The original duotone spikey mullet man, LIMAHL (UK) was, oh, so much more than his legendary hair; the band he fronted KAJAGOOGOO were responsible for the 1980’s Nick Rhodes (DURAN DURAN) produced classic Too Shy (which peaked at #6 on the Australian charts.) LIMAHL immediately found solo success with his smash hit Never Ending Story giving him another Top 10 hit here. This will be the first time LIMAHL of KAJAGOOGOO has ever toured Australia!
It was my pleasure to interview Limahl a few days ago and found out more about this life, the Totally 80’s tour and his horrible experience on ‘Get me out of here, Im a Celebrity” tv show.
Hi LIMAHL thanks for your time. I am really excited about the Totally 80’s tour coming here.
Are you an 80’s girl?
Yes! I was a teenager in the 80’s
Wooooo! Yeah! Fantastic!
Although I have teenagers and they love the 80’s music, It was quite a unique period was it?
Isn’t that weird. I mean when I was growing up the music my mum and dad played influenced me, my mother liked The Stylistics so I liked The Stylistics! So if your playing 80’s stuff around the house and the kids love it, I love the way that happens, that is great. We play all sorts of music the kids and I have very eclectic music taste.
I was reading the info I got on you and I can’t believe that you have never toured Australia!
I was there 31 years ago just for promo, I did not play live. I went on countdown with Molly Meldrum and then I was basically in Sydney very quickly and that was it. So this is the first time and it looks like a fun tour with all the 80s artists and all the cities that we going to, I’m pretty excited!
I was talking to Martika just before and she is super excited too.
I am the Pommie on the tour, everyone else is American, Canadian or Australian. I am going to be flying the Brit flag.
Ha! I never realized that. You sure are!
Maybe I should get a union jack outfit!
Yes you should I was thinking that we really should get everybody to dress up in 80s fashion, I mean all the crowd.
Yes we could have a prize for the best fancy dress or something! (both laughing)
I have been to a few 80’s parties lately and I usually dress up as Madonna.
The 80’s is a huge theme isn’t it? Globally you have corporate 80’s nights, 80’s nights at radio stations, you have 80’s nights at nightclubs. I love the fact that my songs are all involved in that. I feel really lucky.
That is pretty special. I mean you had some pretty major hits! ‘Like Too Shy’
The wonderful things about the songs is that they go on far longer than my own fame. They have their own life and it’s out there.
You have been doing some of these type of concerts recently, for example Here and Now the best of the 80’s in December, how did that go for you?
They are always great because I have worked with most 80’s artists on the circuit only here, hence I worked with Katrina who is going to be on the Australia tour. The rest of the artists I have not worked with before so that’s exciting.
We all have different lives that and it’s going to be great, how they have live their lives and what destiny has dealt them and there is a shared energy and purpose. when I meet the 80s artists, it is almost like meeting old friends. we say “Oh how are you, haven’t seen you for ages!” we sit down in the green rooms and have a cup of tea or after the show we go to the bar, and reflect on stuff, it is really nice.
That sounds great!
Considering the crazy hairstyles and clothes that some have made a comeback and some that we hope would not make a comeback, how do you feel being associated with the 80’s scene? Do you look back at photos and say what was I thinking?
(laughing) Some photos are better than others!
There was so much exposure and you couldn’t control it all, so there are photos out there, I guess we all have them in our collection. We look at old photos only say OMG! These days with an iPhone you can take a picture and say I’m not going to show that to anyone and delete it. I do have photos from the 80s that I absolutely love, that I think wow, we needed an image and we tried to stand out from the crowd. The music business is very competitive and somehow and someway we managed it. You can be talented and a have great look but you still need to have that element of luck. Our luck was really me, when I met the keyboard player from Duran Duran, in a nightclub on Bond Street where I was working. I gave him a cassette and served him a drink and he was already thinking of taking on the role as a producer even though Duran Duran had only a couple hits at the time. I didn’t think I would hear from him, but I heard from him awake later he said “LIMAHL I really like the songs and I would like to produce them. I basically almost fainted! I called the band and told them he had actually called me. I really didn’t think he was going to call. It made all the difference, Nick produced our first album and ’Too Shy’ of course and he made my records stand out and get noticed. He really got behind the project. So it is great when it all comes together, it was only a small chance and it was wonderful that it all came together, the look of the band, the sound of the band, the right producers and the right record company and even releasing at the right week. We made a conscious decision to release the record the week after Christmas basically launching a new band before Christmas is basically impossible.
Speaking of Christmas, you released a Christmas song, and you had always wanted to do that, do you have anything that you have not achieved yet in Music and you are keen as to achieve?
