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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!
The Fripp/cox’s had one of our best Christmases ever. I hope you did too.
Robert was home from a very successful tour and in a party mood. (as party as Fripp gets, he will never hang from a chandelier like some of us). I finished all work that required me to travel by the 15th December and the two of us set about catching up with all our friends we haven’t seen for months.
This was the first Christmas we both had without feeling loss and absence over parents being gone and loved ones not being with us any more.
I think 2016 was such a shocker for losing people it has made the two of us value every moment. Seeing our friends had a new passion of cherishing them in the moment, they became super valued and we are grateful for having them in our lives. A favourite moment of mine was making Simon Darlow two monster margaritas….. and I mean MONSTER….. Simon being the hardened musician he is took this in his stride but the evidence was there as Robert and I walked him and his wife to their lodgings and his knees were buckling.
Perhaps not a socially responsible thing to do to a friend but he was having a great time and he wasn’t alone……Robert was by his side as a drinking buddy, having abstained for 4 months on the road, making sure Darlow didn’t feel lonesome.
If you can’t indulge at Christmas life might get too hard. I’ve made a few people cry this Christmas…in a nice way.
Last year I discovered a wonderful artist called BRIDGET STEEL-JESSOP. She was exhibiting at my local gallery and I immediately asked to buy her small but brilliant collection but it had sold within 4 minutes of the show opening.
Bridget has become a friend and a person I very much admire, she discovered her talent whilst working with teenagers who showed destructive and suicidal tendencies. She has an understanding and empathy that I love.
Bridget works in micro-stitching. It takes her about 3 months to complete a piece and I commissioned her to sew the ordinance survey map of WITCHAMPTON where Robert and I lived and got married. Not a small job by any means, as she has to select what has visual value and what needs to be left out.
It is a beautiful image. When Robert opened it on Boxing Day (we were too busy to open pressies on Christmas Day) he burst into tears. As did my sister, who was staying with us with her hubby, when she opened a piece by Bridget of a map of the world charting her CLIPPER RACE in 2012. This one took Bridget 4 months to complete!
My sister’s husband Frank is to me a living saint. He is one of the world’s leading lights in child epilepsy and he works beyond his human capacity to look after his patients, never wanting anything in return and never expecting gifts. He loves music and when he can he plays Spanish guitar.
Last year he saw my small home studio set up in my office with keyboards/microphones and computers and he was enamoured by it.
So we bought him his first keyboard set up. He said to my sister that now he is 75, he needs to find time to write and compose….. it’s never too late!
All in all it was lovely Christmas….. Frippy gave me so many books I need more book shelves…. my collection on the history of film/fashion and jewellery is becoming quite comprehensive. This year I hope to have my first suite of jewellery ready for sale. This will be necklace, earrings and bracelet.
I’ve been designing with LUKE GOLDSMITH for two years now but Luke being a small business with only two men at the workbenches has to prioritise his demand for wedding rings over the spring and summer months.
This leads to one of my intentions for 2017 and the future. For the past two years I have been clearing my living space, you may have read about this before. If I have an item I haven’t used for five years and it doesn’t inspire/ fit the person I have become physically and mentally/ install joy/ insight then I don’t need it and I should allow others to have access to these things.
It has taken two years to clear items I need to move on from……two years…..that’s how much “stuff” I had and non of it defined who and what I am today.
So the idea for 2017 onwards is to live a “creative life”. Remaining a working singer /writer /actress /musician, I aim to design “pop up” pieces that are not constrained in their creation by any corporate pressure. A painting. A piece of jewellery, an outfit.
Being dyslexic I am moved more by image than anything else. I wake every morning with ideas popping up in my head that I forget to act on…..I am going to try and act on them. Some people have a natural talent with technique (my husband is one) to execute these random but wonderful thoughts….I don’t,……I have brilliant instinct and will…….. technical skills are something I constantly have to re-learn because of the nature of my brain….. this is my task for 2017.
To bring these ideas into fruition as I feel they are part of who I am trying to find. Just simple pieces that allow creative thoughts to flow and bring something into the world…simple as that.
This exercise has completely changed my living pattern. Suddenly I have no time to watch TV, or to read magazines…….. life has become busier because somehow I have revealed the holes in my life I need to fill with a substance I had no idea was missing because of constant outside distractions.
