09 January 2012

TOYAH
PRESS
ARTICLES
1987 - 1988


1987


THE CHANGING
FACE OF TOYAH


From rebellious Princess Of Punk to highly acclaimed actress, Toyah Willcox has proved herself a versatile performer. Currently appearing as Wayne Sleep's leading lady in the West End hit Cabaret, she took time off to talk to Penny Farmer

Outrageous, raunchy, rock rebel, sex symbol - Toyah Willcox has been dubbed all of these in the past. But today she's accepted and successful, and what's more she's achieved it with little compromise to her rebellious outbursts and zany looks.

Her career has been as varied as her wardrobe of clothes and make-up. And far from resting on her laurels, 1987 finds Toyah a mature and accomplished performer with a star role in Cabaret. She also has a new album out next month, which follows hot on the heels of a recently released single.

Married last year to rock musician Robert Fripp - the legendary figure behind King Crimson - Toyah is adamant that marriage has not changed her. "I never want to give up work, I enjoy it too much. I've no plans to have a family as I feel I've no connection with children. Anyway they're too much of a responsibility," she says.

It would seem the old outrageous Toyah is still there but under a different guise. The new guise was reflected in Toyah's wedding gown. Out went the famous day-glo clothes and accessories and in came a frothy off-the-shoulder gown in pink and champagne satin with leg of mutton sleeves, topped off with a veil. But, with typical Toyah flourish, her hair was orange and her pink shoes had black heels. "We weren't going to bother dressing up but I changed my mind at the last minute," says Toyah with a grin.

Her greatest accolade came last October when she was invited to sit next to the Princess Of Wales and give a speech on the theme of "Vision" at the annual Women Of The Year Lunch. "I enjoyed it immensely, It had such a good feel to it - the atmosphere was alive." she admits she had some butterflies before she spoke. "But there was such a great feeling of unity and lack of aggression that in the end my speech took over any nerves I had."

Toyah looked almost conservative for the occasion, dressed in a black satin suit - though her hair was brashly brassy! "I know I used to look outrageous, but in Birmingham, where I grew up, people didn't make any effort to dress up and I didn't want to end up like them," says the woman who at 15 dyed her hair bright blue and wore her fringe in a point down her nose. Since then her hair has been pink, green, yellow and orange, and worn in a variety of weird and wonderful styles.

"The way I looked a few years ago used to shock people. I was three stone overweight and very broad. At one stage I had all my hair on top shaved off, leaving the long points at the sides.

"At drama school they said I was too distinguishable and I wouldn't get anywhere with such a strong image. I think that was codswallop! I can always wear a wig and different clothes and make-up."

As expert make-up artist, Toyah produced her own range of cosmetics in 1982.

"I rarely go out without some make-up, and if it's a special occasion it can take me up to two hours to apply it and get the effect I want. I find it's a good way to relax."

It's just as well she feels this way as her make-up for Cabaret takes her about one and a half hours to do. But eight performances each week tend to take their toll on her skin, so she's now following a strict beauty regime. "I find the stage lights really dry out my skin so each night after a performance I cleanse my face thoroughly. I then put on a mud pack to lift excess oil and finally moisturize with a good hydrating cream."

Once a week Toyah treats her hair with henna wax. And once every two months she has her naturally dark brown hair professionally bleached a "honey blonde". "I'd never go back to my natural colour - I like being blonde too much," she says.

In her stocking feet she stands just four feet eleven, but what she lacks in height she makes up for in personality. "When I was younger I would have dearly loved to change my height, but now I accept what I look like. I spent years hobbling around in stilettos trying to look taller, but now I prefer to bounce around in flatties. I feel much more energetic." Short she may be, but Toyah's certainly in proportion, varying between a size eight and ten. "I like to make the most of my small waist with well-cut, fitted clothes."

Toyah's favourite designers include English Eccentrics, Claude Montana and Japanese designer Issey Miyake. "I like wearing loud clothes and designs with some black in them, but on the whole I tend to ignore fashion."

Toyah keeps her seven and a half stone frame in trim by regular work-outs in a London club - weight lifting three times a week, and body control exercises twice a week.

She is an environmentalist and a strong believer in the survival of threatened species. For these reasons she's a vegetarian and hasn't touched red meat for the past six years. Toyah also takes vitamins every day, "I think they're vital for keeping your system perked up."

So where does the future lie for this multi-talented performer? "I'd like to keep both my acting and singing careers going. One area that I haven't worked in and would like to is American films and television. I'm just waiting for a good offer to come along. One thing's for sure, I've no intention of giving up. I'm a workaholic."

