This was recorded in Lyon, France 3.10.1983 and broadcast in Janury 1984

ANNIE: Before I start thought I think I'd better explain how this programme came about. It's called a logistical nightmare. Or “if”. A while back I discovered that Toyah was ensconced in deepest France at a place called Limoges where she was making a film with Lord Olivier

I also discovered that for one day, The Police would be in France, and I thought wouldn’t it be nice to bring Toyah and Sting together again, particularly as they’d started out as relatively unknown actors in the film "Quadrophenia"

The Police were going to be in Lyon. If you look at your average map of France, Lyon is only about an inch from the Limoges. So, no problem, I thought. Well, this is where the “ifs” really began

Sting, I discovered, would be able to meet up with Toyah if the studio in Lyon was not too far from the airport and also if it was not too far from the Palais des Sports where he was playing that night

Toyah would be able to fly to Lyon if her filming schedule allowed her to leave Limoges to catch the one evening flight to Lyon if that arrived in time for her to meet up with Sting

Well, with nothing further resolved I went off early on Monday morning on a wing and a prayer to Lyon. I spent all day chasing round the place, managed to lose Toyah at the airport and in the process despairing that I won't ever see her again I made my way to the Palais des Sports

As I arrived here sitting in a car right in front of me was a very bewildered looking young lady with bright red hair. It was Toyah. The Police were about to go on stage and this is what happened afterwards

ANNIE: It was a very strange sensation having Toyah and yourself within a few feet of each other. Toyah watching you on stage

TOYAH: I was having a bop!

ANNIE: Yeah and I just wondered how you, as a performer, react watching somebody else

TOYAH: I was jealous (giggles)

ANNIE: Of what?

Well, I haven't performed on stage for almost a year now. Not with the band. The stage crew and the band's whole attitude on stage. I thought it was wonderful

It was a lovely show tonight. I mean, I thought oh, God I hope I come tomorrow

TOYAH: Your stage crew are wonderful! They were so there! I love the guy who was passing your your basses and then went on and played himself. I mean, what an ideal man

STING: He knows all my bass parts. In fact, when I broke my fingers -

ANNIE: That was in Edinburgh. Yeah, I remember -

STING: My roadie came on and did the whole set. He knows every nuance of my – he’s watched me for five years

ANNIE: He's really been there … Is that Danny or Geoff? I can never remember -

STING: It’s Danny. And Geoff did the same when Stuart was sick. We did a concert in France. The drum roadie played the gig -

(Annie and Toyah talk at the same time)

ANNIE: I think that's a great compliment to you too that they’ve studied -

STING: Thank God they don’t sing. I’d be out of a job -

ANNIE: Seriously, the reason that I have brought you two together under an incredibly difficult -

Sounds like a marriage ceremony! (Toyah giggles)

It does, doesn’t it? (Sting sings the first line of "Here Comes The Bride") Your film careers actually took off at the same time in the same movie called “Quadrophenia” (above) Now Toyah, first of all, I want to know what did you think of him when you first met him?

Sting was the person everyone had a crush on. Not me of course. But all the young girls sort of idolised Sting and there was a guy called Phil Daniels playing the lead, who sort of had to really fight in real life for the women to - not that I'm putting him down, anyone down, but that's what I remember most about Sting and of course the band was just taking off. His band. So he did nothing but talk about it the whole time (makes a snoring sound)

STING: Yeah . . . I was really boring

No - he wasn't at all!

ANNIE: I can remember you telling me that you thought you were actually too old for the part when your auditioned for it

I thought that. My agent said "look, they've seen everybody in the whole of England for the part in "Quadrophenia". Why don't you go?" And I said nah . . . I'm washing me hair . . . (they all laugh) And she said "look, go! " I said I’m too old. It’s all kids! I was about 24 (laughs) But I went anyway and I met the director, who was a Geordie, and I got on with Franc Roddam and I got the part

ANNIE: What did you think of Toyah?

STING: Well, it was funny for me because everyone on the film had actually acted before and I think Toyah was probably the most experienced of that bunch. Is that true?

TOYAH: Yes, most experienced yet at the same time I think I felt very outside because I'd spent a lot of time concentrating on on my musical career. So at the time of doing "Quadrophenia" I hadn't acted for some time I don't think

But you had acted?

Yes, I had acted. Well, I’d done the National and I did “The Corn Is Green” with (puts on an American accent) Kathy Hepburn -

ANNIE: Kathy Hepburn. I love that -

STING: Well, I hadn’t even been in a school play -

ANNIE: Hadn’t you?


