her sixth LP, “Close”, six years after her debut and breakthrough with the single “Kids In America”.
We already have a small taste of the new LP, in the form of the single “Hey Mr. Heartache”, but more generally Kim says that “Close” has a broader musical foundation than previous straight-forward pop/rock oriented LPs with her , that the English singer-songwriter Junior is the only “guest musician” and that a Todd Rundgren composition (“Lucky Guy”) is the only non-recently written song on the LP. And that she herself is listed as a co-composer on several cuts.
– Not least the latest is a development I really appreciate. In itself, there is nothing wrong with presenting only others’ songs, the history of music has many examples of exquisite interpreters. Still, I feel that I have a greater right to be here when I contribute more than just singing, says Kim Wilde, who likes to write songs often with his regular guitarist Steve Byrd.
With the family backing her
Kim Wilde is the daughter of Marty Wilde, one of England’s most popular and sexiest singers in the late ’50s, who, however, completely made the transition to the 1960s. However, if his heyday on stage is a long-ago stage, he is still a back-man. Most of Kim Wilde’s older hits were written by her father and Kim’s older brother Ricky Wilde (who himself had a few teeny bopper hits in the early 70’s), and both are involved today as artistic and financial advisors.
– And I am happy for that. In the musical field, they totally accept that I have grown up and mature and manage to stand on my own legs, so it is above all on the business side that they help me today. It’s great to know that there is someone I trust who manages the money side. It gives me better time and profits to work with the music, says Kim, who for Christmas also had a short interlude as a comedian in the duo Mel & Kim and their charity single “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree”.
No movie plans
“There are no specific plans to do anything more with Mel Smith, but I definitely want to work more with comedies,” comments Kim, who has of course also received several movie offers. And says no to every one.
– The offers I have taken consist mostly of roles as a “blonde, sexy and lovely lady”. Not exactly what some tempt most, no, states Kim who, on direct questioning, states that she is worried about teenage stars like Tiffany and Debbie Gibson.
– I was young when I broke through, but compared to these American 16-year-olds, I was both old and incredibly experienced. I had the time to grow up as any ordinary girl, something Tiffany and Debbie Gibson didn’t have. Of course, it might be good anyway, but I don’t think all the abandonment and unnatural life they are pressed into now is particularly healthy. There are plenty of examples of how unfortunate it can be to be a star at a young age, says Kim Wilde. However, without mentioning Michael Jackson by name.