An interview with Grace Knight by Jason
On the 25th October, 2010 I interviewed Grace Knight formerly lead singer of legendary Perth band Eurogliders. Here FINALLY featured is this Exclusive Interview I did with Grace.
Eurogliders hits included 1984's Heaven (Must be There) - their BIGGEST hit - to Absolutely, Can’t Wait To See You and Groove. Other immaculate singles included their very first masterpiece Without You from 1982, No Laughing Matter, No Action, Maybe Only I Dream and many more!
Grace was a joy to talk to and I'd like to thank HER for HER valuable time.
Jason: OK, so starting early on, you were born in Manchester in 1955?
Grace: The end, the last week…that’s very important!
Jason: Did you like growing up in the UK?
Grace: Oh yeah, I liked growing up, that was fun. It was good fun, I was a wild child and I played in the fields and I rolled in the hay as the corn was growing and played in derelict buildings and had a great time.
Jason: Growing up musically, when did you get into music and what were the first artists or bands that really got your attention?
Grace: Oh my god, OK, I was into music in vitro, it’s in my blood, my father’s an opera singer my grandpa use to make records for the ex-patriate Scots in Canada. My Nana was a stage performer, so it was kind of in my blood to be a performer. The bands that really sort of got me going were bands like The Turtles, Dave Clark Five and then a bit later on the whole Motown scene I was really into. I missed the kind of hippy scene, where I grew up you were either one or the other – you were either a hippy or a mod
Jason: and you were into the hippy?
Grace: No, I was into the Motown, mod scene.
Jason: OK, cool. You arrived in Australia in 1977. How did you get to be in Perth? Why Perth?
Grace: My sister had left on a ship about 2 or 3 years earlier and I desperately missed her when she went. It was like I had lost my right arm and I had no money, I barely had a job, but I really wanted to see my sister, so I got a job on a ship singing and worked my passage over. So, I kind of went half way around the world for nothing and I got fed and accommodated, but I didn’t get a wage, so it was absolutely brilliant actually….and then I ended up in Fremantle.
Jason: Now in the Perth music scene, around the late 70’s/1980, there were bands such as the Triffids, Dugites, Scientists, INXS and then yourself. Did you guys kind of all know each other? Was there like a little scene where you guys all played in the same venues?
Grace: We did, we did play in the same venues. I remember if there really was any interaction with us it might have been envy, you know as someone did well, it was like ‘huh’ we really wanted to aspire to be the next big thing. I’m not sure we were jealous of anyone, but we kind of envied the position different bands were getting, but it was a kind of healthy competitive sort of thing, but we didn’t hang out with each other. We did with the Dugites for a little while, because our manager was their manager as well, so we used to support the Dugites and then we supported INXS for a few tours up in Northern Queensland I think.
Jason: Now in the beginning, ‘Eurogliders’ were actually called ‘Living Single’. Why did you change the name to ‘Eurogliders’ and who came up with the name the ‘Eurogliders’?
Grace: What a fabulous name! We had posters in at the printers being made and we had a photograph on the poster and it was all set up, but we hadn’t chosen a name and the printer had left a gap to write the band’s name and he was calling us up saying ‘look, you’ve gotta give me a name here’ and the reason we had to change ‘Living Single’ was there was a band in England called ‘Living Single’ and Bernie found this out just as the posters were being done. So we were just in a panic going ‘oh my god, what will we call ourselves’? So, Bernie just wrote a lot of words down and written them up on a piece of paper and threw them in a hat…
Jason: Oh yeah, I’ve heard this going on a lot.
Grace: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, and pulled out ‘Euro’ & ‘Glider’ ….
Jason: Wow, so it was kind of meant to be really.
Grace: and we became ‘Eurogliders’, but we weren’t sure what they were.
Jason: It’s a good name though.
Jason: Now the first single released was my favourite Eurogliders track, which was ‘Without You’. I think it’s genius, love it. (Grace starts singing…’I Don’t Wanna Go…’) Jason: yay!
Jason: It’s quite of like a dark sounding song. Did Bernie write that one?
Grace: Bernie wrote all of Eurogliders.
Jason: Yep, cool. I love the video to it where you’ve got the black ra ra short skirt thing…
Grace: yeah, yeah (laughs)
Jason: Did you make all the clothing from the beginning of the Eurogliders?
Grace: No. I didn’t make that gorgeous thing, but I was certainly inspired by it, but I would put things together and then I went to TAFE to learn how to make patterns and once I knew what a body looked like, blackout, I could then cut and design for myself and the rest of the band.
