An interview with James Freud by Jason
On the 29th July, 2005 I interviewed James Freud in Brisbane. James of course had great success in the 1980s with the Radio Stars and smash hit single "Modern Girl" from his debut album "Breaking Silence". James then changed the name of the band from Radio Stars to Berlin. He then went on to join one of Australia's best bands The Models, which had already been around for couple of years with the minor success of the Cut Lunch EP which featured the single Two Cabs to the Toucan Can and then the single Local And Or General. By the time James joined The Models they went on to make many more singles and hits throughout the 80's. The first single with James as an official member was the fantastic track "On" released in August 1982 which reached #1 on the independent charts.
Other fantastic singles included No Shoulders No Head, God Bless America, Big on Love, Evolution, Cold Fever and the massive hit singles including I Hear Motion, Barbados, Out Of Mind Out Of Sight and Hold On. Since the dismiss of The Models James has been part of many projects including Beatfish with Martin Plaza of Mental As Anything and also his band Moon dog. James is THE epitome of a true Australian rock star in my opinion. He was a pleasure to interview with much wit and charisma. I thank James greatly for this funny, amusing, interesting and honest interview!
Jason: Did you start watching Countdown from its debut in 1974?
James: Um, yeah. God I think I must of seen the first show I reckon. Because in those days you know, that was the go thing and everything was very focused. Like if there was going to be a music show everyone knew about it, you know. Because I wanted to be a rock star from way, way back. So yeah, I'm sure I would of definitely.
Jason: And your first performance on Countdown was with The Radio Stars with your debut single "I Wanna Be Your Baby". In your autobiography "I am the voice left from drinking" you quote... "I was finally going to be on the show I had sat and watched religiously as a teenager, while telling everyone, 'One Day I'll be up there'.. You then went on basically saying it was nothing like you expected as there was lots of waiting around and lots of camera rehearsals e.t.c... While all this was going on by the end of your performance were you excited that you just appeared on Countdown or was it a bit of a disaster?
James: Um no, no, no. It was tremendously exciting but it's like one of those things you know. That any goal that you work towards in your life, whenever you get there it's always sort of a bit of an anti climax. I think it's sort of more the journey to get there but it's got to be enjoyable. But look it was fantastic, but it was just so weird because you know like that song, it's a 3 minute song and it's over so fast and then suddenly you kind of get in your car and going home, it's like hmm. That was it you know, because there's no like big party afterwards, you know. It's the scummy old ABC studios
James: And so it's like, I guess Christmas day is a classic. I don't know if Christmas is big to you but I love it you know, and I get really excited and gear up and then suddenly it's over. You feel a lot like that.
Jason: So by the time you then went back to Countdown in May of 1980 and performed "Modern Girl", were you happy and thinking "Okay I'm on here for the second time"
James: And I'll have a career! Laughs....
Jason: Yeah, exactly!
James: I don't know because for me it was sort of like everything was going more or less as planned. I'm kind of one of those people that have a lot of blind faith in what I do so you know, like I can really sort of pick up things and remove it from reality. And where as reality might be saying, ooh you've been on once and that's it, now you're gonna end up you know flipping burgers in a caravan for the rest of your life sort of thing.
James: I believe that, oh I'm gonna just keep going and be successful and all of that. So it was like, well I'm supposed to be here again and this song is supposed to be a hit and Blah, Blah, Blah
Jason: Because you knew that when you wrote it, it was going to be a hit'
James: Modern Girl?
James: I yeah, I truly did. It just felt right you know. Because I don't know, every song that I've written that's done really well has sort of happened
Jason: That's usually the way it goes
James: Yeah, I don't know where it comes from. I mean I still remember writing
Jason: And did you enjoy making the video to Modern Girl?
James: Um, I think so? I think I'd had heroin or something!
James: No in fact, no it was the photo shoot to the album cover that I did the heroin
Jason: The Breaking Silence cover
Jason: You look great on that cover though with the jet black hair
James: Oh thanks. Yeah, I didn't have too much. Um I was you know hanging around with a bad crowd. But yeah no look the video was sort of good but it was one of those situations where it was a new process
Jason: Yeah, video was just beginning to take off
James: Yeah, and I didn't really know what I wanted or how it was gonna look in the end. And when I look at it now or even when it was finished, it's like this isn't really what I wanted or what I had in mind you know
Jason: Oh, okay
James: I mean it worked
Jason: The white background was good, and for its time it was pretty well done
James: Yeah, look it was all kinda something?
Jason: And for it's time it was pretty well done
James: Hmm. I'm not dissing it, but yeah
Jason: And was that a young Deborah Conway in the video miming "La, La, La, La" in the video?
James: Yeah it is. It's Deborah Conway and she's also the shilloute, the sort of puppet
Jason: So is she the Modern Girl in the video?
James: Hysterically Laughs! Yeah she was a model then way before Do Re Mi.
Jason: Cool, You also mention in your autobiography that when Countdown the first time in 1980, you thought you stunk at hosting and that you were no Brian Mannix as he was one of the best Countdown hosts. You quote... "It was a terrible disappointment; I had waited all those years to host Countdown and could barely walk when the time came. Would it have been as nerve racking if you didn't have your knee injure and hadn't you been in such pain due to your bike accident?
James: Um yeah, no it would have been! I don't know maybe I'm different now. I'd love to have a go at hosting something like that again
Jason: Because I want to see that episode
James: I'd love to see it! I think from memory I hosted it twice. Yeah, but I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure it was twice but you know it was the days before auto queue, so you know there would be someone standing up to the side
Jason: Yeah, with a sign?
James: Yeah! So you're sort of like trying to not look like you're not reading of to the side
Jason: So was everything scripted?
James: Oh, to a certain degree. I don't know I always just used to panic in those situations, you know it would be like okay "This is what I'm going to say", blah, blah, blah...
Jason: Because it was live at that time, yeah?
James: Yeah well actually, no it wasn't live. They would tape it because of the technology they wouldn't stop the tape unless you know. You had your pants fell off or something. And it was going to breach the rules.
Jason: So you had to be right on the money?
James: Yeah, they would just keep it going. Because it was always a big deal,
Jason: And do you think Countdown was THE major music program at that time that gave bands and artists a go and that greatly helped with exposure to the general public?
James: Look I think it should still be here, you know. I think that it's appalling that it's not. In the same way Top of the Pops is still going in England...
James: And they haven't changed the format they haven't stuffed around with it. When I'd sort of seen some of the newer episodes of Countdown that they re run like Countdown Revolution and stuff. I remember doing that when they moved it to The Metro and it was just horrible. I was looking at it going what are you doing? You know, and that was when I had that huge fight with Molly and he called me a has been. You know its like, why are you fucking around with this show for?