I find that my ambitions are humble, I don’t have a record deal and I’m not recording anything new and I don’t have a manager. I just do my live shows and that keeps me busy as I put a lot of work into my live shows and that is all I do. I am very happy doing that.
Awesome! What are your thoughts on Guns and Roses getting back together?
(laughing) Completely indifferent! I am not really a Guns and Roses fan. I don’t really have any opinion on that, sorry!
Thinking back to the 80’s what differences have you found when it comes to being in the Music business?
I was a bit younger. (Both laughing) I was a young pretty boy, it was wonderful and I was new kid on the block and it was so exciting. I am from a small town up north and my family had no money and there were four kids in my family so suddenly I am touring the world and meeting Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury, Sting, Princess Margaret of the Royal family, I mean the list goes on, Boy George. and I have met so many wonderful people and traveling the world. For me at that time it was like a dream come true. Obviously now I’m older and in a way it’s all become more special because I didn’t expect to be doing it at this stage of my life. I still have the hair, I am good to myself, I gave up smoking about 15 years ago. There does come a point when you start respecting your body more and I feel a responsibility more. I take more responsibility now because there is a certain energy required to perform live and I’m not getting any younger, I am now 57 and if you say nearly 60 it sounds really old!
I am 46 next month so nearly 50.
No! you are still 4 years away from 50 that is young! 🙂
I would love to be just over 45 again! I feel very experienced as a performer. The 80’s revival started in ’97 and I been doing it since then, you know without sounding blasé, I’ve worked hard at it and I enjoy it. You know people saying what’s the best way to perform live, I say Rehearse, Rehearse, then Rehearse again, you need to feel really confident. It is quite nerve wracking going on stage, I recently did a show in Poland with about 25,000 people, it was another big 80s event. I think 50 years ago I would have found that quite difficult but I go out now and I say things to myself. “Come on, this is what you do, this is like someone’s day at the office, this is your work, get on with!” Sometimes I slap myself, but I don’t get fazed by the size of the audience or stuff like that. It does not stop me from enjoying it.
We do say Jen, we are like a Swan, graceful and elegant on the top of the water but underneath paddling like Fuck!
What a great saying! I would like for people to perceive me that way!
You were in “I was a Celebrity get me out of here” in 2012? I have never watched it. Can you tell us some funny stories about that?
Oh boy I can tell you exactly what happened! The funny story is that I threatened to leave before the show even started! Basically I had been up all night in a Bushmans Hut, I got no sleep, I was totally exhausted. There were rats running around the floor, spiders on the wall and crickets everywhere and other creepy crawlies that I don’t remember what it was. The smell was unbelievable! I couldn’t lie down because the rats would run all over me, there was no bed there was just a mattress on the floor but you couldn’t lie on it. This was a challenge to get tea and biscuits for the camp. I stayed up all night, and then in the morning I came out of my hut to meet my camp mates. Basically they kept us on the side of the hill in the sun in the heat for about four hours. They said was only going to be for half an hour but end up being four hours.So I started losing it, looking back I was delirious from the heat. I demanded that the producer came or I would leave the show. They bought me some water and I literally lay down and they covered me with this makeshift tent and I lay down in my underwear and I just poured this bottle of cold water over me.
It was the weirdest moment, I poured it over my head and all over myself because I knew that I was overheating. My heart was racing from the heat and I was feeling really peculiar. As soon as I was out of the sun I started to cool down, I started to feel better. It was a very strange experience. I think if I ever write a book I could do a really good chapter on my experience in the jungle. It started off well and I was really excited about it and really looking forward to it. I clicked with the lady that I went in with and was weird because Rosemary and I would late comers we were like the outsiders and so it was bit like us and them. You have all the other personalities and egos and all their baggage it was quite something!
Maybe I should watch it!
The whole appeal of the show is to watch the pain of others! (both laughing)
What is your secret to looking so young? Some of the other 80’s pop stars have not kept their youthful looks. Please don’t say it is being a vegetarian and doing exercise!
Ha it is being a vegetarian and exercise! No I think it is in the genes really. I have managed to keep my weight off, you hear women say that they are dieting because I have a wedding coming up well performing on stage often is the same sort of thing. I do feel that I have a responsibility to be vaguely eye pleasing,even I am approaching 60. I actually gave up being vegetarian as I became Gluten intolerant and it became so difficult to eat out so I know eat chicken and fish. I had to vary my diet so stay healthy. I felt like my hand was forced.
Thanks heaps for your time, LIMAHL, I could talk for ages more but time is up! I look forward to the tour.
Thanks Sweetheart, see you in Melbourne!