Thursday, 04 October 2012
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: RICK ASTLEY
RICK ASTLEY is an English singer-songwriter known for his 1980s hit Never Gonna Give You Up; it was No1 in 25 countries and was even performed by the Mad Men cast. His album, Whenever You Need Somebody, sold 15 million.What are you working on at the moment?
I'm making a record. I make music these days because I want to, and I obviously hope somebody likes it. It would be great to have a No1. I'm also doing a tour in October and November. I do more gigs now than I did then, and more singing than when I was a pop star.
When were you at your happiest?
When my daughter was born and both mother and baby were safe and well. That was a relief as well as bringing happiness. It was a life-changing moment. Also, when I asked by record label to let me go without any conditions and they agreed. I thought, 'I'm free!'
What is your greatest fear?
It's not my greatest, but my most evident: a fear of flying. On certain days it isn't too bad. I went to Latvia last week and I'm going to Australia and South Africa this year, and I'll go by plane, but when I get there I drive everywhere.
What is your earliest memory?
My mum and dad split up when I was about four or fi ve and our house was not a happy one. That's stuck with me. It's massively important to me and my partner – not to split up. You can never say that, because you don't know, but it's something that is ingrained in me.
Who has been your greatest influence?
My immediate family – without family you haven't got anything.
What do you most dislike about yourself?
A bad temper, inherited from my dad. It's not directed at anybody, but I blow my top at myself. That's why I play the drums. I advise drumming to any man who can get a drum kit. If you have a garage, even better.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a ring my partner bought for me. If I'm on stage and I don't have it on, it doesn't feel right. But I can't play the drums with it on. Can't sing without it, can't play drums with it.
What trait do you most deplore in others?
Do you have a fantasy address?
'Number 1, The Beach'. We want to live in a house where we open the shutters and you can walk out on to the beach – in Italy. Not sure which beach yet, but with a little coffee shop that makes a perfect espresso.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Take this as you will, and it doesn't mean that I look in the mirror and think 'Oh my god you handsome devil', but as a kid I really didn't like my appearance – my red hair and thin white legs – I wasn't very butch or manly.
What is your all-time favourite book?
Money by Martin Amis. I've read almost all of his books. Everyone can read it and have a laugh about it.
What is your favourite film?
Your favourite record or piece of music?
Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House – it's mine and my wife's song.
Your favourite meal?
Who would you most like to come to dinner?
All the astronauts who've been to the moon who, over some fine Italian reds, would tell me about what really happened. I don't believe they went to the moon.
Which historical character do you most admire?
What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?
I don't think it's the nastiest, but it's one thing that's stuck in my mind for a long time. I was doing a signing and I had a couple of spots – I was 21! A girl said to her friend: 'Ooh, he's got a spot'. I recall thinking, 'I'm a human being and I'm stressed!'
Do you believe in aliens?
I do. I actually think we are all aliens. I'm not joking.
What is your secret vice?
Chocolate, coffee and wine.
Do you write thank-you notes?
I send thank-you texts and emails. And I'll call people. I'm not really a 'noter'.
Which phrase do you most overuse?
'Never gonna give you up...' which I only ever say on stage. I'm told I say, 'Do you know what I mean?' a lot.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Being able to invent more time.
What would you like your epitaph to say?
He wasn't a bad lad.
Rick Astley will be touring the UK this month: www.ents24.com
Daily tip from the lady archive
“HEAVEN forbid that we should go back to the days when beauty was under suspicion and plain girls were assumed to have angelic natures.”The Lady. With Prejudice. 28th April 1938