Jason: I totally agree!
James: It was like "its fine as it is". It was doomed, you know. And he'd say "This is the future of Rock n Roll". And I was like "Oh where are they now"? Where were they like six months later? More to the point...
Jason: Yep, you're totally right!
James: But you know. Like Countdown, it was the place where you got all your information and you knew what was happening in music and you could turn it on and you knew who was going to tour, who was big in the US and English charts and what was our Top Ten here, just like that! I mean look, I know you've still got it with like Video Hits and things e.t.c, e.t.c... But it goes too long you know, it's sort of spread out over the morning.
Jason: And it's just videos
James: Yeah, and also it's on a Saturday morning so it's kind of got a different feel about Sunday, dinner time, your parents.
Jason: And there's no live bands on Video Hits like Countdown had and it doesn't have that same anticipation
James: No, I mean that was the great thing you know. If Iggy Pop was in town he'd perform on the show or you know... NOT!
Jason: Yeah, off his tits!
James: Hmm, yeah and that was great you know. Now if you're in town and you wanna play live on a show you get to go on Rove and they put you on as the last act with the credits and it's so rude!
Jason: Yes, the credits are horrible. You see when I was growing up and even people I knew who watched Countdown, we always watched Countdown with our parents even, as they were also into it
James: Yeah, well that's what I was going to say, it was your family. They would sit down, your parents you know like. They'd go "Ooh, what's on Countdown"
Jason: And do you remember being part of the first big Rock Awards on Countdown in 1981 when you presented an award when you had the great black hair and eyeliner?
James: Yeah, oh I do. I was incredibly sick
Jason: Oh Really?
Jason: Oh, you looked fantastic!
James: No, No. I was actually very ill. I'd just come down with like hepatitis and I didn't know it and suddenly I noticed I'd gone yellow because a couple of days later we were supposed to do that place called Billboard in Russell St or whatever it was
Jason: Okay, yeah
James: And I just collapsed backstage, and I was like "I can't go on; I don't know what's wrong with me"?
Jason: So you didn't do the gig?
James: No, it's the only show. Oh, the 2 shows I've cancelled actually 3
James: And they were all health related, you know. One was hepatitis, the other one was because I was vomiting 53% of my blood up and the other one was when Sean and I got badly sunburned that we just couldn't handle the heat of it
Jason: Was this in Queensland or something?
James: No, no. We were snow skiing in the snow because we thought oh great we can get a bit of a tan. And we actually had second degree burns and we had puss oozing out of our faces, it was shocking! Hmm, but consequently I do remember those awards but I mean look it was fantastic but again it was classic case of chocking, because they said you have to learn this and take out your cue cards and blah, blah, blah. And just before I went on I said "I'm never gonna remember this" and tore them up and they said "What are ya doing?" I said "I'll just wing it" and then I went out and did it
Jason: Well, I thought you did wing it pretty well
James: Yeah well I did. Except I stuffed up one bit you know like I said something like "And it's these songs what makes music what it is today" and I was thinking... What the hell are you talking about? What the hell are you saying?
Jason: Laughs! But it was pretty cool, as they were the first like real MAJOR Awards in this country
James: Hmm, well that night at the first Countdown Awards in 1981. I ended up nearly this close having a fling with Sandi Major
Jason: Who's Sandi Major again?
James: Sandi Major was one of the reporters on Wonder World, the blonde one
Jason: Oh, okay
James: Not that Edith Bliss girl or whatever her name was, not her. This one had more flowing blonde hair!
Jason: Laughs, No not her, not the one with the Granny perm!
James: No, no, no, no... Never no
Jason: Because Edith Bliss performed on Countdown in the 70's actually, I think it was 1979?
James: Yeah, yeah that's correct. Well there ya go
Jason: Well now I have to get on to this, I am a huge Gary Numan fan
Jason: Around the time in the very early 80's you supported him on his tour of Australia and he was rather impressed with your performance, did you also do the European tour with him?
James: Well no, no. We were supposed to do the European tour but after recording the album together in London we had a big falling out so the tour got cancelled
Jason: So you just toured with him in Australia
James: Yes, Toured Australia with him
Jason: Okay now, you did end up recording a nice amount of stuff with Numan but it never came out obviously
Jason: Is there ever any plans that the material will be heard because I'm desperate to hear it!
James: I'll send you a copy of it
Jason: Oh, will you!
James: Yeah, I'll do you a dub of it.
Jason: And the track "While We Worship Oxygen" that you recorded at the same period of the Numan stuff but the one he had nothing to do with, do you have that track?
Jason: as I saw it on EBay, and it ended up being a B-side for Automatic Crazy, was that going to be on the Numan produced album and I have to get it
James: Oh is it? It wasn't actually on the album I don't think, or something. I don't know what happened. But Festival sent me a dub of the album, they found it! Which is a miracle?
James: Because they've lost everything, you know
Jason: Oh really? Thank goodness they didn't lose it!
James: Oh well like the last solo album I did in New York I wanted to get the multi tracks because I did a track with Michael Hutchence, with you know like a duet thing
Jason: What is that in the archives?
Jason: Do you have it?
James: No, and that's the point. I just rang them about 2 months ago and said "Look can you find the multi tracks" because I wanted to lift off Michael's vocals and do like a remix thing
Jason: What was the song called?
James: Well, it was called "Don't Let Me Down" but I was gonna like make a sort of new thing out of it
Jason: But they can't find it?
James: And they've lost it!
Jason: Oh what a spew!
James: And I was spewing, yeah totally spewing! But anyway, miracle! They found the Gary Numan album, it's a horrible album! Wait till you hear it
Jason: I reckon I'll love it
James: No you won't
James: Trust me!
Jason: Really? Does it sound Numanish like?
Jason: So it's not synthy?
James: It's synthy, but it's awful. It was when I was going through that hideous stage of singing like um, Steve Gilpin
Jason: Oh, of Mi Sex
James: Yeah, Computer Games
Jason: I might like it though as I love Mi Sex
James: No, no. It's horrific, it's fucking horrible! I swear to god
Jason: I still want a copy
James: I'll send it to you
Jason: Okay, deal! I'll send you a copy of While We Worship Oxygen in return
James: Yeah, thank you. Because I've been desperate to get a hold of it because it's not on the album for some reason, everything else is
Jason: While reading your autobiography I noticed that Gary Numan didn't produce "While We Worship Oxygen"
James: Well no, he didn't. That was the night that we had the huge fight, he stormed out
Jason: And you did your own thing
James: Yeah, we just hung in the studio and drank all night
Jason: And it was probably the best thing you did, yeah?