These holes need filling with ‘physical-izing’ my thoughts. Developing an independent/individual/mindful/problem solving mind; with constant learning; relationship building, pushing my own boundaries and frustrations slowly forward to bring something into the world.
Oh and to have confidence in what pops up in my head too. A good example of this development in my adult life is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
THE WALK OF STARS in Birmingham on December 11th was a wonderful event. Jasper Carrot and WestSide BID pulled out all the stops to make the day as special as possible.
I was nervous. I always am to some extent. It helped to have band members Colin Hinds, Tim Rose and Mike Nicholls there with me. As I walked on stage I could see Frippy on the front row along with my brother Kim and a fabulous contingent of lifelong friends as well as a lot of fans.
It was like appearing on THIS IS YOUR LIFE, as virtually all my life was represented in the audience. We performed Greg Lake’s I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS. I don’t think I have ever performed this live and as Robert’s original King Crimson band member had just passed away it felt appropriate to perform the song.
It wasn’t easy, I had to dig my nails into the palm of my hand to control the tears but I think it sounded fantastic……people haven’t stopped talking about it.
POP QUIZ was a SCREAM! Imagine putting 6 old friends, who have all had extraordinary careers, into a studio together……we gossiped and gossiped and gossiped. I can just about remember doing the original Pop Quiz. We pop stars were and are competitive!
Re-making it in December was no different. The silent concentration before the question, the rushing gushing speeding of the heart if you knew the answer….even if you don’t know the answer, your hand was rushing to get to the buzzer asap……something bursts from you that you didn’t know you had and that was an incredible will to win against your friends, come what may.
I really hope it returns as a full series. The simple innocence of it, in light of today’s style of TV with its true connection to musical facts is sorely needed in the world of entertainment. And it features people who have had long careers….what’s bad about that! Presently I am painting A FIVE FOOT HARE for the Cirencester Hare Festival.
I am loving it! I love my hare so much I want to keep him, but he will eventually be sold to raise money for the area, after being exhibited over the summer. More on this when he is finished.
I WISH YOU A FANTASTIC 2017.
Change is still in the air as we face Brexit and much much more.
Let it all be for the better.
BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE HEARD
LOTS OF LOVE
In the past few weeks I have been travelling a lot with Mr Fripp. Our first port of call was Seattle to see Bill Reiflin and make plans for 2017. Following a sabbatical, Bill is back to work with King Crimson and once there is a break from that band he is back with THE HUMANS. King Crimson record their version of the HUMANS “GET IN YOUR CAR” in June this year, in Seattle, Bill is producing which means it’s going to be SUPER COOL.
This is for a single release either autumn 2017 or into 2018. America was very tense. We arrived three days before Trump’s inauguration. I have never known the atmosphere to be quite so apparent, every one twitching. Seattle is not Trump territory and the city was gearing up to support the WOMEN’S MARCH on the 21st Jan.
The day before the march many, many undercover police where on the streets…. Not being so undercover….they were so obvious they outnumbered the good citizens of Washington state. It all remained friendly, but it was a different America. The Women’s March was special. Hundreds of thousands travelled to be on the march. All our Seattle chums, Bill, Frankie, Kirsten, Karen (THE HUMANS official photographer) and many more marched all day. Robert and I supporting, observing and catching up with them through out the day.
Did we actually march? No, we had to be careful, we both rely heavily on access to the USA for our creative work and as it was I was pulled over at passport control and asked why I travel there so much and ….”is your name Mexican?” Really? My name is after a Texan town called TOYAH!!!!!!
We were there for a week and the talk never really detoured from “you know who”…….the elephant on the planet. We are trying to persuade our USA friends to move to the UK and they are sooooo close to saying yes because for the first time in my memory……they are frightened. We only made it back to the UK for a few days.
Myself to play Warrington….what a fabulous show. And thank you Daily Mail…..your extensive photos of my accidental see through top may have done more for my career than gleaning a 5 star review for AAAAAAAAH! in the Daily Telegraph…. the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Hopefully a mere coincidence.
On the Sunday night after the Warrington show I was reading the online news papers and as usual feeling thankful I wasn’t in any of them, because these days newspaper coverage is usually accusatory and then I saw it….. me in the Daily Mail and I thought “oh shit, what have I done!” and when I saw the photos, which I think are quite bloody fabulous I fell on the floor laughing and sent the article to the band headed WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME MY NIPS WHERE VISIBLE….to which Mr. Doble replied ……YOU LOOKED GREAT!
