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24 September 2014
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Original girl-power band of the '80s The Bellestars sang and played their own instruments. But Jenny can't remember a thing...

Is pop music better or worse now than in the ‘80s?
Jenny: Well, I don’t think ‘80s music was that great. What did we have? Spandau? Duran Duran? It was all a bit lacking in passion and a bit electronic for me. I prefer the ‘60s. The music of the Beatles and Motown really defined the era. I really can’t remember much of the ‘80s. I was too pissed most of the time!

Pop Idol TV? Devil spawn or a genuine hotbed of creative talent?
Jenny: Well, I think if Pop Idol inspires young kids to do something with their lives then it’s a positive thing. Whether there’s any talent coming from it is another question. I’m all about inspiring youth. I think that’s really important. I do like that band Blue though. They have some good tunes and they sound a bit authentic at least and not totally manufactured.

Regrets? Have you had a few?
Jenny: Regrets? Oh, I don’t know. I had a bloody good laugh I know that. I guess our manager could have been better. We didn’t really make any money out of the band. We used to earn about £60 a week I think. There were eight of us in the band so once the royalties were split we didn’t have much. The only time I made money was when 'Iko Iko' was used in Rainman with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. I was flown to LA, met the producers. It was great! We got rid of our manager eventually. I also wish we’d had more choice in the singles we put out. 'Iko Iko' is not exactly my favourite song and if I’d had my way we would have released something else but hey, you can’t argue with a hit right?

What did you spend your first ever royalty cheque on?
Jenny: A bloody good piss-up!

Who were your main chart rivals in the '80s?
  Jenny: Ooh, I’d say probably Bananarama. We were always compared to them but we were different because they were basically a manufactured girl band while we played our own instruments.

  Simply Red  
  "That's a bit supermarket, isn't it. I'm not making that many bottles. "  
  Robin Gibb  
  "There's been great moments both as a songwriter and as a performer."  
  Paul Roberts - The Stranglers  
  "We certainly weren't going to call ourselves The Bay City Rollers."  
  Lisa Stansfield  
  "I just thought, how many times do I have to sing this song?"  
  Soft Cell  
  "I think it's the only time that a banjo's been played in the Ministry of Sound."  
  "Agnetha said she liked it. If I met them I would curtsey."  
  "We really surprised lots of people by simply hanging in there."  
  Kim Wilde  
  "I used to be really jealous of Claire Grogan...I thought she was gorgeous."  
  "Failure was not an option, we were materialistic and greed was good."  
  Human League  
  "We did a US tour with Culture Club and Howard Jones...solely for the cash."  
  Altered Images  
  "Women were treated as a bit of a novelty in the music business in 1981."  
  Belle Stars  
  "The pop music lark just seems like a lifetime away now."  
  Steve Strange  
  "Look, you’re playing me like a bitchy queen and I’m not like that."  
  Five Star  
  "We all grew up wanting to be famous and we lived our dream..."  
  Phillip from Ruby Flipper  
  "At my age, I'd find it difficult to get my legs where they used to go..."  
  Glen Campbell  
  "I got to work with literally everyone in the business; Nat King Cole, Sinatra..."  
  David Gray  
  "Lots of tension in the camp. We're battling Gareth Gates for the No.1 spot"  
  Robert Palmer  
  "There's this homegenised force feeding of what is hip."  
  "I think George manipulated our relationship for publicity"  
  Tom Jones  
  "I'm pulling all my old jewellery out now and comparing my rings with Wyclef"  
  Ruth From Pan's People  
  "I could show you dozens of times I forgot the moves..."  
  Badly Drawn Boy  
  "Everybody has to do what everybody else does in order to have a hit single"  
  John Otway  
  "I think the music business is probably not happy with what we've done..."  
  Jimmy Cliff  
  "I look at someone like Ms Dynamite, I come away with a positive feeling."  
  Human League  
  "We wouldn't trust anyone that didn't wear eyeliner."  
  Status Quo  
  "I probably went about four or five years with a pair of stage jeans"  
  Gary Numan  
  "There are so many things in my past that you could make fun of."  
  McAlmont and Butler  
  "We were big enough to get over any-thing that may have been exchanged."  
  Primal Scream  
  "The producer at the time told us we'd never work again."  
  "I prefer miming, I prefer if we weren’t playing live."  

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