James: It was
Jason: And I love how Gary described the track as sounding so John Foxx and how he was jealous!
James: Yeah, he was spewing! He came in, in the morning and said "That's fucked, it's really good" you know, "It's the best thing on the album and I wasn't here", you know!
Jason: Because you lived in the caravan in his backyard, didn't you?
James: That was bizarre
Jason: I have to say my favorite part of the book around the whole Gary Numan period was the section when you unleash the real meaning behind Numan's hit "Cars" when you were about to be bashed by some skin heads outside a fast food place
James: The Fish n Chip shop
Jason: And he said that's what Cars was about, the whole theory of feeling safe in his Car from those type of people
James: Yeah, that was his whole thing you know. I just go around in my car
Jason: I must say while reading your whole book I was just cracking up and laughing out loud thinking, oh my god!
James: Oh look it's um, it's amazing. I still get a lot of feedback you know. From people who say "I just read your book and it's just fantastic"
Jason: Yes, it is
James: I mean, I'm just working on a follow up to it now
Jason: Oh, are you?!
James: Yeah, it's gonna be like quite a lot different to it. Um, basically it's about reinventing your life. It's kind of more of a, like positive, inspirational kind of thing, you know
Jason: After your colorful past
James: Well yeah, you know. Basically I went through all that and I was told if I ever drank again I'd be dead in 2 years
Jason: Oh really?
James: And I stopped drinking for about 3 months or something and then I started again and went like, totally lost it completely you know. And I just, I mean really should of died and I didn't and now like I haven't had a drink for a year now
James: And I feel fantastic, life is really good and what I wanna do is write this follow up book. And it's just kind of about making choices, decisions and how every day you're faced with like, it's like a tree you know? And if you choose this, the right way all these branches grow off from it and end up like you know, really a different place to this choice you know? And so yeah, it's kind of like a self help book but relating to my life
Jason: Okay, great
Jason: Now before you joined The Models you were obviously a close friend of Sean Kelly
Jason: But for those who may not have read your autobiography, how did you come to join the band
James: Well what happened was Sean and I went to school together when we were like 13
Jason: So you grew up in Melbourne?
James: Yeah I was born there, yeah grew up in Blackburn South. We went to school in Nunnawading opposite Channel 10 studios
Jason: Oh really
James: Sean and I did, yeah. The day we met he'd got transferred there from the Legion College because he got beaten up or something. And they plumped him down next to me and he said "Hi, how are ya"? And I said "Does my hair look alright", you know
James: And he goes "Yeah, it looks good." Uh, you know. And we started talking - And he found out I had a bass guitar and we were keen on music
Jason: And the rest is history!
James: Yeah, so we started you know, forming bands. And punk bands and our Jade Mirror Band.
Jason: Did you record anything?
James: The Jade Mirror Band? No we did one gig. That was the one where our drummer got arrested
Jason: Okay, laughs!
James: Our drummer with his 20 drag queens and snakes
James: Yeah, yeah. He collected all these snakes and drag queens. So whenever he turned up to rehearsals there'd be like 20 drag queens would turn up, you know. All crammed into this room with a couple of snakes and stuff
Jason: Fantastic! Sounds interesting
James: And so we finally got a gig at this scout hall and he got arrested that day
James: I don't know! We never saw him again
Jason: So you have never seen him since?
James: No! I haven't seen him
Jason: That was a very cool name for a band
James: the Jade Mirror Band? Yeah, we were all you know, had the Bowie thing. You know...
Jason: Were you all like Glam sounding?
James: Yeah, you know. It was like Glam and Rock sort of thing.
James: And uh, in fact we did two gigs. We did that one and then we did another one where all these punks gate crashed and put on "God Save The Queen". And I was like "Ah, now that's what I wanna do"!
Jason; oh, okay
James: Hmm, for awhile. But anyway yeah, so getting back to Sean. Yes, we um went our separate ways and then I came back from London after
Jason: And he asked you to join the band?
James: Oh, I just came back and said I'm joining the band. You don't have any say in it!
Jason: Fantastic! Now the first single you recorded as an official member of The Models was "On"
James: Yeah, that's right
Jason: By the way its one of my favourite tracks from The Models
Jason: I love it!
James: Fantastic. How weird.
Jason: And I was real disappointed you guys didn't t do it at the reunion show in 2000. I was waiting for it all night thinking please do "On". And I love the video by the way, with all the make up. I know you say in your autobiography that you thought you guys looked like ugly drag queens but I thought you looked fantastic
Jason: You're not a fan of the song?
James: No I am. It was just such a weird thing, that whole recording. Because we had Lobby Loyde there with his huge bag of speed and beer then erased some of it. And then the studio where we got burnt and the girls in the video
Jason: Yes I know, but it was such a cool video for its time.
James: Oh because we were shooting with all this welding stuff. So there was sparks landing in our hair and our hair kept catching on fire. And then one of the girls that was in the car, she ended up being married to Andy Dominic who directed and wrote Chopper. And she got glandular fever or something. So suddenly everyone that worked on the set was quarantined and it was a frickin nightmare, the whole thing
Jason: Now around that time did you feel like, oh finally I'm on the road to being in a band that could have some great success and is really creative e.t.c?
James: Uh, I did. I just needed to change a few things
James: It was like okay this band is really gonna do something but we have a dead group and that was John Rowell who was playing guitar and Graham the drummer. You know, they were just I don't know, didn't think they were very professional
Jason: Okay, it that when Andrew Duffield joined?
James: Well he'd been in the band already
James: And then he left. He had a breakdown and left and then he came back and we had Gus for awhile from Beargarden
Jason: Beargarden were great!
James: Yeah, and then John left and o'deed in the toilet somewhere and Graham was just floating around you know. But then, yeah once we got Barton in the band it felt right and we thought we could really do something then.
Jason: Okay, after that period you recorded the first album with the new line up of The Models called "The Pleasure Of Your Company" with the singles "No Shoulders No Head", "God Bless America" and then came "I Hear Motion" And that was the first really big single for The Models.
Jason: Were you really pleased with the song and the way it turned out and with the album as well?
James: I love it, I love that album
Jason: Because even though the album was critically acclaimed, it wasn't as successful as your next album but I think that album is just really amazing and so genius
James: Thanks, look I think that album really highlights the peak of our career you know creatively
Jason: Because "I Hear Motion" went Top 10 didn't it?
James: It, I think it made it to #11 Jason: #11. Yeah, well that was pretty good
James: Yeah that was good for us
Jason: Because I remember it being on the radio a lot
James: Yeah, look I thought it was fantastic. But it was a real bitch because we couldn't play it live you know, because of the sequence
James: And the stupid sequence as I said in the book
Jason: Was that on the David Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour?