ANNIE: Were you very paranoid in those days about it?

STING: I was pulling a fast one as far as I was concerned. I told Franc Roddam that I've been at the National, the Royal Shakespeare Company … (Toyah laughs)

(in a newscaster voice) Sting exposed as a liar! Last confession!

I was poor. So I was very wary of the whole cast, which was a good thing because I was supposed to be outside of them. Sort of an alien they all kind of looked up to. So in a way it was useful that I felt a bit different

I never for one moment thought you're older than us

Didn’t you?

No, not at all

I'm not that much older than you

TOYAH: I was going to say! (giggles)

ANNIE: Isn’t it as well to do with creating a kind of a positive thing? Him saying well, I thought it was a good thing being this alien character. Isn't it turning perhaps a negative situation into something positive?

TOYAH: You’ve always got to think positively but it’s as Sting said - it's a question of pulling the fast ones. If you can pull your lies off -

ANNIE: Have you conned -

Yeah of course I have!

Go on, tell us one

The whole time I lie in interviews to start with. Especially when I start getting bored. You know when you've got like a whole day of interviews and you get to the eighth one and you start lying. It's the only thing to do. But yes, where have I lied my way in? I think I did it at the National a bit. I had to lie to gain respect -

What did you say?

TOYAH: Because I was such a punk rocker that I had to con respectability out of people. I think I lied about my background -

What sort of background -

I remember Maximilian Schell was directing it, and he couldn't talk very good English at the time anyway, so I just lied to him that was very nice person, really

ANNIE: Now, the other interesting thing is that you both worked with Mr and Mrs Olivier. In fact, that whole reason why Toyah is in this part of France, actually - we're in Lyon, but you're visiting from Limoges, because you've been making a movie with Sir Laurence Olivier (below with Toyah on the set of the movie). That is “The Ebony Tower.” Have you read that book, Sting? It’s John Fowles, who I think is a wonderful writer

STING: I’ve read everything he's written. I like his early stuff better than the latest book, which is awful

ANNIE: I started reading it about three years ago and at the time didn't think of it as a possible movie, but now I can't see anybody else but Olivier playing a part of this old rue artiste

TOYAH: He’s brilliant. I mean, he plays a real bastard and he's brilliant. But I love people that are bastards anyway -

ANNIE: In real life?

TOYAH: No, he's not a bastard in real life!

ANNIE: No, I mean particularly -

TOYAH: If I don't have to live near them but he's very good. I mean, he's stunning. I don't know what Joan (Plowright, Olivier's 3rd wife) was like to work with. He is certainly wonderful . . .

ANNIE: Miss Plowright or Lady Olivier was of course your co-star in “Brimstone and Treacle”. I thought she was wonderful in it. Was she an inspiration to you?

It was a very good experience for me because up till then I've done small parts in movies. But I really had to jump into the first division. I mean Denholm Elliott and Joan Plowright have made hundreds of movies and they've had 1000s of stage performances. And I had to play with them in a three cornered fight. So I really had to get up to their standard and the thing about great actors is, they give a lot

The less good actors don't give you anything, but a really great actor will because it's, I think, it's about give and take. And they just gave me so much and they gave me so much confidence and so much help. Not by pointing things out all the time but just by being humane and human. And I just learned so much from them both (A clip of “Brimstone And Treacle” plays)

ANNIE: Are you nervous when you're acting, Sting?

STING: I'm still very much a novice. Yeah, I mean, I've made five movies now

ANNIE: It sounds quite a lot really -

STING: Well, considering most actors learn their craft in the relative privacy of the repertory theatre and they do a play every night -

Have you done any theatre yet?


ANNIE: Would you like to?

STING: No! (they all laugh and talk at the same time)

TOYAH: The only thing that caught me off at one point during “The Ebony Tower” was you’ve got to pull your socks up to work with people like the Oliviers. You just can't get away with it. You can't bluff your way through that kind of acting. I thought my God! I've got to really work if I do this film and it's lovely. It's such a demanding thing to do

ANNIE: Don’t you think it actually drags -

TOYAH: It emotionally pulls you apart, which is what every actor and actress needs and it just stretches you but beyond every limit. It's beautiful

(to Sting) Why are you so anti doing theatre?

STING: I was only joking. It was an ironic no

ANNIE: I know. I remember reading something. You bumped into my old mate, Adam Faith (and he) told you you ought to do that, right?