That said I am making sure my costumes are NOT see through for the 80s INVASION TOUR….. I am too old for this kind of exhibitionism. After Warrington I made it over to France. I needed to find out how Brexit is going to effect the Brits out there and as usual no one knows. My home is in Menton, a place I am not ready to leave. It is magical, beautiful and inspiring. I suppose I have three years to wait to see how the French will treat us Brits….. as interlopers or not.
The HARE is near completion. I have loved doing this project. Obsessing over what and how to paint a 3D statue.The subject matter came to me after many many other ideas passed through my mind, a lot of test drawings were made and suddenly I had a totally different idea and followed it. I want it to remind the viewer of the eternal child in us all.
That love transcends the physical and I want it to remind all my friends with cancer that they are never out of mind. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this year. Everything in the calendar is welcome.
The 80’S INVASION will be a scream and over way too soon. I love working with other artists. Seeing how they work and learning about them. We are going to towns and cities that I love…..one of the best things about touring like this is you see a lot in a relatively short amount of time.
This is going to be fun! I hope to see you there.
BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD
On Saturday my HARE was collected ready for the launch of the CIRENCESTER HARE FESTIVAL on the 9th March and I have to say seeing the sculpture go made me tearful.
It has been three months of really fun, satisfying problem solving, learning new skills and using every spare second available to get him finished. I fell completely in love with him.
There is rumour he will be exhibited outside The Cheltenham Everyman Theatre for the next 6 months. After that he will be auctioned to raise money for a children’s charity, which I am very happy about. The web page will keep you posted on this. He is called WHEREVER HE IS SHE WILL FIND HIM AND HOLD HIM IN HER ARMS.
I want to thank Sean Chapman, who was my assistant for 6 valuable days and is accomplished in acrylics, a medium I have virtually never worked with before (I am experienced in water colour). Sean guided me and taught me to be brave with the paints. The particularly scary thing for me was working on a 3D sculpture and finding perspective. I found this a constant challenge, for Sean it was fine, but even he had moments of “no, lets do this again!”
In December I did many drawings for potential designs. Gardens, forests, seasonal visions but they didn’t quite represent what was in my heart and then I thought….well the Hare is looking at the sky…what if someone was looking back at him…..and what if the distance and the improbability of that distance didn’t matter to their relationship….…love transcends everything……then I had it…..A CHILD ON THE MOON! This inspired me to create many mood boards. Stills from feature films, photos of my own hair in the morning, children’s wonderfully miss matched clothing attire, morning mists effecting skylines etc.
Before Christmas I visited a friends alternative Christmas tree exhibition in the church where my parents rest in the graveyard. My friend was raising money for the stained glass window. The window has one of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary in glass and I was intrigued by the cloak she was wrapped in……. the design on the cloak made it into the child’s dress.
Presently I am on the 80s INVASION TOUR and loving it!
I love my set:
GOOD MORNING UNIVERSE
THUNDER IN THE MOUNTAINS
BRAVE NEW WORLD
IT’S A MYSTERY
I WANT TO BE FREE
It rocks! ROCKS! ROCKS!
The band are fabulous, the lighting and the sound are mega…what a joy.
Spending time with the artists is a luxury I am grateful for. Usually we are all rushing off but we get time together during sound check and the run up to the show.
Paul Young, China Crisis and myself…….we have known each other for decades but Martika is a new addition to the UK fold and we adore her!
Her music is sublime, the rhythm, her astonishing voice and her energy are inspiring. We love to sit around the meal table and catch up about the 30yrs we didn’t know each other! After the tour I hit the ground running. Completing the shoot on Hound….while the weather is good and the spring is erupting, important continuity for the remaining scenes.
There are many great gigs coming up.
As well as the UK, I have Spain, Gran Canaria and Gibraltar to play, this is an exciting year. On top of this the whole Fripp/Cox creative team are moving to live in our town. Robert’s offices are moving locally too. This is a huge move for all of us. It means no more travelling two hours for meetings.
Robert’s creative team will all be within 100yards of each other.
