PETE MORGAN: One of the biggest music stars to come out of the West Midlands is finally being recognised. Toyah Willcox, the first person to be put on the King’s Heath Walk Of Fame which is aiming to recognise the area’s musical and comedy heritage. We can speak to Toyah now. Good Morning!

TOYAH: (on the phone) Hey! Good Morning! How are you?

PETE: I’m not so bad – how are you?

TOYAH: I’m really excited!

PETE: (laughs) I’m sure you are! It’s fantastic!

TOYAH: I only live 30 miles south of Birmingham and the sky is clearing – it’s starting to look really good and at 11.30 today we unveil my star!

PETE: Hehee! Is this right, you grew upon – is it Grove Road, wasn’t it? Just round the corner from King’s Heath Park?

TOYAH: I was conceived and born at Grove Road!

PETE: I love it when we share, Toyah! I love it when we share details of that nature! (Toyah and Pete laugh)

TOYAH: I wasn’t there at the time, I was told!

PETE: No no! (laughs) What was it like?

TOYAH: King’s Heath - incredibly different than today and I feel rooted in King’s Heath because of my grandfather so I learned from family stories. Walked from Lincoln trying to get work and he ended up at King’s Heath where he met his wife and he became a construction engineer and he built quite a lot of King’s Heath. And quite a lot of places in Birmingham.

So I feel deeply rooted there. It was a wonderful place – I remember the park, the park being beautiful. It had rabbits in it and other animals and I was always shopping up and down the High Street with my mother. So I have really strong memories and the first time I ever went to the cinema was to the King’s Way which is probably where I got my first taste of show business.

Photo by Ian Dunn @
Principle Photography

PETE: And it’s never left!

TOYAH: No - it’s never left!

PETE: No, it really hasn’t. Do you know where the star is going to be?

TOYAH: Yeah, it’s outside the Hare & Hounds on York Road where there used to be The Ritz ballroom on York Road which has an incredible history!

PETE: Yeah!

TOYAH: Jerry Lee Lewis played there, Helen Shapiro, Gene Vincent, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles! So I’m the first - I do believe Led Zeppelin are going to be next.

PETE: You know, is there many times that you could say “I was before Led Zeppelin!”?


PETE: Exactly!

TOYAH: And how fantastic! That’s going straight on my CV!

PETE: (laughs) You don’t need a CV, surely?!

TOYAH: Well, it all helps! Especially with someone as cool as Led Zeppelin!

PETE: Exactly! Toyah, have a wonderful day today, sounds like you’re going to anyway!

TOYAH: I think we are and I’m going to be playing the Hare & Hounds tonight –

PETE: Really?!

TOYAH: We’re doing a massive two hour set. A complete retrospective. So anyone that wants to come and hear the music, come along. We’re on at 8 o’clock at the Hare & Hounds.

PETE: So just a free for all?

TOYAH: Well, I mean –

PETE: I mean anyone could turn up? Yeah yeah yeah, anyone can turn up, it’s not a ticketed event?

TOYAH: It is a ticketed event but people – you know, I’ve got fans out there that might not know this is happening today so get on down! Let’s party!

PETE: Fantastic! Lovely to speak to you Toyah!

Toyah at the unveiling with her husband
Robert Fripp. Photo by Ian Dunn
@ Principle Photography

Toyah Ft Andi Fraggs
"Thunder In The Mountains"
at The Hare & Hounds 16.7.2012


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