It began with a phone call. I’d been living on London with my best friend Jermaine Stewart after leaving my post as the original female lead vocalist of Shalamar on the 4th of July in 1983. The phone call came from Mariella Frostup, who at the time was the publicist for Phonogram Records. I’m told this was at the behest of organizer Sir Bob Geldof who was assembling some of the greatest pop and rock artists of the time and Shalamar had been blazing hot in the UK in this era. The only other American act included were members of Kool and the Gang with lead vocalist J.T. Taylor who were touring the UK at the time with a string of hits as well.
As a side note, Phonogram was very keen to sign me as a solo artist at the time at the helm of executive Chris Briggs – I feel so blessed to have been a part of this historic musical charity event helping to raise millions of dollars which also subsequently inspired USA For Africa.
This Official Band Aid Magazine with it’s 40 pages was sold in local newsstands and convenience stores selling-out quickly for 1.25 p. Imagine if we’d all had smartphones, iPhones, etc. with cameras and video back then to capture the recording and the total camaraderie and slight chaos that went on that day. At the time I thought Bananarama blowing cigarette smoke my way were unfriendly but we had a good laugh about it recently at Giorgio’s dancing the night away. The Mr. Marilyn keep the atmosphere light with his quick wit and exchanges with Boy George and everyone.
As I’ve said in interviews, it was at this recording that I asked George Michael, if I signed a deal would he duet with me – and he kept his word on my solo debut in 1987. There was some friendly flirting directed my way from John Taylor of Duran Duran and Paul Young as well. This was another blessed and memorable experience I was fortunate to be a part of.