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Radio Interview with Richard Green

Source: BBC Radio Devon

Saturday lunchtime Limahl joins me good afternoon Limahl.

Good afternoon Richard.

Now how are you doing this summer? Are you doing ok?

Yeah, Iím doing ok, the hair is still spikey.

So, youíre still in the 80's look?

Well Iíve lost the mullet. But, I think me and Pat Sharp lost it at the same time, actually.

What are the memories though Limahl, of the 80's because it was a fantastic time lots of flamboyancy. Kajagoogoo were one of the benchmarks of flamboyancy in the 80's.

My sort of vivid memories really were like watching human league and really being freaked out by Phil Oakley on top of the pops with his lopsided hair and wearing lip stick and then we had the flamboyancy of Marc Almond from Soft Cell and the other strong images, it was a colorful time - people have poked fun at the 80's. I think the early 80's were very original in terms of musicians and images and of course we had that wonderful invention the synthesizer which we all started playing around with ooh what does this knob do here, twiddle twiddle, ooh thatís a good sound letís put that on the record. As I said Soft Cell, Human League, Depeche Mode and being very inspired by that.

Was it their influence then that made you want to get into it or was the influences before then, late 70's?

Oh much earlier than that, 60's actually Motown. I was the kid in the back of the classroom listening to the radio when I should of been studying, ha-ha, and thankfully for me it paid off, but wouldnít encourage any other kids to do it. I think the odds of making it in the music business are worse than the lottery.

Absolutely, then Kajagoogoo burst onto the scene, it seems like over night, but it probably wasnít that way?

It wasnít. Long before Kajagoogoo I was in Devon playing at the Hoe Theatre in Plymouth and for those of you who donít remember the Hoe Theatre it was like a shed on top of the hill and itís long gone and I was using some of my money to travel to Torquay and I did a couple of demos in Torquay because recording studios were few and far between. I think I had the music paper the Melody Maker and I said Ďoohí look thereís a studio in Torquay,I went over there and recorded a demo. I was just really starting out, I was writing songs and scribbling lyrics down and melodies in my head and running off to studios spending every penny I could and it was a really fun time doing that, I was just 19.

Do you think once you got that success that it came a little bit all at once, if you like, because some people say the longevity of acts today which is about 5 minutes of course, but you had a good few years in the spot light but perhaps would of liked longer?

I think that audiences were so much bigger then so if you did we had I think ,just channel 4 maybe had just started or it came a little bit later, I mean there were 3 channels , there was no MTV, no VH1, so you had or you appeared on tv or you had a record being played. Radio of course was so much smaller then and when you get that exposure the audiences are bigger, I think the look of Kajagoogoo was great it was interesting and the sound of that record and I know this from just constantly working with it as I travel the world with it I mean Too Shy was #1 all over the world including top 5 in America, the all important America that Robbie Williams canít even break.so I think it was a unique sounding band looking band it was a great record, I think it would of gone on longer but we as you know split up.

Yeah you did split up but lets just mention about Too Shy you said many times everybody plays Too Shy and N.E.S your calling cards if you like Limahl is that sometimes of difficulty for you because they forget that there were some other decent stuff on your album?

No, because in genre like this and like radio your time space is limited so we cut to the chase as it were, but when Iím performing live I do an hour with a band or whatever kind of show Iím doing. In Germany Iíve 4 fabulous dancers and sometimes... the musicís on tape, and obviously itís live vocal .and you know you canít keep working in the way that Iíve done in a live situation if you can only perform 2 songs. So out in the real world, the gigging world, in the performing world I do get to do a lot more and I keep getting re-booked and re-booked and I think if it was literally just because of the 2 songs that I wouldnít be working.

Now what do you think it is that their s this nostalgia thing for the 80's. weíve seen Here and Now tours being hugely successful and the ITV television series as well that was a massive success so why is it do you think at this moment in time the 80's seem to be where it's at?

Well there are a few reasons I think that through the passage of time people have realized that actually that was a great period musically and the images of those groups Adam and the Ants, is 1 I missed out, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, they were strong images and all those people are now grown up with children and theyíve got jobs and careers so they kind of go back to that period in their life when you know, they had their first kiss, their first holiday they just left home or whatever it was thatís such an important period isnít it for all of us itís a ....youíre just soaking up everything, youíre hormones are driving you crazy and its very exciting and that will stay with you all your life, those first records that you bought those first experiences ...itís just never quite like the first time.

No, youíre absolutely right. Well weíre going to do another one of youíre records now here on the 80's special on BBC radio Devon....... Limahl just tell us you mentioned there about you doing lots of gigs up and down the country, I saw you a few years ago, Swindonís festival and.... you said about your repitoire you include other peoples songs as well sometimes in your nostalgic look back at the 80's?