James: Yeah, you know that was our hit
Jason: And people were waiting for it!
James: Yeah we couldn't play it, and we'd go like okay this is called "I Hear Motion" and people were like "Yay" and nothing would happen, ahh!...
Jason: And you didn't even do Modern Girl overseas when you were promoting the Radio Stars, so you missed out on both hits both times
Jason: That's funny... Now by the time you recorded the next album "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight"
Jason: The Models slightly changed their direction a bit, and "Big on Love" was recognized well on the radio but unfortunately wasn't a massive single
Jason: But you were basically being bagged by some press with comments like "James Freud had turned The Models into a pop band", blah, blah, blah...
Jason: And stuff like they've sold out e.t.c. How did you guys feel about that and did you think you guys sold out or not really?
James: It's kind of interesting. Because see what happened was, it wasn't really an effort to necessarily be commercial or anything
James: What we decided to do was make our lyrics kind of more excessive not in assessable but sort of, I don't know something. Because we'd always sort of had like really obscure stuff like you know "Sam the butcher" you know and um "Watch your Mouth" and stuff like that, you know. It was always like "Well what the hell are they talking about"? So Sean and I said look, well why don't we sort of pick a lot of, you know standard old R&B songs
James: And how they kind of used to write about stuff and whatever
James: And go kind of more like that. And we ended up with a very commercial sounding album and we didn't really mean to and we got our aces kicked, you know
Jason: Barbados was great though
James: That was good, look it was a good song
Jason: Because that was just before "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight"
James: Yeah, that came out before that. Actually have you ever heard the rarities album?
Jason: Yeah, the white cover one
James: Yeah, okay because that's got the demo one.
Jason: Is that the Reggie Lucas version?
James: Yeah, oh no that was before Reggie Lucas
James: Because what happened was that one we did by ourselves and the one that came out we did it with Reggie Lucas. But we got Mark Opitz in to totally rework it sort of into a rhythm track.
Jason: How did Reggie Lucas even come into the picture?
James: I don't know, I don't know
Jason: Because he did Madonna's early stuff
James: Yeah, and Mushroom just said "Oh, we've got Reggie Lucas coming out who's gonna work with you". And I went "Oh, okay"
Jason: Oh, Okay (laughs)
James: Alright, and I said "What's he done?"... "Oh, he's done Madonna"
Jason: Well that couldn't have been a bad thing
James: Okay, we'll give it a go!
James: Bernard Edwards used to have great stories about Reggie Lucas
Jason: Oh really. Reggie Lucas was black yes?
James: Yeah, his whole thing was, he was a complete asshole you know. He'd come in and say (puts on an American accent) "Okay yeah, I want you guys to play it like this". And we said "We don't wanna play it ". And he's like "I don't give a shit what you want, if you want to be on MTV mutha fucker you'll play it like this"!
James: Yeah, he said "You play the way I tell ya to play"
Jason: What a nightmare!
James: Program the mutha fuckin keyboard you know, he was an ace hole.
Jason: I wonder how Madonna worked with him!
James: So we had no drummer, like "Big on Love" no drummer. He'd be like
Jason: Big On Love was such a great song though
James: It was a good song
Jason: And the video was fantastic
James: It was good song but Sean hated it because Reggie played all the guitar on that so he hated that. Barton hated it because he didn't play drums on it, I didn't play bass on it
Jason: You're joking
James: It was all just Reggie programming. And we just sang on it
Jason: Okay that's funny
James: Yeah, it was bizarre
Jason: Now on the 1985 Countdown Awards there was a tie between you guys with "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight" and The Mental's with "Live it up" for the best single of 1985
James: Hmm, I was spewing!
Jason: You must have been meagerly disappointed!
James: I was, it was my big moment
Jason: It was like single of the year is "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight" AND Live it up". And you were in London at the time
Jason: Cross over from The Hippodrome, yeah?
James: Yeah that's right
James: Oh, that was horrible. I thought we had it!
Jason: And when you got back you said it was broken in two pieces!
Jason: What happened?
James: Oh, apparently Chris Murphy our manager had an argument with someone at the after show party. And threw it at them (laughs). And it broke
James: So yeah, I've sort of just carried it around like this broken thing
Jason: So you still have it?
James: No, I now have lost it. I just gave up you know. My shared award's broken, you know
Jason: So did the Mentals get an award as well saying The Mentals and The Models?
James: No, it just said you know The Models "Out Of Mind out Of Sight" best single
James: But yeah, they got one too
Jason: That's Bizarre!
James: They've probably still got there one
Jason: Also, why was a remixed version of "I Hear Motion" added on the "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight" American version of the album?
James: Oh, I think. I don't know
Jason: Did they just think it was a good song?
James: Yeah, it was just really one of those things, you know. A good song from an album, I don't think "The Pleasure of Your Company" got released over there
Jason: So they just stuck in on
Jason: Now the last Models made in the 80's was Media
Jason: Which featured the top 10 track and another favourite of mine "Hold On"
Jason: I love it, it's great
Jason: Yeah, it's cool
James: I'm actually re-working it at the moment
Jason: Oh really?
James: Yeah, I'm doing a new version of it and just adding some more stuff and I'm gonna send it to Keith Urban. I think it would be good to get him to do it
Jason: Okay, and around that time The Models soon after the release of "Media" decided to call it a day, how did you all come to the decision of deciding to split up the band?
James: Um. It was a weird; I mean it was horrible in the end. You know, we were just fighting and arguing and you know, like Wendy was in the band
Jason: Wendy Mathews (laughs)
James: Yeah! And you know
Jason: Sean was obsessed in her
James: Oh well I couldn't spend any time with Sean you know. And it probably was like a jealousy thing you know
Jason: Was she the Yoko Ono that broke The Models up (laughs)
James: I used to say that. She's the fuckin Yoko Ono, you know. Like on the bus and stuff Sean and I, we were gonna punch each other out all sorts of stuff and it was just horrible! It was really awful. Everyone was unhappy and you know Barton was complaining that he wanted more royalties and writing and stuff
James: And so we just went look, hmmm. Realistically we could of, if we soft of had been a bit smarter we could of kept going because Geffen loved the album, but they wanted a couple more tracks, you know. And they would have released "Media" in America
James: Ah, but we just didn't get around in doing anymore you know, and we broke up
Jason: And then after The Models broke up you went on to make one of the most expensive alums in this country called "Step into the Heat". Was the whole experience of making the album good for you and were you happy with the album?