Jason: Oh, OK.
Jason: Where was the clip for ‘Without You’ made?
Grace: In Perth, oh I can’t remember it was a street with really steep steps called, ooh I can’t remember. I can’t remember what it was called, but in Perth.
Jason: Do you remember who directed that video?
Jason: Now around that period, the Eurogliders flew down to Melbourne to appear on Countdown, to perform ‘Without You’. Did you previously watch Countdown before that at all?
Grace: Oh god yeah, that was like our religion. All Perth fans would race home on a Sunday evening, 6pm, to watch Countdown – get our pizzas, the Sunday session in Perth was over by then. So we would race back and watch Countdown and see what was going on and say oh ‘That was a good track, that was shithouse, we’re better than that, or they’re better than us’.
Jason: For that first performance you came on with a coat and thing. When you guys got word that you were going to go on Countdown did you like plan this whole thing that you were going to do and then get this whole party kind of frock, the green and pink…
Grace: Yeah, yeah, I’m ashamed to say, yeah. (laughs)
Jason: Did you make that outfit?
Jason: oh, cool. I actually liked that outfit.
Grace: I’m not quite sure what I wanted to say with that outfit (laughs). It looked very servanty, waitressy.
Jason: I remember when you took off the coat, all the crowd went a bit crazy.
Jason: So once you did Countdown, you were like ‘Yay we’ve made Countdown’?
Grace: Well, no, it was like…before you know that you’re going to do Countdown and as the days approach, you prepare yourself and make your clothes – and then when you finally get to do it, the next goal is already in your minds eye and you’re already aiming towards the next thing. It might be another TV show or a big gig and so for a lot of the life of the Eurogliders, I certainly never felt like I had the time to sit back and enjoy each show that we were doing or each fence that we climbed over.
Jason: Now, ‘Pink Suit, Blue Day’ the album. You recorded that in Manilla, was that because there was not enough recording studios in Australia?
Grace: That’s right, they were all being used. You know, this is the 80’s now, the early 80’s, there were a lot of bands and a lot of venues being used. There were a lot of bands in Melbourne and all the studios were being used. There was another band from Melbourne that recorded there and they told our management that it was all fine and they were happy with the outcome and we heard the tracks I think, but yeah, we were off to Manilla.
Jason: Why did you change from Polygram to CBS?
Grace: I’m trying to remember this, and what I remember of it – is we had done ‘Without You’ with Polygram and we had ‘Heaven’ that was going to be our next single.
Jason: Oh OK, the second single???
Grace: I think so, what have you got?
Jason: Well, the second single is ‘Laughing Matter’ (laughs)
Grace: Oh geez, forgot all about that one! OK, that would have been with Polygram too then.
Grace: OK. We had a new album that we were making, ‘This Island’ and the single off it was going to be ‘Heaven (Must Be There)’ and there was a new A&R man at Polygram and he really like another band, they were all his mates, he wanted to be an A&R guy and choose his friends band and get them in there and he didn’t like us he thought that we were too poppy and wimpy and blah, blah, blah. He said he didn’t like ‘Heaven’ andthey released us from our contract, but CBS at the time, their A&R guy just snatched it up.
Jason: After ‘Laughing Matter’, there was ‘No Action’ and then ‘Heaven’. You performed ‘No Action’ on the Countdown Awards. That was the first Countdown Awards performance you did…
Grace: I need to see the film clip. What’s in the film clip?
Jason: There is no video, I was going to ask you ‘why was there no video made for ‘No Action’? (laughs).
Grace: Oh, I didn’t even know it was a single?
Jason: yeah, it was a single.
Grace: Oh, was it?!?!, oh well, there you go!
Jason: Do you remember doing the Countdown performance to that? with the ‘Pink Suit, Blue Day’ backdrop behind you? The ’83 Awards.
Grace:What was I wearing? and I’ll know..
Jason: Oh, god!
Grace: Was it a red cowboy coat?
Jason: Yes, I think so.
Grace: with a gold, Pakistani, Indian sort of little velvet thing??
Jason: No, that was ’85 and you had the black curly hair? (both laugh). Ummm, well we’ll skip that bit! (both laugh)
Jason: Do you remember where you made the video for ‘Laughing Matter’? or that’s a blackout as well? (laughs)
Grace: No, I can’t remember making a video clip for ‘Laughing Matter’???
Jason: It’s on YouTube....So you have to check it out (laughs). It’s all white and Bernie’s near a blind and you’re in front of him.
Grace: Oh My God, oh now I remember, that was us trying to emulate an alien movie where just the eyes came out of the whiteness.
