The Big Issue : Edition 467
THE BIG ISSUE 12 – 25 SEP 2014 19 1978 PHOTOGRAPH BY GERED MANKOWITZ ENGLISH BROADCASTER AND BBC DJ MARK RADCLIFFE RECALLS THE TIME HE MET A DOWN-TO-EARTH STAR. KATE BUSH IS that old-fashioned thing: an artist. She creates this music and a by-product is that people want to know about her personal life. And she doesn’t want to tell them. She doesn’t want to put it on Facebook; it’s her private life. What she prizes over all else is being able to live a normal life with her family. The thing I found most surprising, when I met her, was that she was completely normal. She’s a really friendly, chatty, welcoming, working mum. The first time I went to her house she hadn’t had time to make any food, so she got this cheese flan from the supermarket. She hadn’t made any particular effort in what she was wearing; she was just going about her day, and that day happened to include me as well as taking her son, Bertie, to school and whatever else she was doing. She’s absolutely not crazy (despite tabloid clichés). It’s not for me to speak for her, but I don’t think she’s wildly concerned [about perceptions]. My impression was she finds it quite funny that some think she swans around in a batwing dress in a Gothic castle. Actually, she’s picking up cheese flans from the supermarket! Bush has lived outside show business, and her way of doing things is to just get on with it without distraction. She cares very much about what people think about the work. She always asks you very carefully about it. She is interested, and the reaction to records is very important to her – she pours her heart and soul into them. She is wildly imaginative and creative, and she’s fantastically single- minded, quite pragmatic about what needs done. It’s not an airy-fairy flighty idea: it’s work, it’s art, the process of creation. She takes all that very seriously. She has meticulous control over the music and artwork. Bush is a one-off, a true original. And she’s fantastically good humoured, giggly and smiley. COMEDIAN, WRITER AND ACTRESS JO BRAND SPEAKS STRAIGHT ABOUT KATE. I LIKE KATE Bush because she didn’t do what she was told, and as a woman in the music industry at the time she started, that was revolutionary. MANCHESTER PUNK AND GOLDBLADE FRONTMAN JOHN ROBB COMES OUT AS A KATE BUSH FAN. THERE ARE FEW moments of total pop genius; when something sounds so original you’re stopped in your tracks. ‘Wuthering Heights’ was just that. The fact it came out in the middle of punk only added to its brilliance. We were slavering droogs hooked to the noisy stuff. Ostensibly, Bush was mainstream; maybe EMI perceived her as a return to the rustic mid-1970s when things were fine, before the phlegm-encrusted punk thing crashed in and rewrote the rule book. That mattered little with a record this startlingly original – it felt like a punk record in spirit, because it was an uncompromising piece of art even though it sounded like there were 100 chords in it. She was startlingly original- looking as well. Her rare mix of English rose with a glint of Irish blood and a no- future starkness rolled into one made her photogenic – but above all it was her artistic vision and no-compromise spirit that was more powerfully attractive. GERED MANKOWITZ THE PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SHOT ICONIC IMAGES FOR ‘WUTHERING HEIGHTS’ RECALLS CAPTURING KATE. I WAS BROUGHT in to create the launch image for ‘Wuthering Heights’. She was very young, 19, when it came out and was wonderful to work with. Very frenetic, quite difficult to get her to focus on making an idea work, she wasn’t very experienced in having her photograph taken, which was part of the challenge. Her individuality shone through. IknewIhadtobeatthetopofmy game to produce an image that was going to complement this extraordinary talent. She was very much in control of the way she looked. When she stepped out of the dressing room and I saw her for the first time, ready for the camera, I was blown away and knew it was going to be something special. We did the famous leotard pictures [see above photo]. I chose the leotards to make a visual link with dance, which was clearly very important to her. We did four big sessions between January 1978 and April 1979. She could just look at the camera and you would melt. The pink leotard picture is one of those pictures that became iconic and represents so much. It has a life of its own and it has energy. It’s a beautiful portrait of a very beautiful young woman. » UK stories courtesy of The Big Issue UK. KATE BUSH’S RECENT RETURN TO THE STAGE WAS THE CATALYST FOR A RANGE OF TRIBUTES. SHE’S HERE AGAIN...