By all accounts the ever changing face of Toyah looks set to be around for a long time yet!

Star Magazine
1987


CASTAWAY

Films are no mystery to actress turned rock star turned actress again, Toyah Willcox. She sets off on the journey to her desert Island with one of the best collections of videos you could wish for. Some are serious, some are just good fun - but they are all films worth a second look.

The multi-talented Toyah Willcox is no stranger to the world of film and video. She first came to the public's notice in Derek Jarman's controversial "punk" film Jubilee. She was a big hit in The Tempest by the same director, and played Monkey in the cult film Quadrophenia.

Her International success as a pop star has given her the freedom to work in a number of different areas. She has just completed a movie with Roger Daltrey - Murder, the Ultimate Grounds for Divorce - which is available on video, and K-Tel have released a rock compilation of her in concert (entitled Toyah, Toyah, Toyah)

Currently starring in the West End stage hit Three Men on a Horse, the busy Toyah found time to talk about her ten favourite movies, all out on video.

"Life on a desert Island would be brightened up by frequent screenings of Ken Russell's Altered States. I usually reserve watching it for the early hours. What a weird movie but there is the mark of genius there. William Hurt, the star, has a great screen presence.

"Russell is a very controversial director, but like Derek Jarman he takes risks, and the result is usually stimulating to say the least! Russell film is always worth watching - you know you're going to see something out of the ordinary.

"I've always had a real soft spot for An American Werewolf In London. I think mainly because it really shows the difference between English and American mannerisms! Also, the special effects are extraordinary.

"It's a real 'state of the art' horror film. A great mixture of horror and tongue in cheek humour.

"My next choice is a little more serious, I suppose. If you want to sit down and watch a really well-made film, then A Man For All Seasons is one of the finest around. The acting is outstanding in all departments, and there is a chance to catch avery young John Hurt.

"I like the combination of historical subject matter and a very modern script. It's not too wordy and the director, Fred Zinneman, really knows how to handle actors. There is also a great cameo by the marvellous Orson Welles.

"Talking about well-made films, I love A Letter To Brechnev. It shows that we are capable of making really good movies in this country. When I really want to be cheered up I like nothing more than to slot in Monty Python's The Life of Brian. Great team. Great film.

"I think the Python team have a universal appeal. They were at their peak in the 1970s, but they still have a huge following from the generation growing up in the 1980s.

"I have to include Time Bandits in the list. Again, a really good combination of humour and effects. And a great cameo appearance from John Cleese.

"That seems like a good time to mention Fawlty Towers. The whole series is a must. I don't think anyone has came close to being as funny as Cleese as Basil. I could watch them
over and over.

"I particularly like the Basil the Rat episode. If a foreigner wanted to get an impression of a hair-crazed, eccentric Englishman, then Basil is a perfectly good example.

"I wouldn't go far without U2's Under A Blood Red Sky. It's a wonderful rock video, and I think one of the most important ever made.

"I think there should be an 'epic' in there somewhere. Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus is an all-time favourite. Tony Curtis looks brilliant in a mini-skirt!

"If you get bored with looking at Tony Curtis' legs, then there is always the added bonus of seeing Kirk Douglas actually act! It was one of director Stanley Kubrick's earliest films - he went on to make 2001: A Space Odyssey."

Toyah's last choice stars the actor she would most like to work with. She picked Harrison Ford in Blade Runner.

"Harrison Ford is a very versatile actor - highly underrated. He is very convincing as the policeman in Witness, and is also a good comedy actor. His performance as the 'Replicant' catcher has to be one of the best of his career so far.

"I'm a sci-fi buff, and I think it's an excellent film, one of the very best of its type...I think I could exist quite happily on a desert Island with that lot to keep me going!"

Screens Magazine
1987


TOYAH'S MINI SECRETS

When the Princess of Wales met the former Princess of Punk for lunch she revealed a new side to her character. Toyah Willcox tells Sharon Feinstein of that meeting and talks of her own new-found happiness. Photography by Steve Lyne.

Confiding over lunch, the Princess of Wales admitted to the former Princess of Punk, Toyah Willcox, that one of her secret desires was to go out in public in a tight leather miniskirt.

Naturally Toyah was all for the idea, but Di couldn't have been convinced because the world is still breathlessly waiting to see her in a Tina Turner, thigh-length little number.

During their few hours together Toyah realised that Di could also talk about more momentous subjects, like motherhood and the meaning of life.

"There's no way that Di is 'thick', and she's certainly not coy," said Toyah firmly. "She's surprisingly aggressive, in a royal sense, in that she knows who she is, what she's going to be and what she's going to do.