Jason: It wasn’t ‘Extra’ was it?
Grace: Extra Terrestrial or something.
Jason: Oh, OK, maybe it is. Oh, OK.
Jason: Was that the look you were going for?
Grace: Actually no, we were supposed to be kind of exploding atoms or something from nuclear power…
Jason: You’re wearing silver and you look like you’re flying.
Grace: Yeah, that’s it, we’re falling. (laughs)
Jason: I love that bit, I think it’s great. (both laugh)
Jason: As far as your voice goes, did you have any training or is it all just from the soul?
Grace:Yeah, it’s all from the soul.
Jason: Oh, cool.
Jason: Because when you sing, I thought you always felt you had a lot of conviction in your voice.
Grace: Oh yeah.
Jason: and you really meant what you were saying. I had a feeling you hadn’t singing lessons, cause that kind of stuff’s not taught. The emotion, kind of passion.
Grace: Oh no, I don’t think it is taught. When I was pregnant I had some breathing lessons, because I was recording and album and I was six months pregnant and I didn’t have enough room to breathe and so I went and learned how to breathe in my back, push the air to the back as opposed to inside your chest.
Jason: OK, now with the first few singles, they didn’t make a huge impact, were the whole band really disappointed about such strong singles because I think ‘Without You’ should have been a massive hit!
Grace: Oh god no, because each of those made inroads and we didn’t expect to be Number 1 with our first single but it just made a little chink, and then another little chink and then by the third and fourth chink, we were up there.
Jason: Now ‘This Island’ was released, it peaked No.4 on the Australian Albums Chart, ‘Heaven’ reached Number 2 on the Australian Singles Chart, Number 1 on the Melbourne chart and debuted at No.65 in the US Billboard Chart. The whole success of this single especially like in America through MTV, the video being played, was this all of a sudden like a big ‘wow’!
Grace: oh yeah (laughs), you could imagine we acted like wankers then, really, we weren’t really wankers but we really did feel quite cool and that we were living the dream and we were really, really happy doing that and we acted the part you know, that we thought we should act.
Jason: You won an award for best single at the ‘1984 Countdown Awards’ for ‘Heaven’. Do you remember doing that show? The Countdown Awards and MTV.
Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do, I do and I’ve see that on YouTube too. Yes I do, I think that might have been the gold Indian dress and the hair!
Jason: Did you enjoy performing on things like the Countdown Awards?
Grace: Yeah it was fantastic. These shows represented what was going on in the country, so for us to be on those shows, it was such a privalige it was a real honour to be on those shows, so we were very, very happy.
Jason: You also hosted with Bernie on Countdown quite a few times. Was that like a comfortable thing for you to do, to host Countdown?
Grace: Oh no, I was petrified, I was petrified. I always used to let Bernie talk and I think I….
Jason: Did you have to read off the cue cards, or was it all just kind of made up?
Grace: No I think they would tell us – no, there might have been cue cards there and they would say such and such a bands coming on and they might tell us something about what the bands doing in America, so we would mention that in the introduction, look, I just used to clam up a bit and let Bernie talk I remember.
Jason: OK, with the success of ‘Heaven’ in the US, you performed on the MTV New Year’s Eve Ball. Did you just do ‘Heaven’?
Grace: Yes… no, no we did ‘Another Day In The Big World’.
Jason: and you didn’t do ‘Heaven’ though?
Grace: No, ‘Another Day In The Big World’ we did.
Jason: Oh, so that’s what you did?
Jason: Oh, OK, was that a hit in America?
Grace: No, No it wasn’t, but ‘Heaven’ already was doing its thing so we had to now do this to show another single.
Jason: So basically, obviously, MTV music television made a big impact on ‘Heaven’ to be a hit in America, around that period?
Grace: Yeah, they chose the band. What they were doing back then was every year they would choose a band that they thought was going to be the next big thing and they chose us and we agreed. (laughs)
Jason: Did you enjoy playing in America?
Grace: Yes I did, I loved it. The audiences over there were really gracious and really accepting of you and when they cheered you on, it was big, it was really really big.
Jason: and they knew most of the Eurogliders material?
Grace: Well, when we got there we were so surprised that they did. The kids are singing all the lyrics off our albums and we’re like ‘oh my god, we thought this would all be new to you’.
Jason: So basically all the records got released in America?
Grace: Hmmm, Yep…I think oh…Yeah.
Jason: With ‘Maybe Only I Dream’ there was no official video made for it unfortunately, there was a live concert thing with you wearing the brown boots, the white pants…you don’t remember this either (laughs).