We are expecting this to accelerate production ideas and open totally new doors for all of us……I am very excited! Painting the Hare has given me a passion to do more art/design projects. I wish there was more time in each day…like an extra 24hrs per day. Right I am off to Shrewsbury to soundcheck and walk along the river!
I hope you catch the show…it is fantastic.
BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD!
HELLO FROM FRANCE,
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to make it to France more often this year, having not been able to spend time here in 2016. I have a much loved apartment Menton, which looks over the Old Market, the Jean Cocteau Museum and the sea, it is as close to paradise for me as I can get.
Last year I thought I’d look at Antigua or Majorca for possible bases but my heart remained firmly in this historic town where the hustle and bustle reminds me of Worcestershire and the blue sky reminds me of a Hockney painting. It is the one place I can recharge my batteries and rather surprisingly nothing slows…it is a living, breathing, bustling community, where the day starts with the dawn.
The scenery is so extraordinary I find myself looking at the views all day completely blissed out. The Maritime Alps swoop right down to the edge of town and then the sea glistens back at you.
Robert and Bill Rieflin are home in the UK, Bill returning to work with King Crimson this year is based at our UK home. At 11pm last night he e-mailed me to ask what time Tesco is open till……..i am in France! He is 75feet from a Tesco. I came here to recharge my batteries after a fantastic 80S INVASION TOUR. OMG I loved every minute.
The audiences where fantastic and I loved winning new fans from those who had come to see either Paul Young, Martika or China Crisis. It felt rewarding from beginning to end.
I had endless fun winding up the China Crisis boys, sewing up their stage cloths so they couldn’t get their jackets on and various other things.
Being in a different theatre everyday inevitably musicians and artist get lost. The first hour of arriving for a show is spent trying to find civilisation among antiquated rooms. Theatres can be outlandishly spooky. I kind of like it because it means you can jump out on people and they are already wound up like a spring and ready to SCREAM!
At Liverpool a long time friend, John Wynne, came to see the show and when he was brought back after to see me I remembered a particularly tense holiday in Sitges with him where he continually jumped out of wardrobes at me, making me a nervous wreck….. so when the theatre manager bought him back stage I waited in a dark recess and got the bastard…he screamed YOU F—–! Paul Young and Martika popped their heads around the door to see what was going on… fabulous.
As a keen follower of astrological influences we are all experiencing a testing time due to VENUS being in retrograde, it started around the 5th March and finishes its influence around the 9th May, then we have the end of Mercury in retrograde to deal with until the 18th May. I try to love these influences and write during them.
But it is testing. I feel as if I am about to drive off the edge of the world everyday.
So whilst enjoying the tour beyond measure, off stage I was dealing with unbelievable technical issues. As I drove home through the night after Edinburgh my relatively new car developed a computer fault so the accelerator wouldn’t work. Home by 4am, I called the garage by 8am who took a week to fix it then once back on the road it did exactly the same coming home from Chatham.
To say I was really bloody hacked off was an understatement so I got rid of the car, ended my 20 year relationship with Peugeot and picked up a new car and new make….. thank you to the local dealer who genuinely helped me….. you now have a customer for life.
AHHHH as I write, here in France, another e-mail from Bill “the massage you booked me today, is it still on?” the massage in question is next door to where we live….. 10ft away from our front door.
There is so much happening, as usual that I cannot talk about. One of the projects I am ending the year with is thrilling beyond belief. I am going back into theatre in November to be in a production I was involved with 40yrs ago…….. it promises to be WILD, outlandish and outrageous…..my role in it this time is just perfect for me today….. I would have never have believed this would happen in a million years.
It is only April and it feels like summer is upon us. For the next 6 months there are fantastic shows coming up and I am praying for hot sunny weather.
Don’t be confused if you see my diary listing two shows a day, because this is happening a few times over the summer. Also I am off to Gran Canaria, Alicante and Gibraltar to work.
Simon Darlow and I are writing/recording and fingers crossed will have a new material release this year, also Sunday All Over The World’s KNEELING AT THE SHRINE is very close to release.
I love the writing process. It always feels like something alive and alert is trying to move through your fingers and burst out into the world, initially, then the chance to hone and readdress the thought process bonds you to it like no other.
It is a process where you can hate yourself intensely, love yourself intensely, doubt yourself intensely, believe in yourself intensely and discover yourself all over again.
All good here.
BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD