A few nights ago I accompanied my wife to the ER. Before we left for the hospital I grabbed Cosey Fanni Tutti’s newly published autobiography Art Sex Music (Faber & Faber) and I’m glad I did. While we waited and waited (and then waited some more) I got really engrossed in what is easily my favorite book of 2017 so far, even as I haven’t finished it yet. After about three hours, when they finally called her name, I looked up from its pages and it felt like my neck was stuck and that I needed to see a doctor myself. It’s a fascinating read and I’m hoping I’ll be able to interview Cosey about it here in the coming weeks. (Quite a good excerpt appeared recently at The Guardian’s website.)
Now I don’t know yet if she actually mentions this in the book as I’m still a year or so behind in the narrative, but in 1978 Cosey appeared as a disco-dancing extra in the promo video that was shot for Sylvester’s immortal classic “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”!
She was asked about this by John Doran a writer for The Quietus in 2015:
Cosey, were you really in the video to “Mighty Real” by Sylvester?
I love that song….
Cosey: It’s a great song. I was with a stripping agency because I was stripping at the time and for whatever reason, whoever was filming the video for him wanted to have dancers. So they got some dancers from Pineapple Studios in London. So they had orthodox dancers and they also wanted people that just danced. And not just disco dancers but people who were used to dancing in front of an audience or in front of cameras so they rang our agency. Three of us went down to the shoot (one of them was French Jane who used to do go-go dancing for The Who). All of us were given white satin shorts because it was at the Embassy Club and all of the male waiters there used to wear white satin shorts. Sylvester wanted the men in the shorts but he was stuck with these ten dancing girls instead. So the director said, ‘Will you dance to the music?’ Like you said, it’s a fantastic song but these Pineapple Studio girls were going, ‘...2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, 10…’ [mimes intricate but stiff dance routine] And I was thinking, ‘Fuck me, it’s so regimented - why don’t you just listen to the record and dance?’ I think the director ended up using us and one or two of the girls from Pineapple who could let loose a little bit. But Sylvester got the boys in at the end. I think you can see them at the end of the video. He did get his way. I kept my shorts and I made a pattern off them so I could make some more pairs. They were really good for stripping in.
See the video, after the jump…