Grace: No, but I remember…
Jason: Apparently, you were supposed to make a video with dolphins?
Jason: Yeah, I saw a ‘Sounds’ clip on YouTube saying that you started making a video for the track and there were Dolphins in it and then you scrapped it. (laughs)
Grace: I can’t remember that.
Grace: Countdown made a video clip for it…and they filmed us all lying in a bed.
Jason: For ‘Maybe Only I Dream’?
Jason: Oh, OK, I haven’t seen that one.
Grace: yeah, it’s out there somewhere
Jason: wow, cool.
Grace: I remember them shooting us and we were all so tired, our eyes were jittering and twitching, so you don’t really look like you’re asleep. (laughs)
Jason: Oh, OK, so you just did that at the ABC studios?
Grace:Yes, and we were all in sort of white nighties or something… and a four poster bed. (laughs)
Jason: oh cool, I will have to try to get my hands on that one.
Jason: During ‘This Island’ that’s when the Eurogliders really started taking off big time. During that period, I think the outfits were brilliant. Did you make all them?
Grace: No, I didn’t. I made most of mine and I would make something for Bernie, leather pants or something and I’d make Crispin a leather top or a pair of pants or something… and these were both my lovers - one was my husband, and then one was my lover, so I knew them intimately, so I could make for them (laughs) – I didn’t need to know them intimately really to make for them. Yeah, so I would be on tour and and a lot of time I would have fabric paint with me and I’d make stencils...
Jason: Because there were a lot of really good designs around that period.
Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah, well I used to take all that ink on tour with me and take stencils and then after the gig I would stencil out a piece of fabric and paint it in the hotel room and then sort of hang it out all over the place, just stretching it so it was dry the next day and then I would cut out the fabric pieces and sew it up the next day.
Jason: Oh cool.
Grace: I wish I could remember how to do it now.
Jason: The good thing about a lot of the 80’s bands is that they didn’t have stylists and just dressed themselves and everything, which was quite original. If anything, were you influenced by any popstars in the 80’s fashion wise?
Grace: Oh no, just the whole fashion of the 80’s.
Jason: Any designers or anything?
Grace: Umm, the only one would have ever had been Jean Paul Gaultier in the end, mid to late 80’s.
Jason: Oh cool, now ‘Heaven’ was followed up with ‘We Will Together’ which reached No.7, so another hit, ‘City Of Soul’ Number 10, ‘Can’t Wait To See You’ Number 8 and ’Absolutely’ peaked at No.7 and spent 47 weeks in the charts.
Grace: That’s incredible isn’t it?
Jason: Yeah, it’s great. So, during that ‘Absolutely ‘ period, that was even bigger than ‘This Island’.
Grace: That was craziness.
Jason: Did you enjoy having that much success and having all these Top 10 singles around that period?
Grace: We absolutely loved it. This was the dream now and England was going to be next and Europe and we toured in Japan and toured in the States, so we were ready for big things we thought…Unfortunately, we were spending like there was no tomorrow.
Jason: on videos?
Grace: on everything, on absolutely everything and that went from tour buses, to crew, to lights, to making our stage sets, which had to be toured on trucks. We were just spend, spend, spend. So whatever we earned, pretty much had gone onto the next tour.
Jason: Now, onto the video for ‘We Will Together’…it was quite controversial I think when it came out, the whole you and Bernie on the outside thing (laughs). Was this kind of meant on purpose, to cause a bit of a stir…or were you expecting any kind of reaction from it?
Grace: No, certainly not the reaction it got. What was going on behind the scenes was Bernie and I had split up our marriage. We were still married and we were still working together, but we were quite freshly split up when it came time to film the video.
Jason: So, it wasn’t that awkward?
Grace: The video? it was akward. It was awkward.
Jason: Oh, OK, because I was going to ask you if you were comfortable doing that? (both laugh).
Grace: So…the decision to make that video clip would have been made months before, when we hadn’t split up.
Jason: and you couldn’t change it at the last minute?
Grace: Exactly. So now it’s all here and we had to go ahead with it because locations had been sought, film crew had been booked and the catering, so we had to go through with it. Meanwhile Bernie and I had split up and he’s got a new girlfriend, who’s a film director (laughs)
Jason: Did she film it?
Grace: No, no she didn’t, but she visited often on the set.
Jason: Was she a bit funny?
Grace: No, she wasn’t, but she was there!
Jason: It would have been a bit weird.
