Fiona Russell Powell
Journalist and author Fiona Russell Powell has uploaded a treasure trove of interviews, which she conducted during the 80s, to her website, and they make for some fascinating reading.
Featuring a host of musicians, writers and actors, many of these interviews were originally published in the British style bible The Face, which ceased publication in 2004. Among them are Andy Warhol, Irvine Welsh, Simon Le Bon, Marc Almond, Martin Amis, Oliver Reed, Mick Jagger and many more. While they’re all people who have made an impact on pop culture in one form or another, they’re also people who are interesting for more than just their fame.
This is my favourite so far, an interview with August Darnell, aka Kid Creole, with a preface that states:
The night Fiona Russell Powell joined August Darnell for a late late dinner date ran into the morning of the Kid’s 32nd birthday and the day the Kensington Hilton caught fire.
Here’s a (relatively) brief taster:
At 9.30 sharp, as a hot August evening begins to cool down, enter the heroine in a Monroe dress. Temperatures rise, voices subside, the ravishing reporter wiggles her way across the not-so-plush lobby of the Kensington Hilton Hotel, a structure unaccountably situated in Shepherd’s Bush and presents herself to the discreetly non-camp manager filing his nails behind the reception desk. The rendezvous, a dinner date for two, has been arranged with our hero Kid Creole, the pseudonymous alter ego of the 32 year old Bronx(ian) showman August Darnell.
Room 5068. Fiona knocks and waits. No response. She can hear a telephone ringing unanswered inside. The Kid is not at home. Ill-tempered, she returns to the foyer downstairs. The Kid is paged but fails to show. Fiona waits, and waits some more, deciding not to hang around this joint any longer when, out of the corner of a Fabulash-ed eye she sees Taryn, of the Coconuts or more specifically The Babes, cruise across the parquet in full war paint.
Before long our reporter is in the Hilton’s mock baroque dining room, in the company of a small, curl-haired Negro-esque gentleman in turquoise trousers and chinoise t-shirt who is introduced as Greg Ward, tour manager, aide de camp and personal bodyguard to The Kid.
” Hey babe, sorry we’re so en retarde.’ says this former captain in American Intelligence. “The Kid’s just got back from a photo session that took us all goddam day and he’s upstairs changing his suit. How about a drink in my room while we’re waiting?”
[Eventually she does meet the Kid, and the interview proper begins]
What was your reaction to the Falklands War?
The Falklands War is a fairy tale actually. The most unfortunate thing about it is that people had to die. If you can forget for a moment that people died. I think it was the most ludicrous thing that I have witnessed in the last 20 years. I think it was an event which should have been prevented. As for my opinion on what side was right—I will restrain from voicing any opinion until I’ve seen the video tape of the war.
On your travels so far, which country have you enjoyed visiting most to date?
It has to be Switzerland because it’s the antithesis of America. It’s everything that America isn’t. I really like England, it’s great every time I come here I always have a good time. If New York were to blow up tomorrow and I had to move, it would be to London for sure. The worst place that I’ve been to, or rather the place where I had the worst experience was in Copenhagen because some asshole broke into my hotel room and tried to molest my wife. This was during the last tour.
Thanks to Simone Hutchinson.