James: Uh, okay. Um, yes and no! (Laughs). It was a fantastic experience because I got to go and live in New York for a year in a loft on Broadway
Jason: Oh cool
James: And you know, we flew business class and first class and had a really good time you know. The record company said "Now, whenever you need money just go down and see Seymour?
Jason: Seymour Stein?
James: Oh no, Seymour Stein. I went to the Prince concert and I had to sit on Seymour Stein's lap all the way there you know, I was sitting there going ooh no. Yeah, he was the A&R guy from Epic and he signed you know Madonna and The Ramones he used to, he'd done everyone, amazing.
Jason: Okay, so who's the other Seymour?
James: Oh, he's just the accountant
Jason: He was the accountant who you got the money from (laughs)
James: Yeah and, but I'd just go in and say "Oh I need some money" and he'd go "Okay how much?" You know. "Oh, give us I don't know, a thousand bucks"
James: Here we go, so you know I'd find myself going down there like two times a week you know "I need some more money" and the record company said "Whatever he wants, just give it to him"
Jason: Oh well that's alright!
James: So look it was a great time. I got to work with the best musicians and players, you know. In one of the best studios, but the album itself was shit house! You know, when I listen to it now it doesn't have any substance.
Jason: The cover was good
James: Yeah look it had a big sound and, but there was nothing. There was nothing of me in there. It wasn't um, it got lost you know
Jason: Oh, okay. Is that because you were over in America and you were kind of operating in a different environment?
James: Look yeah, a lot of that. It was um, you sort of often hear it you know, it was like when Bryan Ferry went off and recorded in L.A and did 'The Bride Stripped Bare' you know. Suddenly he had all these great players around him and he kind of shrunk, yeah you know. Um I don't know, you tend to do that. You sort of go "Well you know what you're doing". You're you know. But they don't always, you know. Yeah they have a way of working and unless you're sort of prepared to stand up and push them around you know, you lose your identity.
Jason: Now we briefly touched on this topic earlier in the interview. Around that time in the late 80's Countdown Revolution surfaced after Countdown ended in 1987, so in 1989 the new version being Revolution started. In your autobiography you quote such things as Molly directed comments at you like you're a has been etc., etc. and you said that those comments affected you rather deeply for many years
Jason: it must have been a great shock to hear that these new hosts are the future. And you being a musician in the music industry for a decade being put down!
James: Oh look it was terrible you know because that day was my 30th birthday.
James: Oh, you know. I thought I was like over the hill and with Molly um. He was just in one of those vile drunken moods and he thought he'd found the great new host for the future, you know one of those guys. He was a scrooker outside a bloody butcher shop. And Molly you know found him while he was walking past and you know
Jason: Oh really
James: Yeah took him home
Jason: Laughs, okay
James: And it's like. Oh YOU should be on television
Jason: Oh, I see
James: And its like you know, you're telling me that this guy is the future
Jason: Was that Chook, or the one with the dark hair?
James: Yeah. Um, it was the blonde one
Jason: Because they were horrible hosts!
James: They were terrible. And they just fired Andrew Daddo
James: And Andrew Daddo has talent, you know
Jason: And he hosted The Factory, and he was good
James: Yeah, I said this guy is going to be around for a long time. And he still is!
James: I was correct
Jason: You know your show business!
Jason: It must have been really hideous because when Countdown was in its prime when it was really popular
Jason: Molly was really you know, he pushed talent not crap
James: Well you know. It's so weird. He did a big Mario Mallano; he got up at the book launch because he launched the book
Jason: Did he!
Jason: Why is that?
James: Oh, well I thought it would be good to get him to launch it
Jason: Okay, was he okay then?
James: Um yeah, he was alright. He said look you know (Puts on a Molly voice!) "Ah everyone, I have to clarify something" you know "Like in the book James says that I said this and that". He said "I didn't say that, I said if you don't clean up your act you'll end up a had been
Jason: A has been, okay
James: And it's like he didn't! He was drunk
Jason: You remember an insult when somebody insults you
James: I know! He was saying you know you're a fucking has been. That was what he said, quote UN quote, you know
Jason: Oh, dear
James: And it was a horrible night
Jason: Okay, now in the early 90's you formed Beatfish with Martin Plaza of Mental as Anything
Jason: And you had a Top 20 single with "Wheels of Love". You say in you're book that Beatfish was amongst the best work you have done, but radio wouldn't support it. And I say surprise, surprise! Bloody radio
Jason: Was the Beatfish project a real stand out moment creatively speaking.
James: Um, definitely. Yeah I still love that album; you know there's a lot of stuff that's abit iffy on it. But I guess it's the same with any album
James: But I loved working with Robert Racic you know, he was fantastic!
James: Well he was HIV positive and he always stayed really fit and the virus couldn't actually attack his body because he was so strong. But it attacked his brain and he got like an infection of the brain and in the end he was just sitting there just rocking back and forwards. You know smoking, and then he'd stop and he'd jump up, and once he like jumped up and grabbed me and said "You've gotta help me, you've gotta get me out of this, you've gotta help me" and then he went back into like that thing, you know
Jason: How sad
James: It was like, ooh. He was a great and really talented guy. So yeah I love that album and I loved working with him
Jason: And did you like working with Martin?
James: Look Martin was a laugh to work with, funny guy you know. And I'd know him for a long time and I think the whole process scared the hell out of him because he moved so far away from Mental as Anything you know.
James: Because he had this idea he was just going to do like an album and do jive talking. Because whenever he does covers he does it so it sounds like the original like a karaoke version, you know.
James: He was gonna you know, just be there with his guitar doing "Jive Talking..." And I said NO! If we're gonna do a cover we need to make it our own and different
Jason: Okay! And since Beatfish, musically you've done a few other projects including Moon dog and James Freud and the Reserves
James: Yeah! Laughs...
Jason: Yeah! Do you still do anything musically and do you still work on your own material?
James: I haven't for a long time but I've just actually finished setting up a studio
Jason: Okay, great!
James: You know, look basically what I want to do is like a soundtrack to my new book
James: Something like that and I just wanna record something. Whether there's any interest in it or not, it doesn't matter. You know, I'm gonna sell it on the net
Jason: Cool, that's a good way to go these days
James: Yeah well everyone is you know. And it's not necessarily a bad thing because you are, you're making a lot of money from your first record as apposed to you know. I'm still paying back "Out Of Mind out Of Sight"
Jason: How ridiculous, record companies are shocking!
James: Laughs, it's insane. And when I do pay it back I don't own it! They still own it.
Jason: Is it right that after 25 years the artist owns it or not?