Grace: It felt very weird for me. I remember Bernie lying on top of me sliding his tongue into my mouth (laughs) and I’m thinking his new girlfriend’s standing in the doorway watching this and I just felt ‘this is horrible’ and I pushed Bernie off and said ‘ooh god, get off’.
Jason: That’s funny. (both laugh)
Grace: I think I lay on top of Bernie then and said look ‘if we have to film it we gotta finish this take’ and so I would get on top, but it was the fact that I got on top of Bernie to have a kiss – a little screen kiss – that America wouldn’t accept the video clip and said it was ‘X’ rated.
Jason: So, was it?
Grace: Yeah, it was ‘X’ rated in the States (laughs), but only because I was on top.
Jason: So if it was the other way around, it wouldn’t be ‘X’ rated?
Grace: No, No, that’s right. Here in Australia, it was ‘G’ and America, it was’ X’!
Jason: I was actually quite surprised that they played it on Countdown in a 6 o’clock timeslot when a lot of kids were watching it. (Grace laughs)
Jason: Not that it was full on, but you know what I mean?
Grace: Yeah, look I don’t know, yeah but things are a lot more full on now.
Jason: Back then a lot of videos were banned just for the smallest things, you know what I mean? Whereas now people get away with way more and that seems like nothing back then really, and where was that filmed?
Grace: That was at Palm Beach in New South Wales.
Jason: I loved your dreadlocks, by the way.
Grace: Did you like Bernie’s red…
Grace: Pigtail. I think he’s got a pigtail at the back of the red mullet, which was made out of a horse tail, it was disgusting (laughs).
Jason: Yep, OK.
Jason: Now a few weeks ago, I interviewed Steve from ‘Wa Wa Nee’. He told me that you dressed Wa Wa Nee for a period.
Grace: Did I?
Grace: I don’t remember that.
Jason: Yeah, he said that Grace Knight used to supply us with clothes and we would end up going on stage looking like the Eurogliders. (laughs)
Grace: Oh no. If I did, I was only trying to help them. They must have wanted it or otherwise…
Jason: Did you dress anyone else, make clothes for anyone else in the industry?
Grace: I made clothes for everyone, all my friends, that was their birthday presents. I made stuff for Amanda and when I didn’t make stuff for them, I went overseas with a budget and bought wardrobes. That’s not to say, people in the band didn’t choose their own clothes as well, but yeah, I guess I had a big hand in what the band looked like.
Jason: Oh, cool.
Jason: Now, around ’87 three of the members left the Eurogliders. Amanda Vincent went off to tour with the ‘Thompson Twins’ and then she worked with Boy George for a few years doing keyboards for him and the others worked with other artists overseas. Why did three all of a sudden leave…like all at once?
Grace: I don’t know, I mean I do know…. Bernie wasn’t happy with how it was going and thought he could do a better job with a different three.
Jason: Oh, OK, fair enough, because I thought Amanda Vincent was a great keyboardist.
Grace: I don’t doubt that for a second.
Jason: OK, so that’s basically it really? OK. (both laugh).
Jason: Now, the fourth Eurogliders album ‘Groove’ peaked at No.25 and the first single ‘Groove’ went No.13 and so that was another success and I absolutely love ‘Groove’ I think it’s a great single, like a really good dance single. Was that interesting for you and Bernie on the scene now and the other ones gone? Was it weird?
Grace: It was weird. I always perceived Eurogliders as Bernie’s band, as Bernie’s child. It was my job to express his lyrics.
Jason: Yeah, I read that in your book, he would tell you how he wants things sung, but you would interpret them in a correct way.
Grace: Yeah, but the same applied right across the band and so Bernie did so much in terms of writing - his bass lines, his drum lines, guitar lines, keyboard lines, harmonies, layers and different sets right across, Eurogliders was absolutely filled with tracks on all of our tracks. Bernie often wrote all of those before giving the songs to the band. So it was very much his band and I kind of felt that my job was to express Bernie’s lyrics. I really had no input into the music other than perhaps the speed of a song. So although I didn’t feel like an employee, cause I was the face of the Eurogliders, or the focus, as I should say, I was very much sort of fitting a role or fulfilling a job.
Jason: Was there tension with the other band members with Bernie, with the whole?
Grace: Oh, there’s always tension in bands. There’s the same tension in families, in bands, but yeah, there was tension.
Jason: By the late 80’s Eurogliders pretty much called it a day at that period, were you like really...
Grace: We actually didn’t call it a day actually.
Jason: Well, you took a break and went onto do other things.