"I was amazed she's such a phenomenal human being, so strong, intelligent and charismatic.

"I don't think she's a spiritual person, but I believe she will be through her children. And perhaps Charles will enlighten her the way my husband has enlightened me.

"Di's very showbiz, a film-star princess, but if you look at her contemporaries, like Princess Stephanie or Caroline, she stands head and shoulders above them. I look at Princess Stephanie and shudder."

Toyah, who was chosen to give the speech at the Woman Of The Year Lunch, was so nervous her teeth were chattering, but the Princess of Wales, kept reassuring her and calmed her down.

Toyah, 29, went on: "I knew Di was as nervous as I was at being there and in a way I wanted to be able to support her, and she really supported me back.

"She was wonderful before I gave the speech, saying things like, 'I'm so glad I don't have to do it but I know you'll be brilliant,' and 'Get on with it and have a jolly good time.'

"I showed her the speech beforehand and told her I deliberately wanted to hone in on everyone's maternal instincts, which she found very interesting.

"We talked about the fact that I don't want children, but feel enormously maternal towards the human race, and she said I'd given her lots to think about.

"She understood what I was saying, and explained her own incredible love and need to bring up her to children. She's had her battles, too, believe me.

"She's an extremely brave lady and I thin her Aids visit was a reassuring move, where she shook hands with a victim publicly, for a scared audience of relatively ignorant people.

"She did it as an example to a class of people who perhaps go to the pub each night and say, 'I want to go out and kill these gays, they'll be the end of us.' They're an aggressive, unthinking class who see the Royal Family as being up there on a pedestal.

"Di represents the enlightenment of people like that and I'm sure her Aids visit would have a positive effect on them.

"At the end of the lunch Di said it would be nice if we met again, but I don't think I could be a close friend of hers.

"The kind of friendship she needs from a woman is someone who can go out with her and let off steam, and I don't like going to nightclubs and parties so I can't offer her that.

"But I'd always give support to any good human being, and I feel that very strongly towards her."

Toyah used to be known as the brash, impetuous queen of rock 'n' roll, who would drink any man under the table, belt out her bold views wherever she was, and wear her clothes and hair in the most shocking way she could of.

But three years ago she took a long hard look at herself and decided to completely transform her life, by walking out on her bodyguard boyfriend and getting on a plane to America, cutting herself off from all her friends and either selling or throwing away everything she owned in the world.

A serene, gently self-confident woman has taken the old Toyah's place, with sparkling eyes, her blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail, and a strong sense of other people as well as herself.

In a soft, measured voice she revealed: "I was immensely unhappy, living the domestic life at home, and trapped in my own image of a zany, punk woman within work.

"I was rotting in my house, never going out of the front door to walk the sreets or do the shopping. Admittedly, the ex-boyfriend did all that, but it was his choice as much as mine.

"I got pestered so much I couldn't face the streets, whereas now when I get pestered I just tell people to leave me alone. I didn't have it in me to do that then.

"I was trapped, and to alleviate my boredom I was drinking all day and watching TV, just not doing anything that was real. I had no vision of a real, full life.

"I wanted to divorce myself from everything because I could no longer bear the sinking feeling, and if I hadn't done what I did I probably wouldn't be alive today.

"I was on the verge of losing myself, so I abandoned everyone I knew, and everything that went to make up my miserable life.

"Now I feel I've got a future and that I'm a person, whereas before I didn't know who I was."

Toyah's ex-boyfriend, Tom Taylor, decided to sell the intimate, sordid story of their life together to a daily newspaper, and nothing Toyah said could stop him.

"I said to him, 'When you sell that story you're not only selling my soul, you're selling your own'.

"He told the world he was my slave, that I drank myself silly, and walked out without a word, and there's an element of truth in all that. But I'd rephrase it to say that we were slaves, we drank ourselves silly, and we walked out without a word.

"I still feel a lot of pain at having hurt him and his family, but the reason I did it was our stagnation. Now he's got an identity instead of living in my shadow, and I've heard he's making a very good living.

"We were a very possessive couple and now we've both got freedom. We couldn't have grown in any direction together."

When Toyah arrived in America she met Robert Fripp, guitarist in the psychedelic, massively successful group King Crimson.

She knew straight away that Robert was the soul mate she'd been searching for, and they have been very happily married for the last year.

Toyah said. "The moment we met there was an overwhelming recognition. I have an honesty with Robert that I have with no one else other than my father.

"When I'm really pissed off I can talk to him about it without there being any grudges. We can sit down and map out any problem like a psychoanalyst would, and really find the root of the trouble before it becomes blown up.