James: I think no. I think that's like one of those Urban Myths
Jason: How hideous... Now in 2000 The Models briefly reformed for a bunch of live shows around Australia, how did that come about?
James: Um, I think it was just that the timing was right, the money was right.
Jason: And especially around the time the 80's thing l was starting to come back in too
James: Yeah, well though I think the 80's thing now is probably even bigger
Jason: Yeah, totally!
James: Yeah, now feels like a really good time for 80's stuff. Um weird, but yeah. I'd been trying to do it for years but Sean was just stubborn like "Nah, Nah, Nah. I'm doing my solo album" and I'm like "Where's your solo album"? Still not out. It's still not out! It's like 10 to 15 years later
James: The last time I spoke to him. I rang him just after Paul Hester died and I said you know, blah, blah, blah. I said "How are you going?" He said "Oh I'm just working on my solo album". I just wanted to say of course you are...
Jason: Is Sean in Melbourne still?
Jason: Well we may have to look out for his album (Laughs!)
James: Yeah, uh? Might need a time machine you know, get bored about 50 years
Jason: That's funny
James: And the rough mixes will be ready
Jason: I must add that when I saw The Models perform in Melbourne at the Mercury Lounge in 2000. The performance of "No Shoulders No Head" blew me away! It was phenomenal as the drums just sounded so big and fantastic!
James: Yeah, thanks. It was a nightmare to get all the drums on to stage and it took us a long time to get it all set up.
Jason: I can imagine, there were lots of drums but it sounded superb!
Jason: Moving on to the music scene at the moment. Compared to the 70's and the mid to late 80's
Jason: Which was indeed a very creative time, I think. Now at present there seems to be many reality and create a pop star type shows like Idol shows, The X -Factor and it goes on! And I personally think it's killing the music industry and I think it's absolutely horrible. How do you feel about such manufacturing and the way it's all heading?
James: Look its weird you know. Because the thing that these artists have is the fact that as soon as they put out a record everyone knows who they are, there already famous
James: When you've got like all that television behind you, you're guaranteed ex amounts of sales. The thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't leave any scope for originality.
James: You know you've got all these singers that are there singing like this with all this vibrato and singing R & B basically
James: I think that's the worse thing. It's fine to have a talent quests but you know, like let people be original
Jason: Yep totally!
James: And explore original ideas and original ideas
Jason: Well everyone is so styled and they all seem to be pointed in a certain musical direction even if you don't want to do the music they want. And you can't write your own songs as the record companies don't want the artist to make money from writing there own material
James: Exactly, I mean look you know. I watched American Idol this time and the thing I loved was the fact that the girl who won was a country singer
James: So that was good you know, it wasn't just another R& B bloody crapola thing. I thought she was kind of good Carrie. And I'm watching the new Australian one and I actually quite like it because I like Kyle. I thought he was going to be crap
Jason: Oh, so is he okay? I thought he was going to be a nightmare
James: Yeah, I thought he was going to be garbage but he is so funny.
Jason: So he's better than that Dicko character?
James: Oh yeah, it's actually really good. He's bought this whole new edge to the show
James: You know this guy got up the other day to sing and he said "Mate, you're a bean bag with legs and you can't sing, now get off".
James: And I thought if you're gonna go on that show you've gotta be prepared to be assassinated. You've gotta have a thick skin
James: You know, there's no point in crying. Like everyone always said to me that you're shithhouse and that you're never gonna make it, but get used to it
Jason: Well you have to have a pretty tough skin full top to be in the music industry anyway
James: Hmm, yeah! I mean I've had dog shit thrown at me
Jason: Really, at a gig?
James: Yeah um, oh god. Nick Cave and Tracey Q and those guys came along at the Crystal Ballroom and threw dog shit at me
Jason: They did?
James: Yeah because oh I said something about them in an interview. I said "Oh, there a bunch of no hopers" or something like that.
Jason: Laughs! So your obviously not friends with Nick Cave!
James: No I haven't seen him for ages.
Jason: Oh okay
James: But he wrote about it in his book
Jason: Oh, did he have a book?
Jason: Did he
James: Yeah um, I forget what it's called but he talks about it
Jason: Okay, wow. Now with making video's
Jason: Did you generally enjoy making videos throughout The Models period, and if so is there one that you are still quite happy with?
James: Oh look I really. I like the video we did for um... Okay! I like "God Bless America", that was an interesting video
Jason: Yeah that's a great video. And it features Kate Ceberano in the tip (laughs)
James: Yeah. Um I'm spewing about the "Out Of Mind out Of Sight" video because when I conceptualized it I wanted it to look like the new Coldplay frickin video looks like!
Jason: Oh, okay
James: You know with all those blinds that they've got, have you seen it? For uh, "Speed of Sound"
Jason: I don't know? Is it really new?
Jason: I don't know if I've seen it!
James: It's great. They've got this huge set with these gigantic blinds and all the lights and stuff are happening through it. That's how I wanted ours to look, and I turned up and you know, Rob Wellington had got the Crystal Ballroom with a couple of Venetian blinds up
Jason: That was in St Kilda, yeah?
Jason: With the extras as the crowd
James: Yeah you know. It was terrible! It wasn't what I wanted at all. And so when I saw the new Coldplay video I was just spewing because you know, that was what I saw in my head.
Jason: Did you like "I Hear Motion" with the slides in the background?
James: Yeah it was okay. Uh, I tend to look at things from a different perspective. You know, like if my hair was looking good on that day you know
Jason: Laughs... Gee that sounds like me!
Jason: Well take it from me. Your hair looked great in "I Hear Motion". You had the blonde streak with the pink tie
James: Yeah well, yeah. You know, I was just sort of pulling some odd faces
Jason: Oh Okay. Well recently a lot of eighties bands are bringing out music DVD's with all there video's and extras e.t.c
Jason: Do you think there will ever be a Models DVD?
James: Um, I'm doing my DVD at the moment
Jason: Oh, are you
Jason: And what's that going to feature?
James: Well everything really. Uh, I'm in a bit of confusion because I haven't done anything. You know, the record company gave me the money to go and do it and I have just been putting it off. I've gotta kind of go in and shoot the master interview for it and sort of cut it together, cut a lot of it
Jason: Okay cool
James: Hmm, but a Models one? I don't know
Jason: Probably not?
James: I mean Sean and I, we just don't talk. It's not because we don't like each other but we just don't talk, um no.
James: I mean there's some talk of doing some shows or something like...
Jason: Some Models shows?
James: Well, um that Guy. Gavin Woods's business partner contacted me about the Countdown thing
Jason: Yes, the Countdown concert thing. That's been meaning to happen for ages because when I interviewed Gavin in 2003 he said that it was going to possibly go ahead that year
James: Well what's happened now is that Guidinski has until September to confirm a show
James: Like a Countdown Arena spectacular
Jason: And I presume it will go around Australia?