Grace: yeah, we just went on to do other things, we never actually officially said ‘let’s stop Eurogliders’.
Jason: So at that point, obviously, you both felt that what you set out to achieve, you totally lived the dream and you were really happy with everything that you had done in that decade?
Grace: I didn’t think like that. I just thought, I really loved what I am doing, and it’s time to move on to the next thing.
Jason: You went on to do and ABC miniseries called ‘Come in Spinner’ and this obviously led to you doing jazz music. Moving on from pop music to jazz music, was that easy for you to do?
Grace: The singing was still my singing. It was still my voice and still my expression and interpretation of the lyric. I was petrified without Bernie being there, I had never sung anything without him in a directorial role, so I was all by myself now and I used to call Bernie up and say ‘look, can you come into the studio and just pretend you’ve got something for me to sign, or just come’? He used to say ‘No, just get on with it, do it yourself’ you know. So it was a case then sort of pushing a new door down, and pushing my way through it.
Jason: You recorded your own albums ‘Stormy Weather’& ‘Gracious and Live’ were they fun to do, the solo kind of thing? Did you get used to it without the whole Bernie thing?
Grace: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I got very used to doing it without Bernie and I think for me it was the first time I could actually hear my own voice and it was also the first time I could distinguish the music, it was simple in the jazz stuff, there was a simplicity to it and all the chaos of Bernie’s songs – which were beautiful chaos, that had all been stripped away, and it was just a melody and a groove…so I had to learn to enjoy my own voice and find a new way of articulating.
Jason: Are you still singing jazz now?
Grace: Yep, yep.
Jason: Now in 2005 and 2006 Eurogliders did a fifth and sixth album. You had a single ‘Hummingbird’… and I’ve seen the video of you in that, it’s all kind of squiggly and everything…from that track, I got an almost kind of ‘Massive Attack’ kind of trip/hop kind of vibe from that…
Grace: Oh OK, well once again Bernie wrote the tracks, I know the name ‘Massive Attack’, but I actually don’t listen to that sort of music, so I don’t recognise who you’re talking about, but I know that they’re quite huge, but I don’t know their music. But once again, Bernie gave me a track, now this time for me after I had been singing almost for twenty years, singing Jazz, I felt that now I’m able to articulate exactly how I want to sing a track, so I don’t need Bernie’s input in that sort of direction only it was more a case of him giving me a backing track and me playing with it, so that whole album I kind of liking it to being like an actor, acting different roles for each character and each song.
Jason: So with that album and the next album ‘Blue Kiss’
Grace: It’s a great name, ‘Blue Kiss’.
Jason: Yeah, it’s a great name! ‘Pink Suit, Blue Day’, ‘Blue Kiss’ (laughs)
Jason: How did you and Bernie decide that you wanted to make more Eurogliders albums? Did he approach you or?
Grace: No, I’d been approaching Bernie for years, since I moved onto the Jazz, but as I say, we’d gone on our separate ways, but I always loved the blending of Bernie’s and my voice.
Jason: Yeah, it’s great.
Grace: yeah, it’s just beautiful – when it hits it, it’s really lovely. So I was eager to do something like that and I always used to say ‘C’mon Bernie, it would be great if we did that’. So yeah, he eventually succumbed (laughs).
Jason: Now, especially on a track like ‘Absolutely’ that was probably one of the first times he had a really big lead vocal as a single, I think he had a great voice and then with you in the chorus with him, it was really, really nice melodies, so it’s funny that you should say that.
Grace: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jason: Now in that video, that whole you with the arrow thing, who did all that body paint for you?
Grace: That was so much fun that was. Michelle, my best friend, has done all the makeup and styling for Eurogliders video clips.
Jason: Oh did she, oh cool, right from the very beginning? Grace: No, not from ‘Without You’, since we came over East. So she did all that and then another friend who’s a nurse shaved my body, this was long before ‘brazilians’ were fashionable, shaved my body so that we could pat all this makeup and do the statue bit.
Jason: Oh, cool.
Grace: You could imagine, it was very funny.
Jason: The set of ‘Absolutely’ the kind of fake instruments and all that…
Grace: Michelle did all those instruments and the double guitar.
Jason: Wow, very talented!
Grace: oh yeah and she designed a stage set for us too
Jason: and when you were jumping on the letters. Was that pretty steady to jump on?
Grace: No, no, it was an optical illusion.
Jason: Oh, was it?
Grace: Yeah, so that was actually a chromo keyed backdrop and so we had lines set where the letters…so you’ve got your camera and you’re looking through your view finder and the letters are close to the camera and you put the people far back on a riser and then you mark where all the letters are, yeah so we were pretending like we were all losing our balance, but really we’re walking along a flat surface.