Toyah and I are in a similar situation and that we've had parallel careers and we're lucky. But we've still got to make a big leap and many people will take you seriously as a musician or they'll take you seriously as an actor. But rarely will they take you seriously as something in between. You have to make the jump -

ANNIE: You're like a geometric pattern because you’ve both approached it from the opposite direction, haven’t you? Because you were more established as an actress, Toyah, before the music -


ANNIE: And Sting vice versa. So it's a very fascinating situation. How's it going to happen? How are you going to do it?

STING: Bit by bit. You have to chip away at people's preconceptions and misconceptions about you. I think you don't have to be intelligent to be a rock and roller. You don't need to be intelligent to be a good rock and roller even -

Does help though -



Because some of the most stupid people that ever existed were really good at rock and roll

ANNIE: Dare you say who you mean? (Toyah laughs)

No, of course I don’t. I don’t need to. But
then again -

ANNIE: I don't see how honestly you can substantiate that because I would think -

You’ve got to have an ounce of brains -

One of the thickest people I ever met was (puts his hand over his mouth and mumbles)

TOYAH: You’re really limiting the names now! (giggles)

ANNIE: I knew it would get bitchy! I knew it would!

The great thing is that I find that if one area gets successful, you start to build the other area up. I, just within England, had to slow the band down at one point so that's when I went onstage with “Trafford Tanzi” (below) and started getting me as a person back together again because I found that the ridiculous success I had in England made me forget who I was

ANNIE: (To Sting) I must talk to you about “Synchronicity” – not the album so much as the word and how much it means -

Synchronicity was a term devised by Carl Jung, who is a Swiss psychoanalyst and he believed that there was a pattern to life that was perhaps larger than most of us can see. And so he collected together a series of coincidence. Lists of coincidental phenomena, great long scientific graphs and all kinds of things. Synchronicity is about a coincidence or two events that are connected symbolically but not causally

ANNIE: Acausally, yeah

For example, in my song “Synchronicity”, there are two parallel stories. One story is about a man who's going nuts with this suburban hell. And the other story parallel to that is the growth of a monster in a lake somewhere in Scotland

The monster comes out of the lake as demands and anxieties and frustration grows, so he becomes pathologically dangerous when the monster comes out … and I’m using all these hand gestures on radio (chuckles) And that’s what synchronicity is. It’s two things that are connected

ANNIE: What attracted you to that?

STING: I think it’s a fascinating idea. There's a lot of coincidence in my life, a lot of kind of fate takes a hand. It's an interesting idea

ANNIE: Well, it's a new word to a lot of people but ever since it's been sort of put over via the record it's amazing how you start linking things up and thinking well, that’s strange. But then you think well, which has come first? Was it always there but you used to call it coincidence

Well, it’s a syncronitic event tonight. We're a day off but October the second, which is my birthday and it was yesterday … 1977 is when we were doing "Quadrophenia" (below, Toyah just behind Sting on the left)

Oh really?!

STING: And my birthday was also the day that I flew from Brighton, where we were shooting the film to Manchester to do the Old Grey Whistle Test, which was our first television appearance I think. And I was going to use two singers and I thought I'll use Toyah Willcox, who's in the film and another girl who was also part of the film -

Tammy Jacobs

STING: Was that Tammy? So I rehearsed them the day before. And she (Toyah) was going to be in it. But then it all fell through. It was a very strange day. I sprayed my eyes with metallic paint and I was blinded for about an hour

That was the first time we ever met as well. That is . . . you see really . . . OK! I believe ! I believe! I always remember that bit about Whistle Test but I didn't know about Toyah. That is extraordinary

STING: (To Toyah) You could have been in The Police (Toyah laughs)

ANNIE: Oh, how do you feel about that Toyah?

TOYAH: I’ve got to say I remember at the time I was so excited for you doing your Whistle Test and everything. I didn't for one minute think about me being in The Police. I was genuinely really pleased for you till you came back and said you’d blinded yourself. You said it was a bit of a nightmare

ANNIE: Quite an interesting day

STING: So that was my birthday

ANNIE: I think it was 78’ but let's -

STING: Was it?

ANNIE: There must have been other instances too which have aroused your interest in this business

Oh, loads. All the time. I think your career is - if it's not circular it's like spiralling up. You keep turning around and around and higher and higher evolutions and you meet people on the same sort of path. Bit like success. I suppose you meet them on the way down as well (makes a sad noise)

It’s nice to think it’s a spiral - I just keep thinking (about) the ladder where you can only go rung at a time. Whereas if it's spiralling things can go up or down either way without you quite noticing. It's a nice image. I’ll forget that and use that one

Have either of you ever worried about - because you’ve both spiralled up so far very, very successfully. Are either of you worried about spiralling down?