James: Yeah. If he doesn't pick up that option and announce it by then. Then Gavin owns the rights to do it
Jason: Because it seems like Gavin is buying the rights to all the Countdown episodes and he may bring them out on DVD for the public to purchase next yea, which is absolutely mind blowing!
James: Yeah, he's gonna have the rights. There gonna do all sorts of merchandising and stuff
Jason: And do you know if the tour will be all Australian acts?
James: Well actually, that I'm not sure of
Jason: Okay, well my friend and I were just saying the other day how there were so many amazing Australian bands in the 80's and now there's not as many and now with all the Australian Idol nonsense e.t.c
James: I know
Jason: Like we had you guys, Pseudo Echo, The Machinations, I'm Talking,
James: Yeah, I know there were tons of really good bands. It was a really good period for music you know. And you could just go out and play
Jason: Yes, everyone says it! Back then bands could make a living doing gigs 5 nights a week and playing live
James: Yeah even before "I Hear Motion" happened for us we were touring and making a living of some sort.
Jason: And now there closing all the venues and opening tacky casino's and all
James: Oh, it's horrible! It's something that just gets me so angry. I mean you shouldn't be allowed to gamble in hotels, if you wanna gamble you should have to go specifically, like in America. You have to go to Vegas or Atlantic City. There the only places you can gabble. The rest of the time you don't have no entertainment in their hotels and bars and shit like that
Jason: Speaking of America. You have a really cool website called USA Music Tours
Jason: Can people actually travel with you to America, is that right?
James: Yeah, that's basically the deal. The problem we had is that it's expensive you know, because we're doing them on these great luxury coaches
James: So it's been hard trying to fill them. So at the moment what we've done is we've cancelled the tours for this year and we're looking at getting like a major sponsor on board for next year maybe like Virgin or Gibson or Jack Daniels or something.
Jason: Okay, well it's a great concept indeed. And how long has your website been up and running?
James: It's only been since about February,
Jason: So you haven't done any tours yet?
James: We haven't done a tour yet. We had two slated to go, one was with Wilbur Wilde and it was half full and we could have done it but I said "Nah lets wait". But we rescheduled it and we were going to run a Christmas one but yeah. I thought let's stop, we need a sponsor and we need to run kind of a big promotion on it which costs a lot of money and I haven't got it
Jason: Oh okay. Back to Countdown for a minute, you quote in your autobiography that you got flack for that interview you did with Cherry Ripe in the UK where you had the British accent. That's like my favourite interview that you did, as you look so cool in it
James: Laughs, that is so funny
Jason: I love it!
James: When I saw it, it flawed me. Because you know they played it on
Jason: Yeah, they did
James: Yeah, and it's like (puts on a British accent)
Jason: Because when you watch it, it's like WOW you're so British in it
James: I know it's hilarious! I'd been there like a week
Jason: And you have heaps of make up on and your so happening and ultra fab!
James: Yeah, with my Phil Oakey hairdo
Jason: Yeah, the Phil Oakey hairdo
James: Yeah, that was hilarious
Jason: Actually, Love is In the Air was rather good actually
James: Hmm, it was better because they threw in a bit more Melbourne stuff
Jason: Yeah, because there was quite a bit on you, on the "I Should Be So Lucky" episode
Jason: And they showed the snippet of your first performance on Countdown "I Wanna Be Your Baby" with Meatloaf introducing you
James: That's right. Yeah, yeah.
Jason: Did you meet Meatloaf that day?
Jason: What was he like?
James: Oh he's just you know, loud and all. My favourite person though that I met was Billy Idol
Jason: Okay, in 1984 at the 1983 Countdown Awards
James: Yeah, those awards. Because we had the dressing room next to him
Jason: Oh god!
James: And so he and Steve Stevens were just in there
Jason: Steve Stevens is great!
James: Yeah, they were in there like you know "Yeah Rock Out! Rock n Roll'
James: And Steve had like an amplifier
James: And ah. But he sent me a Christmas card, it was fantastic
Jason: What around that time?
James: Yeah, that Christmas I got it
Jason: Well that must have been cool
James: And the Christmas card was uh, Billy on the front with just a guitar. Like with his trade mark sniling, you know.
Jason: That's so funny
James: Merry fucking Christmas, you know
Jason: Is that what he wrote!
Jason: That's so hilarious! Do you still have it?
James: No, I'm spewing! I wish I did because that was something I really loved and also our entry in the Andy Warhol diaries. That was very cool
Jason: Yay, did you meet Andy Warhol?
James: No, he was supposed to be in our video
Jason: That's right, in America
James: Yeah, but he talks about the video
Jason: Oh cool, that is pretty up there
James: Well Michael Hutchence was just spewing you know. He was like "I've met Andy Warhol and he doesn't even mention us in it".
James: He was like "You're not that good"
Jason: Because you and Michael were great friends
James: Yeah we were good friends. I'd know him since I was about 19
Jason: Bless him. Actually going back to Billy Idol for a laugh, I met him too
James: Oh really
Jason: He was great; he was exactly like you always see him. Posing in the photo saying "Yeah Rock n Roll"
James: He's great, I like Billy Idol. He's another one that's clean and sober to. There's a lot of us sneaking around now.
Jason: Okay, yes!
James: Yeah. With drinking and drugs it builds up and then suddenly you've got a major problem but life is great without it, I tell you what! It really is.
Jason: And you are ageing tremendously well for all the stuff you did
James: Really, oh thanks
Jason: Oh totally! I think you look like you're in your mid to late 30's
Jason: Yep totally!
James: Well thank you very much!
Jason: Because usually people that do that much drinking and drugs ended up ageing rather badly
James: Yeah they normally do. But yeah, I'm so healthy it's bizarre. I'm a miracle, because when I was in rehab the doctor said "I can't figure out what's going on because there's a piece missing from his puzzle". He said "You should be fucked; you should be either dead or a mess". He said "Look at you"! He said "Let me feel your skin" and he just kept going "I don't get it"?
Jason: Wow, that's really great. But when you were really that messed up you still seemed to play so well. You must just be a really good musician!
James: Look, there's a lot of auto pilot involved in it
Jason: Okay, yep
James: I don't know, but that's the thing. Like I didn't feel as messed up on the inside - as I really was. It's only sort of now in hindsight but then towards the end it got really bad. Where I started just not even remembering what I'd done
Jason: So with the new book that's going to eventually be published, have you started writing it yet?