Jason: Oh cool, cause I always wondered that.
Grace: It’s great and when we’re going like that and banging on the roof.
Jason: I actually found your acting in the video’s quite good, actually.
Grace: Oh do you? Thank you.
Jason: You always did like these kind of little things on your own to the camera, like a little…
Grace: sigh? (laughs)
Jason: or something.
Jason: and even like to the video of ‘The City of Soul’ when you are in that amazing long black coat thing, did you make that?
Grace: Oh no, that was my girlfriend Michelle and that was her broach and my Indonesian friend’s hat.
Jason: and the outfit as well?
Grace: Yeah, no, I would have made the pants.
Jason: You were like in an outside bit, with children in it?
Grace: They were kids from Forrest Lodge Primary School, one of who is now thirty and came up to me and said ‘I was in your video clip…’, which is really funny. So we found a derelict building somewhere in Redfern and set these little fires around and got the kids all in their red t-shirts.
Jason: and who’s idea was it to get the kids?
Grace: Our film director – Steve Hopkins, who directed all our film clips.
Jason: Oh cool, I know his name.
Grace: Yeah, well he became a very big producer in Hollywood.
Jason: I really like that video actually, it’s a great video.
Grace: Yeah, yeah, well he did all our videos ‘Can’t Wait To See You’, ‘Heaven’, for which he won the awards for.
Jason: Now speaking of videos, who has ownership of the Eurogliders videos now? Do you know?
Grace: I would imagine the record company.
Jason: Looking back on them is there anything that you would have liked to have changed about any of the videos, or you’re all cool with it?
Jason: It is what it is?
Grace: You can’t change it, I wouldn’t even think about it.
Jason: I’ve got a few people asking me about this, but you probably won’t be able to answer it -There are lots of DVDs coming out now, do you think that a Eurogliders official DVD would ever come to surface with all the videos that you guys did?
Grace: That would be up to the record companies that own the rights to those videos. The poor record companies, it’s about time they took a whack, but the poor record companies, they need to do merchandise these days.
Jason: They do.
Grace: They can’t sell records anymore.
Jason: Exactly, because they keep bringing out like ‘Essential Eurogliders’ best of's or something, lots of Australian bands, because overseas a lot of DVDs get released a lot of bands like you guys, ‘The Models’, ‘Real Life’, I’m talking all those bands, unfortunately, I feel that a lot of those bands are kind of ignored now in the music industry and I don’t see why record companies can’t bring out DVDs of all these amazing bands that we had.
Grace: Yeah, yeah, well they should and I think they will soon enough, they will have little collections of 80’s sounds.
Jason: Now, in 2006 you did ‘The Countdown Spectacular Tour’. I was there, I saw you sing ‘Heaven’ (laughs)
Grace: oh, were you? (laughs)
Grace: Yeah, brilliant, it was really good fun. I don’t like driving.
Jason: Did you have to drive interstate?
Grace: No, no, no, you just have to drive to the venue, get there and then wait for six hours before you get a sound check and then do the gig and you’re on for one song.
Jason: Yeah, the only thing that I found was the whole one song was a little bit….
Grace: Yeah, as a performer that’s just painful.
Jason: Especially if you’re driving to a gig and doing just one song, because when you get out there, you probably want to get into it more.
Grace: Well of course, yeah, and it’s what you do. One song doesn’t do it for you. (laughs)
Jason: Did Michael Gudinski approach you about doing it?
Grace: Well he didn’t himself, but his group did.
Jason: Oh, cool.
Grace: yeah, which was lovely.
Jason: Did they ask Bernie as well?
Grace: They asked me to do it.
Jason: Yep, OK.
Jason: Do you still speak to Amanda, or anyone from then, or you haven’t…?
Grace: (Laughs), No, no, not really, I speak to Geoff occasionally, but we’ve only just hooked up with each other on the internet after years and years, we found each other on… I can’t remember??
Jason: facebook or something?
Grace: yeah something like that, but anyway, and I should meet up with Geoff for a coffee when I go to Sydney and a game of ‘Backgammon’, because he taught me ‘Backgammon’ back in the Eurogliders days.
Jason: What’s that?
Grace: ‘Backgammon’, it’s a board game.
Jason: Oh is it? OK?
Grace: I think it might be Syrian or Turkish or something like that, it’s a great game. Anyway, yeah, he tought me, so we’ll have a game with each other. Other than that I don’t really….
