THE OFFICIAL TOYAH WILLCOX WEBSITE
TOYAH’S BLOG: FEB 2016
Devastated is the only word appropriate for the untimely loss of Bowie.
I do feel as though the most important role model in my life has left the planet, left myself and most of my generation feeling adrift…..dare I say……our leader has gone. This “otherworldly” being has returned home and left us behind.
The morning the news broke I fell apart, the same uncontrolled physical collapse that took over my body when my parents passed away. Shaking from head to toe.
I was in London, 6am and I needed to wake Robert up back home ASAP and warn him. Word had gone round quickly that the BBC only wanted quotes from Eno, Tony Visconti and my husband. Robert was hounded all week by ever station around the world except ITV (this confounded us, Fripp isn’t ITV material?).
Robert refused to do press. Firstly the reality of the news took a week to sink in with him. About 6 days later he admitted he couldn’t take any more details about Bowie’s death or he was going to lose his composure and break down.
Meanwhile for me flashing through my head fantastic memories and visions of seeing Bowie for the first time, hearing Bowie for the first time, the first time I ever heard The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud. The desperate loneliness of my teenage years being nourished by this mans brilliance, encouraging me to step away from a life that wasn’t representative of who I was. With out ever knowing me, a lone teenager locked away in a suburban existence, he gave me the strength to move to London and seek my dream.
The praise for this brilliant man will rightly continue.
In the Fripp/cox household it has been discussed that no personal anecdotes, no “inside stories” will be told at this time. Only Bowie’s music and craft will be discussed.
The message he left behind for me is life is for living, even when you are dying. Thank goodness he pointed that out.
Also in January I learned many dear friends are also fighting cancer and it has left me determined to grasp every minute of time we all have left together and live it to the full, whether it be months, years or decades! Hopefully decades.
No self-pity, whatever happens to us towards the end….life remains to be lived……fabulous……GOD BLESS AND THANK YOU BOWIE.
There are some really exciting things happening this year. Work I cannot announce yet but will be announced in the press. I have 3 films in the pipeline and concerts are coming in daily. In a way the concerts are my “normality”, but apart from that I am lucky enough to continue to be invited as a writer too.
Simon Darlow and I had a meeting this week for what is our first involvement with a particular London based-project….something we have never considered attempting before. I can’t wait for it to be announced as I think it will be wonderfully anarchic. Expect the official announcement on 1st March!
After the initial e-mail asking if I’d consider penning new material for this project, I received a wonderful text from the writer/director who is masterminding this project (who I worked with 8 years ago) saying “I am LOVING getting to know your music. So much richness and depth. It is an extraordinary body of work.” After a pretty hellish January to be asked to be involved in this project was very uplifting. Believe it or not I don’t get compliments that often and when I do they do not go unappreciated.
Because I was keen to submit a large emotional span of music I have written over the years I found myself listening to VELVET LINED SHELL. My GOD…….it is F—— BRILLIANT.
I immediately e-mailed the band and said EVERY SCAR HAS A SILVER LINING is going in the set! I cried when I heard it again after about 10 years. It is so good.
For the last two weeks I have been based at my home in Menton in France, the idea being to isolate myself and recharge my brain, to escape the 10 hours of daily bureaucracy and reboot being creative. This was planned well before Christmas but we landed with heavy hearts.
Surprisingly a book I have been meaning to read for six years has lifted my whole being and filled me with joy, filled me with renewed enthusiasm. I bought the book in UNIVERSITY BOOKS, SEATTLE in 2012 whilst recording STRANGE TALES. Bill Rieflin was by my side looking for a Patti Smith book, I picked up Keith Richards LIFE and turned to Bill and said I’ve got to read this.
I love THE STONES.
CITADEL was permanently on my tour bus sound system all through the late 70s and 80s. The range of sounds, the sitar, guitars and keys are fantastic and inspired me so much when it came to making ANTHEM.
Then 15yrs later on a rainy day in Hastings, the blackening sky never relenting with rain, I was shooting some TV programme outdoors when we put JUMPING JACK FLASH up loud on the camera crew’s bus, opened all the doors and danced in the rain till we felt better again. THE STONES lift your heart.
Robert in Menton
Frank Finlay gave me this print when we were doing peter pan
The DVD of Aaaaaaaah! arrived!
So in MENTON last week, 5 years after buying LIFE, I actually managed to find the time to read it and it brought me back to life. Reading Keith Richard’s uncompromising love of the blues, his description of loving certain chords and experimenting with them. The riots breaking out at their gigs as their fame took off, it took me back to why I have fought so long to stay in this business as well as reminding me of the passion I had when I first started, more passion than knowledge but a passion that got me in the race.
AND there are names in the book who I have come across recently. I am about to be filmed in 3D for a new concert project which allows audience members to perform with their hero’s. Three weeks ago I was invited to a film studio to see the technology for myself and I was introduced to someone I had known 40yrs ago, who Keith Richards writes about, the owner of the MARQUEE CLUB HAROLD PENDLETON. He is 92 now, he was there too to witness this new technology and I was able to thank him for all he did for me in those early days.
Life has been very weird for 4 weeks. Oh …and Mercury was in retrograde too.
GO AWAY JANUARY …..let the year start anew in February!
BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD
LOTS OF LOVE TOYAH