James: No, I'm just starting it now. Because yeah, I've got this photo of me when I got to the worse point and it's just like awful
Jason: Is that going to be on the cover?
James: Yeah it's gonna be that shot and me now
Jason: Oh wow
James: I've gotta get to the gym now
Jason: Okay, laughs!
James: So I've gotta lose about like 5 kilos of fat
Jason: Okay, so the after shot looks really good!
James: Yeah the after shot will look amazing
Jason: Well I think it would be really good if the C.D came with the book
James: Hmm, I might even do that, yeah. Um so yeah, I'm just starting it now
Jason: Do you have a working title?
James: No, not really. I mean basically what it is. Is it's about making a decision to change. Or you know change is simply a decision but I need like a KA-POW!-y kind of title
James: Like that's what I'm trying to say. Now I've gotta put it into like the power of James!
Jason: Well hopefully it will be out some time next year
James: Yeah, oh looh look I'll finish it pretty quickly I think
Jason: So what made you come up with the idea to write the first autobiography? "I am the voice left from drinking"?
James: What happened was this friend of ours who's the head of publishing at Harper Collins. She was over for dinner one night and she said "Yeah, darling"
James: She's English and she wasn't here in the 80's
James: So you know, she kinda liked stuff like Paul Weller and Morrissey and stuff like that
James: And she was like "I'm thinking we should get bloody Tex Perkins to write his story, I think it would be great". And the next day I was sort of sitting there and I'm like Hmm? I should write my story. My story's better than his
Jason: Oh it would be!
James: And so yeah. I just kind of like started and banged out a couple of chapters and set it off. And she said "Oh my god, I didn't know you were a really famous rock star, I knew you would have like done something but not that"
Jason: Speaking of the UK, did you have any success at all in the UK with The Models, or not really?
James: Nah, not really.
Jason: But you played there though?
James: Yeah. You know we did some shows there but they were only small but the only big shows I did in England was with boring old Kylie you know
Jason: Oh yes, I saw you on that Kylie tour in 1990. I remember sitting there in the front and I was like Oh my god, it's James Freud!
Jason: And with the book was it hard to sit there and write your life story. As I think it would be a whole different experience from writing songs to an autobiography of your life
James: Yeah, I mean the one thing I kept doing was like every sort of half an hour I'd keep going to word check to see how many words I'd done. And I was like "Oh god, I've got another 60, 000 words to do
Jason: And is it true that you left out a lot of stuff that you didn't want people to read?
James: Oh, I had to take a lot of stuff out. When I got my legal report it was 25 pages long. And they were like "We have issues with this". I mean it's a stupid thing you know it's like this is fact! This happened and this is history, this happened and people can verify it.
Jason: So you really have to get it all really approved
James: Oh, every word. And I had to get release forms from just about everyone
Jason: That you mentioned in the book?
James: Just about, it was a real pain in the arse
Jason: So Kylie gave you your release form
James: Oh no, not for stuff like that
Jason: Okay, just stuff that people would think as bad
James: Yeah, just really bad stuff, you know. But you know it was ridiculous. I mean it's weird, I don't even know why I'm thinking of writing another book because the best thing about writing a book is when you get the cheque at the start and then when you see it in the shop at the end. Everything in between is shit house
Jason: It would be. So did the book sell as well as you hoped?
James: It did well yeah. It did well, it sold I don't know. It did about 15,000 copies which is pretty good
Jason: Okay, that is pretty good indeed
James: And a guy Patrick corken bought the rights to making a movie
Jason: Oh, really. Is it going to be made into a movie?
James: Well, he's looking at it
James: He's a producer who's just done that new Superman thing and he owns the rights to it
Jason: That's cool
James: Laughs, I don't know, you know. The thought of my life being portrayed on the big screen is just weird.
James: You know, he would they get. Craig McLachlan as James Freud!
James: I know, I'm joking. I can't stand Craig McLachlan
Jason: We don't want Craig McLachlan! Craig McLachlan & Check 1/2 with Mona.
James: Oh, I hate that guy so much. He's vile
James: I spent an afternoon writing songs with him
Jason: Oh did you?
James: And it was just torture
Jason: What for, he's solo stuff?
James: Yeah, you know he called me up and said "Ok look I'd really love to do some writing". And I was like thinking to myself; I've never been a fan of yours
James: And you know. He walked in the house you know, I think he had his shirt off and then he just had a banana that he chucked in a roll
Jason: Oh no!
James: He was like "Yeah I'm a big fan, hey lets play some "Rock n Roll"
Jason: Speaking of influences, who were your influences while growing up?
James: Oh, well David Bowie
Jason: Yep, totally!
James: Yeah, huge Bowie fan.
Jason: Gets out Bowie T-shirt!
James: Oh, fantastic. That's great! So you've met David?
Jason: I haven't!
James: Haven't you?
James: Oh, you're kidding
Jason: I wish I could
James: What a tragedy, because I had two. Well the first time I met him he just like floored me
Jason: Was that on the Serious Moonlight Tour?
James: Yeah, that was on the Serious Moonlight Tour. Um, because he came to our gig on the tour before that and I saw him at the back at he left and that was it. And then I met him when we did the Serious Moonlight Tour and I was sort of going through an "Oh, I'm over David Bowie phase" you know. But when I met him, Man the charisma, it just flawed me!
James: It was like meeting a prince or something
Jason: Oh totally!
James: I was really quite knocked out. And then I saw him again when U2 did the Rattle & Hum Tour. And he was in Sydney and we were playing pool at some nightclub, I can't remember the name of it. And um, he sat in the corner
Jason: Was that when he was here on the Glass Spider Tour?
James: No, this was when he was hanging around here with The Tin Men.
Jason: Oh okay. Yeah the project he had in the late 80's
James: Yeah, this was in about 1988/89 or something like that. And he was sort of standing in a corner with a pool cue waiting for someone to play with him and he looked like really sad and pathetic. It was so weird and I was like so drunk
James: And I'd been I don't know hanging out with the wrong people all night.
Jason: Yeah, no offence U2. But Bowie and Bono? No comparison for me... Bowie all the way!
James: Yeah I know. Well it was weird and I kept thinking I should go over and talk to him
James: But I was so drunk that I knew that if I went over I would go over and make a fool of myself!
Jason: At least while you were drunk you still had that voice of restraint in your mind
James: Oh, well I wish I had it more. I have it a lot these days but I didn't always but yeah, luckily I did that night. But um yeah, well there you go.
Jason: Well that's basically it James
James: Oh well that's fantastic!
Jason: Thanks James
James: It was a pleasure to meet you.
Interview conducted by Jason Grech, Copyright © 2005 www.countdownmemories.com