Well it depends on the gig, you know, if youíre doing purely a Limahl gig where fans have come to see me then I can do anything, some of my fans just follow me everywhere theyíre unbelievable especially the European ones, but if you are in a festival with other artist perhaps people are not there especially to see you but you might be part of the reason and you know youíve got to..... youíre up there for the audience not for yourself itís not about doing a favorite album track they donít know. So Iíll do Tainted Love or True Spandau Ballet because these are classic songs I love and thatís the 80's.

Now what are you doing this summer? Are you doing more gigs in the UK?

Yeah, can I plug my website?


Hey hey hey, www.limahl.com You can see what Iím up to. Iíve just had a mad 2 weeks. Actually I was in Germany then I had 3 gigs in the UK then I went to Germany, came back I had 1 day off, then I went to Paris. I was working with a DJ on something that we may or may not see later on this year.

This could be a Limahl release, could it? or a CD?

Thatís a separate thing. Iíve got other things going on in Germany, Iíve been... I was on a TV reality show last year, very original title, it was called... ready for it?

Yeah, go on.

Comeback! I canít imagine what that was all about.

I know, the mind boggles. So, but anyway, I got through to the semi-final and I was on like 7 weeks on national German TV. Iíve always had a good link with Germany because the N.E.S. was originally a best selling novel by German author, Michael Ende so it made sense for them to make it into a movie and it was a German movie basically, it was shot in Bavaria and I think some of the money was financed by German money so it was a big, proud moment for Germany back in the 80's. So when I took the song to #1 all over the world, really I was sort of flying the flag for Germany really so Iíve got a really good vibe when I go to Germany. Its almost more then here really, itís just a little bit harder to talk because ich sprechen sehr bisschen deutsch.

Well, you speak a little bit of German, thatís very good.

Whay, so there might be some stuff coming out that Iíve been writing and recording now over there and of course itís a small world now, Iím sure there will be releases, I hope it will be the UK as well itíd be mad if it wasnít, but weíll have to see what happens.

Can i just take you back a little while? VH1 the music channel of course we were saying how there werenít any music channels when Kajagoogoo first started out as you know you were part of it... they brought Kajagoogoo together. Now I watched that program with interest not just for Kajagoogoo but also for the other acts getting together I maybe wrong but it seemed to me that you werenít particularly keen on getting back together with the other lads? Would that be a fair conclusion to draw?

Well you know weíd fallen out. We fell out over the sorted topic of coin typically I donít think thereís any personal issues between the band members but certain things happened you know decisions were made and principles were broken and people get upset and itís purely business that will not allow us to get back together really I was kind of talked into it really by the crew. It was almost a TV reality situation and I kind of said ďoh, whateverĒ you know ďoh alright thenĒ was my kind of reaction and suddenly 25 crew and directors and make up and lighting people all sort of cheering and I thought ďoohĒ I think Iíve just said yes. So suddenly I was doing it I donít regret it actually all through the filming I was wondering if Iíd made the right decision, but it was great to have that moment captured really 20 years later to all get together for the first time. I mean emotionally it was a roller coaster ride I really had to shut the emotional baggage door really, there was so much under currents for me and I just kept thinking get on with the filmings thereís a lot of crew here I was really never on my own with them which made it easy, there was always a lot of technicians around and then we met about 3 weeks after the show and talked about there was possibly going to be an American tour to begin with on the back of that series and just the 5 of us, no film crews, no girlfriends, boyfriends and we disagreed on things.

Oh dear, it drifted apart again. I was going to ask if there was any chance of Kajagoogoo, that line up, getting together, but obviously it seems not now.

No, I donít think so. I think that was probably our last chance.

What about the future Limahl? Is there any chance of seeing you down here in the south west?

Every chance. Iíve got fond memories of when I was working in Plymouth and then traveling to Devon... Torquay rather to record my early demos a couple of which are on my website. I sort of dug them out, blew the dust off and digitalized them a little bit. Fantastic, great fun. Thereís talk of me doing a theatre tour in 2006, just talking to the producer/director at the moment. Really funny show so I wonít give too much away, but Iím sure that, and I love it, I started in theatre feels like Iím going back home really, itís hard work you know, itís 8 shows a week, but itís just a discipline Iím familiar with and it would be lovely and Iím sure weíll be down in your neck of the woods, if I am come see us.

Limahl weíve thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you on BBC Devon today, thank you very much for joining us.

Thanks Richard. Iíve enjoyed it too, see ya soon.

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