"We're so much the same person. Our habits are the same, our timing's the same, and everything about is is unified. I know we're very lucky because lots of people spend their whole lives searching for a soul mate."

Toyah's starring role as Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret in London's West End was recently brought to an abrupt end by a musician's strike. "I was devastated," she says. "I'd looked forward to the run for so long, and suddenly my days were empty."

In London she spends her weeks alone in a studio flat in Chelsea, and at weekends she joins Robert Fripp at their big, rambling country house in Dorset, where they tend to the vegetables and read books.

"Physically, spiritually and sub-consciously we're committed, which means we can be apart from each other a lot. I was burning to grow in a spiritual direction but didn't know how, and Robert was the fire. I think that's why we zapped together so quickly. I don't feel different being married, although I respect the marriage ceremony and tradition. But I really take this relationship very seriously and certainly don't believe in divorce.

"I would feel great failure if we ever parted. I'd very much like this to be for the rest of our lives.

"But I passionately don't want children. It's very much something in me and my sister as well. It's not a dislike of children, just that we have no maternal instinct.

"My maternal instincts are in my work and my feelings towards the human race. Robert doesn't want children either and, of course, that makes it all very much easier."

Toyah released a new album, Desire, last week and is forming a band with her husband called Uncertain Times, hopefully for a tour of the country.

"This album has come out of turmoil and I think it'll take five years for me to really establish myself again as a singer. It's part of a rebuilding process.

"I'm looking forward to working with Robert because although we're very close on a love level, it'll be totally different to establish a relationship on a working level."

Toyah admitted that when she comes back to her empty flat and opens a tin of tuna and a packet of frozen peas, she feels terribly lonely.

She takes the phone off the hook, and plunges herself into writing a detailed diary which will one day form the basis of a book she says she's burning to write for the next generation of hopeful young female rock stars.

"I get lonely being apart from Robert during the week, especially late at night and in bed.

"Writing my diary helps a lot and I take it very seriously, because I'm hoping to write this book eventually called Women In Industry.

"I'm a woman who loves working with men but I'm a feminist, and I want to write a book about how a woman like me gets attacked by chauvinism and feminism.

"I'm not intellectual, but I'm bolshy and fight for everything I want, and I also project a sexual image, so the hard-core feminists don't like me.

"But I'm not against women at all. In fact, some of my best lessons in life have come from women.

"I'd like to write this book for the next generation who want to know about going into the theatre and the rock world, a lot of which is based on sexual power.

"If you come into the music industry purely as a feminist you are denying yourself the sexual power you need to really get somewhere."

Sunday Express Magazine
1987


ON WITH THE SHOW

The Cabaret may be over for Toyah Willcox but she's still got plenty to sing about. Jill Eckersley sounds out her new album...

Despite her stint in the West End musical Cabaret coming to such an abrupt end recently, after a dramatic walk-out by the production's orchestra over allegations of drunkeness and incompetence, the show must still go on for Toyah. For starters there's her brand new album, Desire, just out..."I wanted to make an album which expressed a lot of different emotions from a woman's point of view," she explains. "There's a modern feminist feel to it. I think we are moving into an era where independent, intelligent women feel that they can be feminine too. I'm a great supporter of women because I think we have a unique spirit, though maybe I'm not a true feminist, because so much of my work is based on sexuality."

Obviously she's committed wholeheartedly to her latest vinyl offering but surely she must have been disappointed when her role as Sally Bowles in the ill-fated musical was so suddenly curtailed? It is naturally a very sensitive subject and Toyah is reluctant to enter into slanging matches about the quality of the orchestra, who, it was alleged, played practical jokes, turned up drunk and played out of tune! "Being a rock musician, you're used to battling against lousy musicians," she shrugs. "Generally it was a happy show, and most of us stuck to the professional discipline. For me Cabaret was very enjoyable."

She has certainly moved on from the flame-haired Punk Princess of Jubilee, Quadrophenia and The Tempest. And not only has she had the controversy of Cabaret to contend with, she has also just celebrated her first year of married life to rock virtuoso Robert Fripp of King Crimson.

"Married life is fine, but I don't get much of it," she says dryly. "I have a flat in London and Robert has a house in Dorset. At the moment, we don't see that much of each other. He worked on my album with me and we've decided to work together much more in the future so that we can actually be together more."

Like a lot of working women, in and out of show business, Toyah is inclined to feel the conflict between her career demands and her relationship.