Yeah. That's what keeps you going, really. Does for me anyway. My ambition is powered on never wanting to slow down or stop working, ever. And when I get days off I get the paranoia so I get . . . oh God, I can't survive anymore. Lack of success means no work. I’d go and scrub someone's floor, just something to do if I had a day off. I’d go mad!

STING: Yeah . . . I scrub a lot of floors

ANNIE: You've admitted lots of times, Sting, that you are very ambitious. Is it getting stronger or has it slowed down or is it on an even keel now?

I think what I'm rehearsing for, practising for, is the ability to walk away from it in fact. I'd like one day to say I've had enough of this. I’d like to do something else

TOYAH: It’s very hard to walk away from it -

STING: It’s very hard to walk away but I think you have to prepare for it because there's a moment in your career when . . . you can't go up and you can't stay still

TOYAH: But you can go sideways

Yeah, alright. Sideways . . . but then who might want to? I might sort of walk away

See, when I feel I can't face the music industry anymore I go into the acting and vice versa. I can't face the acting anymore and I go bounce off the music wall. It's just like a ball you’re bouncing off different walls the whole time. But I could never walk away. I'd like to one day say right, I'm content and I'm just going to settle down and enjoy life

Could you enjoy life without doing what you're doing?

TOYAH: No. I've decided quite recently that I'm going to have a kid before I'm 30. I think that's very important

STING: I’ll give you a hand (they all laugh, Toyah is dying with giggles) (puts on a silly voice) It’s a talent I seem to have

ANNIE: (laughing) Anyway, you both write songs and Toyah you've been saying to me that with your latest album - having established a lot of imagery in the past and your songs in the past - that with “The Vow” for instance, you're trying to change all that

TOYAH: I'm trying to learn to write directly and simply whereas I've been using images to hide behind and also images - you can take an image and it will mean something to you and something totally different to someone else. And you can always use that as an excuse. Oh, make your own meaning up out of it . . .

With this new album “Love Is The Law” I've tried to work it from basic emotions, which the most basic of all really is love and hate and that's what I’ve based the whole album on, which has been hard for me because that's the subject I've always tried to avoid

ANNIE: Your kind of imagery has been very, very strong in the past. Sting’s has been - sometimes you write very directly. I feel I know what “Wrapped Around Your Finger” is exactly and and there's four lines in that which are absolutely beautiful - which I listened to over and over again. “Devil in the deep blue sea” etc which I think works very well. You seem to communicate very clearly what you're on about but is that just me thinking that I understand? Do you want people to know what you actually meant?

STING: I think I wrote two kinds of songs. One is very simple. It's almost a tonal code. It's very easy to understand. And another type of song, which is deliberately … intricate and difficult. And you have to work hard to hear what the words are and work out what they mean. I think an audience has to be implicated. It needs to be drawn into the mystery. But sometimes, I like to write very directly

(Can’t Stand Losing You plays)

ANNIE: Well that’s pretty direct in its meaning - one of the very early Police hits “Can't Stand Losing You”. But I think it takes immense bravery to write about real emotions

Immense understanding. It depends how selfish you are really. When you get down to real emotions . . . I didn't feel I had any but they’re slowly coming out is I'm starting to mature, I feel. And my … what is it? ... Inhibitions are breaking down very fast, and therefore I can open up and be a book that has -

ANNIE: That’s exactly what I meant. As I say, I feel that often, Sting, that your songs are like an open book. But maybe they're not . . .

STING: What - do you think I'm being too confessional?

Not too confessional. I don't think anybody can be. As I say it takes tremendous courage to do that. Because you’re really like baring your soul to everybody and say “this is how I feel!”

TOYAH: There's one of yours tonight, and I thought that was great. I think it was “Don't Stand So Close To Me” because I never really got to hear the lyrics and I thought it was that open lyric. It was wonderful. Because everyone has those fantasies. And I think you can hit a line where you're not being too brave because your audience has to admit they have those emotions too

ANNIE: When you're writing, both of you, do you think well, this actually could be a parallel situation where everybody else - or not everyone but a lot of other people … you do?

I write sometimes for a specific group of people

ANNIE: Really? What kind of group of people? (they snigger) Like Roman Catholic priests?

Dustmen. Well, I mean “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” was written for school girls, obviously. “Every Breath You Take” was written for those who have experienced unrequited love -

ANNIE: Why did you do the video in such an angry way? I was very surprised -

STING: Angular?

