Strange, Steve

Born as Steven John Harrington in Porthcawl, South Wales (UK), 28 May 1959. At 15, he left Wales for London where he worked for Malcolm McLaren and befriended Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. He designed posters, choreographed videos and ran several night clubs, including Blitz. He appeared in the video for ‘Ashes to Ashes’ by David Bowie. In 1978 he formed Visage together with Rusty Egan and Midge Ure. Visage disbanded in 1983.

Kim Wilde first came to meet Steve Strange during this time. In 1982, they had a much-publicised date together, when they decided to go to a restaurant. Steve had apparently alerted the press, and so this innocent date suddenly became a media storm, as many photographers were waiting for the couple to arrive. In the days and weeks afterwards, the two were linked as romantic interests, although this was never really so. They were however friends and stayed in contact ever since.

In 1985 he went to Ibiza, Spain, and hosted exotic parties for the likes of Sylvester Stallone. In the early 1990s he was the host at the Double Bass club.
He was a close friend of Michael Hutchence and suffered some personal problems following Hutchence’s death which lead to a breakdown and several shoplifting incidents.
Strange’s autobiography, Blitzed, was published in 2002. In it, Steve describes how he is called by the press because of a supposed “whirlwind romance” between him and Kim Wilde. According to Steve, the story was set up by his PR Tony Brainsby after a friendly dinner of the two took place the night before.

Steve Strange and Kim Wilde’s professional paths croseed again when they both participated in the Here & Now Christmas Party Tour in 2002. The tour seemed to herald a new beginning as Steve formed a new version of Visage. This version never really came off the ground, although some live and television appearances happened between 2002 and 2007.

A third incarnation of Visage appeared in 2012. Steve recruited Steve Barnacle, Robin Simon and Lauren Duvall and released the new album ‘Hearts and Knives’ – featuring Visage’s first new material in 29 years – in 2013. In support of the album, the band made several live appearances in the UK and Europe in 2013. Another album, entitled ‘Orchestral’ (featuring remakes of old Visage tracks with the help of the Synthosymphonic Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra), was released on December 23, 2014.

On 3 December 2014, Steve was admitted to the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend with ‘breathing difficulties’. According to reports he was suffering from a bronchial infection and an intestinal blockage. He died of heart failure during a holiday in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt on 12 February 2015.