"But I could never, ever give up my career and just be a wife. My life is motivated and regenerated by my work, and I'm at my best and most balanced when I'm working. When I'm not, I just fall asleep! Besides, I think it's very important for a woman to be financially independent. Part of the basis of our marriage is that we both pay our own way. I suppose when you have children you have to surrender that independence for a time, but neither of us want children"...

She sounded so adamant about this that I had to ask her why.

"I can't identify with children at all, and I don't feel that I need them in my life," she maintains. "Any maternal instinct I have is directed towards humanity as a whole, not just a small nuclear family. We should be protecting people, animals, plants from all the new and lethal problems which affect us all. Everyone, all over the world, has the right to work, to food and warmth, so they feel it's good to be alive!"

However, Toyah avoids making any overt political statements in her work. "All I can do is give people pleasure by performing and maybe prove something by the way I live - encouraging vegetarianism, for instance," she says. "I can't change the world, no entertainer can do that, but I can at least be aware of what's going on. Great Britain is a very divided country at the moment and that distresses me."

Toyah feels that Eighties teenagers are a lot brighter and more aware than she was. "I come from a middle-class background, and it was only through Punk that I became aware of the desperation and frustration of working class problems," she admitted. "I'd never been unemployed, so I didn't know what it was like. I'm very concerned to keep people off drugs, too."

She also feels that AIDS poses a different kind of sexual pressure from the kind she grew up with. "If you didn't sleep with a boy on your first date you were ridiculed," she said. "Pressures like that have got to change and women have to learn to say no. As for AIDS, well, casual sex has never appealed to me. I'm a one man woman. In fact I think the AIDS threat is going to save a lot of show business marriages! If you have to be apart a lot, unfaithfulness can be a problem. On the other hand, if you're single and you meet someone you really like, it's sad to have to tell them you're not going to have sex for three months until they've taken an AIDS test! I'm also glad to see TV and the media being positive and informative, and the rock business doing such a lot to help."

It's three years since Toyah last made an album and she says that Desire is more rock oriented than her earlier work. She co-wrote most of the songs and among the musicians she used, apart from her husband, was Rolling Stones guitarist, Ron Wood. Amazingly, Toyah says her earliest inspiration came from The Sound Of Music!

"I saw it about seven times," she admitted. "I loved the innocence, the naiveté, and above all the idea of giving pleasure to an audience. That's when I decided I had to act and sing."

Maybe in Hollywood? I suggested. "I'd love to!" was Toyah's response. "I love Harrison Ford and Martin Sheen and all those American stars. I'm not sure I'd fit into the Hollywood system though. If I don't like people I tend to tell them to f... off!"

MS London
1987


SUDDENLY SHE'S SALLY

Unannounced and un-noticed, Toyah Willcox made her West End debut on Monday night, the first step to a new career.

Ms Willcox, the raucous punk rocker, was in more subdued but eminently sensible form when we met in her dressing room at the Strand Theatre.

She had just given her first performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, taking over from Kelly Hunter.

"I got to a stage last year where I had to wipe the slate clean and start again. Life had become stale and predictable. I was fed up with people expecting me to be punk and outrageous," she said.

"I gave away all my clothes and ornaments, sold everything else and went to live quietly and anonymously in America for a while."

She came back to re-settle with her husband, guitarist Robert Fripp, in a studio apartment in Chelsea and a house in the country.

Ms Willcox is no stranger to the acting world. She has appeared at at the Royal Court Theatre and the Mermaid appeared opposite Olivier and Hepburn in TV films and began her career at the Birmingham Rep.

"I started going there when I was 12 and began skiving off school to do odd jobs there. When I left school at 17 I went to be a dresser and worked with Ballet Rambert.

"But all I wanted was fame. I was very naive at the time."

She became one of the more colourful figures of the pop music world known not least for an awesome ability to consume alcohol despite her diminutive stature.

The adrenalin is currently running rapidly. She only knew about the Cabaret part in the week before Christmas.

"It's a different kind of buzz from being in a concert. When I came off at the interval I couldn't wait to get back on."

Daily Mail
1987


TOUGH GUY TOYAH

The rebel rocker who would have been equal to James Cagney.

If you should see, late at night, a small girl all alone and with very strong legs passing slowly and dreamily by the Serpentine, staring soulfully at the black swans, ten to one it will be the ex-Queen of Punk, Toyah Willcox.

And if you see a girl with snapping green eyes and a tarzan mane of flame hair bundling out of her flat window instead of using the front door, that will also be our Toyah.

She communes with the black swans as a way of relaxing and she leaves by the window because she says she's a wayward girl anyway and just plain doesn't like using doors.