ANNIE: Angry (sings in an angry voice) “Every breath you take!” (Toyah laughs)

I think the song is very, very sinister and ugly and people have actually misinterpreted it as being a gentle little love song and really it’s about jealousy and surveillance and 1984

Toyah’s - in the past songs - if there's one word that sums it up, I’d say mountains. You always sort of imagine great vistas about your songs -

Like a biblical epic (Toyah laughs) The 10 commandments

ANNIE: Oh, by the way, another bit of coincidence if not synchronicity is that you have the same people doing your videos, which is -

TOYAH: Really?!

STING: Well, only the best!

ANNIE: Godley and Creme obviously I'm talking about. They made you drive a chariot, didn't they?


ANNIE: Which song was it?

It was “Thunder In The Mountains” (below, screen caps by toyah.net) I said I'll drive my own chariot, thank you very much and it was wonderful -

ANNIE: Having to control the horse which you'd never done before?

Yeah, we just get on and hope for the best

STING: That was Godley and Creme in a suit, not a horse (Toyah giggles) They are the best. They’re really are inventive. You give them a brief, you say what your interpretation is and they're faithful to that and yet they add so much of their own energy and enthusiasm to it that they're wonderful to work with

And they can take the imagery off at a tangent that still makes the lyric work at its home base. It's like for “Rebel Run” they came up with the imagery for that. I just said I've got this really boring lyric about 1984 - what am I going to do with it? And they said "be a woman roller derby skater and just bash the hell out of yourself"

ANNIE: Yeah, I don't care what you say about them being the best or whatever but I still think it seems very strange or maybe it is synchronistic that of all the video makers that there are around - and there's an awful lot of good ones - that you have both chosen Godley and Creme to direct yours!

: There's another synchronistic event which is that the colour of Toyah's hair, which is of a flaming carrot at the moment, is exactly the same shade as mine was a week ago. I had mine done for a film called “Dune” where I play this raving queen. And she's in this movie with flaming red hair as well. We just cannot get away from each other

I fell out with somebody over that but very seriously, because I said I can't believe the characters because I just thought the name - I know it sounds very sort of simplistic but I found that the name sounded so unreal and unbelievable. So go on, convince me why you wanted to do it -

I don’t have to defend the book or even the film. I think a lot of people sort of find a religious theme in the book and that they're obviously very partisan and extremely … what’s the word? Excited by everything in it. And there are other people like myself who are indifferent to it

I think it's a very well made book. Very clever book. You create a planet with its own histories and geography, its own ecology and history and politics and whatever. It's a very big achievement. But if you don't believe in it, you don't believe in it, Ann

That’s right

Is it TV or -

(puts on a silly 1930’s voice) This is the biggest movie in the history of Hollywood and it’s costing $15 million, kid

How much do you get?

STING: Most of it (Annie laughs)

ANNIE: And obviously it’s you and Francesca Annis. Is she very nice?

STING: She is a wonderful woman -

ANNIE: I thought so -

TOYAH: (they all talk at the same time) There’s some great pictures of yourself

STING: My body?

TOYAH: With wings on

STING: Yeah. I wanted to be nude

ANNIE: Did you?!

STING: I wanted to be nude in that film. Holding my nose -

ANNIE: Why wouldn’t they let you?

STING: Because they want a PG rating

TOYAH: What does PG mean?

STING: Parental Guidance

ANNIE: Yeah, so it gets a bit bigger theatre -

: So they stuck this leather winged jockstrap on me. And I was having a shower at the time. But still …

ANNIE: It's probably far more erotic than if you hadn’t anything on -

STING: It’s very camp -

TOYAH: It’s a great picture because he’s laughing his head off -

ANNIE: Toyah has also just stripped off -

TOYAH: (annoyed) I haven’t stripped off

ANNIE: No, I’m sorry, it’s very -

I lie in the long grass reading a book basically while I let that Greta Scacchi get on with it -

STING: Get on with what?

Well, the rest of the scene. She hasn't got anything on either

Not a stitch on? Sounds like my kind of movie (Annie laughs) Has Olivier got clothes on?

TOYAH: Of course he has! It's very tastefully done, but it's just those attitudes -

(in Kenny Everett’s voice) Done in the best possible taste! I’m sure it is. Well, thank you both very, very much for coming along. It's been quite an effort on everybody's behalf

Thank you, Anne

ANNIE: And next . . . well, who knows what and who knows where

Listen to the interview HERE


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