Martyn Ware in Venice
By contributor Annette Bartholomew
Founder member of Human League and Heaven 17 Martyn Ware is looking forward to a busy year.
Follow your artistic dream! That's the message to would-be pop stars from one who has had massive chart success in the eighties and is still following his today.
For Martyn Ware, founder member of Human League and Heaven 17, often lectures young people in schools and colleges.
He is frequently dismayed to hear that many youngsters want to be famous rather than develop their own talents.
Instead the talented musician encourages them to look beyond the existing celebrity culture. And not to get too disheartened by failure.
Martyn (right) with Heaven 17
"I never craved the limelight, I wasn't interested in being famous as it's a big millstone around your neck," said Martyn. "My work speaks for itself."
This year is going to be busy for Heaven 17 as they are working on a stage version of their 1981 Penthouse & Pavement album.
The purveyors of synthesiser pop also intend fitting in summer shows across the UK. Martyn may even persuade his Heaven 17 colleagues to return to the North East following the success of his recent Future of Sound gig at The Sage, Gateshead.
And he is even producing another British Electric Foundation (BEF) album where singers like Green Gartside from Scritti Politti and Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals perform famous songs in completely different ways.
It was the first BEF album which provided Martyn with an opportunity to work with Tina Turner. He then produced the rock icon's Let's Stay Together hit from her extremely successful selling Private Dancer album.
"I though Tina was fantastic," he said. "When she saw the new technology I was using she went wow and the rest is history."
Martyn Ware at The Sage Gateshead
No plans to retire
But this modest producer of other people's hit records as well as his own hasn't any intention of retiring. He likes working in the recording studio and describes his career as about taking risks.
"I want to be remembered as a creative inspiration for people at all levels. I am not always doing things for the money," said Martyn.
While he laughs off any suggestion of being super rich, the fruits of his labour have bought a nice apartment in Venice.
"It's my decompression chamber and I really like spending time there with my family. I don't really need anything else," he said.
Martyn is also a season ticket holder at Sheffield Wednesday returning for home matches when his hectic schedule allows.
It is 30 years ago since he lived in Sheffield but thoughts about moving back North frequently cross his mind.
Although his family are firmly settled in London so the bouts of homesickness have to be cured by either Heaven 17 tours or trips to see his favourite football team.
last updated: 04/02/2008 at 15:11