These revelations by the midget giant of pop were made to me backstage at the Vaudeville Theatre in the Strand where Toyah is appearing in the comedy play Three Men On A Horse.

Foot

She was clad in a simple, long black dress, pixie boots and with green heavy stone earrings bobbing and clanking among the famous clumps of orange-gold hair.

Friend of the Royals, darling of the all-powerful Punk Generation, Toyah has one graceful foot planted firmly in the street and the other nestling coyly among the tiaras and pearls.

Some trick

During the rehearsal Toyah stripped off to her undies and displayed her excellent, sturdy weight-lifter's body and pit-pony legs - very sexy.

"I do a lot of weight-lifting and I walk in a very masculine way, so for this part I had to learn how to walk differently."

She brandished a diary the size of a large brick and says she puts down in there every little thing that happens in her life.

"One day I hope to write a book to tell women who come into the music business how to survive. No, it won't be shock, scandal, horror, and more shock."

You'd think Toyah came up ready-made, hewn out of rebellion
and want, but no: she's a public schoolgirl from Birmingham.

"When I was a kid they used to say I'd never be anybody because I was too individual.

Booze

"That irritated the shit outta me, so when the Punk movement
came along I merged with it. Handy."

About her friendship with Di and Prince Edward she says: "I support the Royals. They do good work and I do whatever they ask me.

"But," she adds, flicking the mane, "I am NOT a royal groupie."

She denies she's ever had a booze problem but she likes a gin and tonic now and then.

"I like drinking. Some people play golf, some people play cricket, I like to go home, put the stereo on loud and have a drink.

"I walk home all alone at night, look at the black swans on the Serpentine, then lie awake all night till dawn.

"Then I go to the gym and pump iron."

She's 29 and her rock musician husband is 40, a kind of reversal of the current vogue for toy-boys. She once said she would choose younger men for their bodies and older men for their minds.

"I don't think age has anything to do with it. I think men, young and old are fabulous."

She's passionately concerned about getting a new deal for the unemployed youth of Britain and helps at a centre where the kids are allowed to let their creativity take over.

Tough

If she'd been a man she'd have been a James Cagney, this Toyah - cocky, vulnerable, tough, sensitive.

"I don't want children in my life.

"I don't know who or what I am yet, so I don't think I should have children if I feel like that."

In the dim light of the star dressing room, those hot green eyes are partly hidden by the hair, but even so the passion and quick feelings snap and pop, the eyes of a woman who knows exactly who and what she is despite what she says.

Lost

"I just have this strong feeling that I'm on the run all the time, as though I'm lost and don't belong anywhere. After doing a show at night, I've still got all this energy left, as though I haven't done enough."

She stands up to shake my hand and say goodbye and you expect a much bigger woman, but she's not - she's minute and urgent and vital. That's Toyah.

Daily Mail
1987


WHY BABIES ARE
OUT FOR ME


Toyah has no doubts about what would happen if she met her former live in lover Tom Taylor again.

"He'd punch my face in - I'm sure of it," said the pop superstar.

For, even 18 months after she split up with the man who shared six years of her life, it's obvious the wounds have not yet healed.

When Toyah fled to New York, she grew close to top rock guitarist Robert Fripp, and they were later married in a secret ceremony.

But although a broken-hearted Tom bitterly attacked her in a series of newspaper articles, Toyah holds no grudges.

DIFFICULT

"I expected that to happen - and I actually respect the fact that Tom didn't say anything nearly as harmful as he could have," she said.

"I was difficult to live with, I work so much, have such a fiery temper and also need to be alone a lot of the time.

"I was to blame in that I was very, very strong and this manwas living in my shadow. Nobody should have to do that."

And she went on: "I'd told him early in 1985 that I was going to go and live on my own, but he didn't want me to.

"He wouldn't give me the space I needed - there was too much possessiveness.

"I feel no grudge towards Tom atall. I haven't seen him since - I couldn't. It's not right and it would be too painful."

STRENGTH

And Toyah was also at pains to put the record straight that their relationship was well and truly over BEFORE her romance with Fripp blossomed.

"Despite what some people have said, Robert had nothing to do with the split - that happened months before I met him," Toyah told me.

"He shouldn't have been involved in the cross-over. But Robert was a phenomenal strength to me, even though he didn't involve himself in the politics of it all."

She also revealed that they had made an incredible "no children" pact when they decided to get married.

"We've decided that we don't want kids. We didn't have the 'Blessing for the children' vows included in our wedding ceremony," said Toyah.

"I have absolutely no instincts within me to have a baby. I don't think you should have a child unless you're prepared to devote 15 years of your own life to having that personality created."