Jason: Do you still speak to Bernie?
Grace: No, Bernie won’t talk to me anymore (laughs).
Jason: Oh really, OK, maybe I shouldn’t get into that one?
Grace: I think I’ve done my dash with, or Bernie’s done his dash with me.
Jason: So, I was going to ask you the question, which obviously is not going to happen - Would there be a possible Eurogliders reunion gig with Amanda, yourself, Bernie, all of them?
Grace: If anyone was ever interested enough to ask the question, I would certainly consider it.
Jason: Now, I wanted to ask you, are you still accident prone, because in the 80’s apparently you had been run over by a car?
Jason: You were trampled by a horse, broken fingers Grace:Oh yeah. Jason: from ‘Juke’ Magazine, that’s what they said about the broken finger… also apparently your cat had an accident as well and you spent $130 on vet bills because your cat fell off a roof? Is all of this true? (laughs).
Grace: The cat falling off the roof is true, and it was Bernie’s cat and we paid to have all his cat gut muscles and tendons put back in its leg and then it got squashed by a bus on the road.
Jason: So how did all the broken fingers and ankles?
Grace: I would have been horse riding probably and damaged my fingers, but I can’t remember the first one, whatever that was. Being hit by a car?
Jason: Oh well, ‘Juke’ magazine said that you had been run over by a car…twice! (laughs)
Grace: Oh, no, no, no, well that is true, but not in that year, it was when I was a little girl.
Jason: Oh, I see.
Grace: yeah, yeah, yeah, hit by a car!
Jason: Because I’ve even seen an interview n ‘Sounds’ saying that you were really accident prone?
Grace: Yes, yes.
Jason: Is that still the case now?
Grace: No, I’m over it. I’m in the clear.
Jason: Your latest book ‘Pink Suit for a Blue Day’, when did you start writing this one?
Grace: I started about nearly two years ago and then I stopped because I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I thought it was a bit exposing and then I started thinking about the people that it actually might encourage to help and when I thought about them, I didn’t feel quite so exposed, because I thought well, there might be something in my story that can give them a hand and if I can do that for one person, I would be really, really happy, because it’s a shit of a journey to think there’s no way out of it. Yeah, so if I could in some way shine a little light through my own story then I thought I should just get over myself and write it.
Jason: When you were writing the book, did you have to get permission from other people that you were writing about?
Jason: Oh OK, cool.
Jason: It took you two years, did you put together all the photos and everything?
Grace: I got a lot of them from fans.
Jason: Oh really, oh wow, that’s cool.
Jason: Have you got quite a good reaction from the book?
Grace: I think so. I mean this is so weird, this whole publishing industry. I find it incredible, I actually don’t know how many books I’ve sold yet. I know they’re extremely happy and I don’t know what that means ‘extremely happy’, because they won’t put a number on it for me, so I’ve got to wait six months before I know what the…
Jason: When I went to get the book, they told me that they had about three copies and I rang up and they said ‘we’ve only got one left’, so I had to rush in there and get them to put it on hold for me.
Grace: Oh great, yeah, yeah, yeah, oh well, that’s nice to hear.
Jason: Yeah, so that’s good.
Jason: You mentioned that you’re going to get into more writing?
Grace: Yeah, yeah. I’m looking forward to that, to writing a story, not a script.
Jason: Do you have any ideas of what you’re going to write about?
Grace: Yeah, I do. I haven’t got a storyline yet, but I’ve got…
Jason: Have you always enjoyed writing? Or is it more of a newer passion since you’ve been doing this book?
Grace: Oh no, no, no, I enjoy writing, I enjoy it very much, I enjoy writing songs, I enjoy writing lyrics to songs and I’ve written poetry before and that I’ve had published. I just thoroughly enjoy the journey, the whole experience. This took me two months to write, once I decided I was going to get on with it. I got a publishing deal and they wanted it in two months time and I think I went about a weekend over the deadline.
Jason: It’s kind of good, how you’ve got all your sections with names and everything like ‘The Euroglider’, ‘The Seed Has Sown’ all that kind of stuff.
Grace: ‘The Island Princess’
Jason: Yeah, like each journey of where you’ve been in your life and how you got to where you got.
Grace: Yeah, oh that’s good, I’m glad you liked that bit.
Jason: Yeah, it’s a great book…Um, well that’s pretty much it.
Grace: Woh, phew, ….breathe. (both laugh)
Jason: Forty seven minutes.
Grace: Oh wow.
Interview conducted by Jason Grech, Copyright © 2011 www.countdownmemories.com