SUPPORT

Toyah went on: "I need to be alone so much that I couldn't bear to have someone dependent on me. I'd never have a child and have a nanny look after it - YOU should be there to watch it grow and support it, and I don't think I could.

"Robert feels exactly the same, and we don't feel connected to the social thing where you HAVE to have children."

And their marriage is run along unconventional lines.

Due to their busy work schedules, Toyah and Robert can be together only at weekends. Her work dictates that she spends most of her time in London, while he records in deepest Dorset.

NORMAL

"We have this agreement that, wherever we are in the world, we ALWAYS see each other at weekends," Toyah said.

"On weekdays we're on the phone at least four times a day - you should see our bills.

"I miss him so much, but when we do see each other it's wonderful. I hate being away from him - he's my best friend and there's no-one else I'd rather be with.

"Of course, I have a community of girlfriends that I like to spend some time with, but I run to Robert whenever I can.

"We go to the cinema, go driving or sight-seeing, and it's great.

"We lead a very normal, everyday life. I couldn't ask for much more."

Daily Record
1987


TOYAH

I had decided to be a bachelor girl for the rest of my life and then Robert proposed . .

Toyah Willcox shocked the pop world when she ran away to marry top guitarist Robert Fripp in a secret ceremony last year.

The colourful singer - a guest at yesterday's Women of the Year Lunch - left behind her former live in lover, Tom Taylor.

Tom later spilled the beans on their six years together in a series of sensational "kiss and tell" revelations.

Now for the first time, Toyah has decided to tell all ... about love AND the new man in her life.

Toyah's first meeting with guitarist Robert Fripp was somewhat bizarre.

They met to record an album of children's fairytale, The Lady or The Tiger, on which Toyah was to do the narration, while he provided the musical backing.

Despite her phenomenal chart success, HE didn't know who SHE was. And the flame-haired Toyah didn't realise that he'd become a rock superstar playing guitar with his group, King Crimson.

But, as soon as Robert saw her, he declared: "I am going to marry you - one day you will be my wife."

It was love at first sight, but in a far from conventional sense, Toyah, now 26, can laugh about the romance of it all, but at that time her world seemed to be falling apart.

Before she met Fripp, Toyah had split up with her lover,Tom Taylor.

For six years, they'd lived in a cosy Victorian house in London, but Toyah had begun to feel trapped by the relationship. She decided it had to end.

On the verge of a nervous breakdown she fled to New York - her personal life and career in tatters - in an attempt to sort out the mess.

Robert Fripp, who was recording in New York was on hand to offer some moral support.

Toyah and Robert then began to strengthen a bond of friendship which was to lead to the altar.

With characteristic, refreshing honesty, Toyah told me: "I went through a mild breakdown. I was hysterical all the time. All day long I'd be in tears.

"Even though I supported Tom, and I felt a great deal for him. I knew I was carrying on with something that had to stop.

"I'd known for four years with Tom that it had to be done, but I just didn't know how to do it. I was too scared to face it.

Toyah continued: "Nobody knew where I was...my parents were frantic with worry.

"But I had to sort it out myself. I HAD to get my life intoshape again."

Toyah also recalled the start of her courtship with Fripp, the avante garde guitarist whose experimental musical style has made him one of rock's most respected performers.

"What happened between Robert and me was something I'd never experienced before. It was an instant trust.

She continued: "It wasn't just the physical attraction that you get at the beginning of a relationship...just this
incredible friendship.

"In the past, Robert had said that he'd never ever get married, and after my split with Tom I'd decided to be a bachelor girl for the rest of my life.

"But he said - 'OK I'll give you three years to think about it...'

"Within six months, it was obvious that we worked together and our relationship was based on something far stronger than a sexual attraction.

"We always said that if one of us felt the need to stray, we just shouldn't get married.

"But when Robert proposed, it was so wonderful, honourable and traditional, full of chivalry, it was t

After her split with Tom, and his "kiss and tell" revelations in an English newspaper. Toyah suddenly found herself back in the headlines.

So much so, that her wedding ceremony on May 16 1985 was shrouded in secrecy.

It took place in a small village church in Dorset, with just their parents and close friends as guests. And, it was a day to remember - for several reasons.

"We both wanted a very, very quiet occasion because we wanted something that was real. You don't take wedding vows lightly," said Toyah.

"We were both absolutely terrified of doing it, but we took the vows because we intend sticking to them."

They decided to have no music during the ceremony - the only sounds were the vicar doing the sermon.

"I wore a lovely pink gown, with Robert in a smart suit and the sun was streaming in through the church windows - it was beautiful.

"The vicar gave the most amazing sermon and we videod the whole thing as a keepsake."

But despite the secrecy, Toyah and Robert were "tumbled".

Breaking into gales of laughter, Toyah recalled: "Unknown to us, there were photographers everywhere because there was a big auction being held in the manor house facing the church.

"We had to sneak past them in our wedding clothes, and race out the back door of the church after the ceremony.

"We were chased halfway across England, and we stayed with an artist friend who helped hide us away. We managed to have a week of peace as a honeymoon."

And Toyah's dad had some advice for his new son-in-law.

"My father thought Robert was mad. Then he phoned him up and thanked him for taking me off his hands," Toyah said.

"He genuinely thought Robert should have been warned about me.

"Both my sister and I are known to be very fiery, but we've both married two incredibly nice men, and my father just couldn't believe this.

"I think he expected us both to end up in jail."

And from talking to Toyah, it's clear to see that she's happier than she's ever been in her life.

"Some people think Robert's a bit weird, but that's nonsense," she said.

"He's just very quiet and not into the tacky rock 'n' roll lifestyle of all-night parties, drugs and easy sex.

"He's very sensitive and likes to live a normal, healthy life. He's the most remarkable man I've ever met.

"I have so much love and respect for him."

Daily Record
1987


LIFE'S A CABARET FOR EVER
CHANGING TOYAH


Princess of punk Toyah Willcox made her debut last night thanks to her loyal fans.

Many of them were in the audience to see the 28-year-old former rocker take her first nervous steps as a musical stage star in Cabaret opposite dancer Wayne Sleep. But her debut as showgirl Sally Bowles was fraught with difficulties. Outside, fans who had waited in the freezing temperatures outraged officials by ripping down posters of the show, while inside Miss Willcox was having her own problems.

The suspenders, stockings and dress of her flimsy costume left the flustered singer battling with clothes straps during rehearsals.

And, moments before she stepped out on stage, 4ft 11ins tall, Toyah revealed the secret sadness behind her biggest night, her husband guitarist Robert Fripp would not be in the audience.

The musician with former Sixties group King Crimson, who married Toyah last May is touring Holland before travelling to Israel.

'I wish above anything else in the world that he could have been here tonight,' she explained. 'He's so supportive and I need him more than ever.'

Toyah also revealed that she took over the role from actress Kelly Hunter despite being terrified at the prospect. 'I sat back and thought: "I can't really handle this"... but I simply decided that I would have to work at it.'

The singer's new image does not mean she is leaving her rock life behind. A new album will be released next month which also has her husband playing on it.

Daily Mail
1987


1988


TOYAH GETS HER
OWN BACK


She's been up, she's been down. She's been cosseted like a major star and humiliated like a little girl

But now Toyah is getting her own back. In the Channel 4 film Midnight Breaks, she takes her sweet revenge on the people who have made her professional life a misery.

In the hard world of rock music, she has often come across ruthless, manipulative, glossy, record company executives.

This time around she gets to be one. She plays Billy Jones, a tough rock band manager.

"I hate the character I play," says Toyah, "especially her ghastly hair and clothes, but sadly in real life she really does exist."

Toyah is coy about revealing the identity of this person but she does admit that SHE in real life is a HE.

"He should have been hung, drawn and quartered," says Toyah, narrowing her eyes at the memory. "He is no longer in the music industry and quite rightly so.

"He was totally insensitive," explains Toyah, "He used to call me into his office, listen to my demo tapes and give them marks between one and five.

"I was furious. I could have wrung his neck but he thought he had the authority to do it.

"The record company always put you under pressure to produce. They seem to forget that the creative process is very sensitive and vulnerable and that the artist must be left alone."

These days Toyah has grabbed the initiative of running her own affairs. "I like being in control of my life and I'm happy to be responsible for my own successes and failures."

Toyah is no stranger to failure. She was a huge success as a punk singer in the Seventies.

After five years of huge acclaim, her high profile disappeared. "Literally overnight the world turned me off. It was a terrible shock to my system and I couldn't understand what was going on. At the time I blamed myself and thought the world was falling down around my feet."

What Toyah needed was a knight in shining armour to rescue her and right on cue along came guitarist Robert Fripp. It was love at first sight for both of them.

"My personal life had been terrible, but Robert has given me independence and liberation for the first time. When I met him there was no way I'd go shopping on my own or drive off to Scotland on my own. Now he can't stop me."

The couple live the quiet life in Wiltshire with a rabbit called Cecil. And Toyah likes it that way.

Daily Express
1988


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