Title: Whispers at the awards ceremony
Source: No. 1
Publish date: Feb 23 1985
WHISPERS AT THE AWARDS CEREMONY
The scene: London’s plush Grosvenor House Hotel — setting for the 398th Annual BPI British Recording Industry Awards, where a notorious display of bun fighting and back slapping is taking place.
On stage Jimmy Saville and Ed Stewart struggle to be heard above the sound of popping corks, raucous laughter and uncouth belching.
“And the nominations for the comedy record of the year are ‘Wild Boys’ by Duran Duran, ‘Last Christmas’ by, err, Wham and ‘Dave’ by The Boomtown Rats. And the winner is…”
Wake up, Whispers! Wake up!
So, did anyone spot the unshaven yobbo heckling George Michael with cries of “Come off it Yoghourt chops!”. That was of course Paul Morley, just one of the many industry gnomes gathered to pay homage to His Royal Godlike Deity Saint Geldof (7/4 on for next Pope).
But the real talking point of the night apart from President Geldof’s ill-considered remark about “the holocaust” was the appearance of lil ole Princey baby and his minder Chick Huntsbury, a 6’9” hillbilly Albino wrestling Appalachian mountain man. Yowsa!
“He’s been with me five years,” Prince told Whispers. “I like having him around because he looks so good.”
Chick, who played the doorman in Purple Rain, had his work cut out keeping the Fleet Street snaparazzi off Prince’s lissome back.
“I’d like ta have whumped ‘em all,” Chick told Whispers, “but I don’t have the time and anyway you’re far more alluring.”
Prince actually requested that Holly ‘Indeed’ Johnson give him the glass ashtray, but was less than pleased when H made his “sex on the phone” remark, especially as it was true.
Prince really hated smarmy Noel Edmonds too and totally ignored him throughout. As Prince decided to come at short notice (he’s not even going to the Grammy Awards in America), he was probably entitled to feel that the Awards were conducted in extremely tacky bad taste.
“He was shocked at the behaviour of the British press photographers,” snivelled a Warners aide, producing an onion. “He’d been in a great mood having just finished working on the next Sheila E single, out soon on Warners Records And Tapes. But the constant hassle from paparazzi spoilt his visit. It means that the chances of Prince ever playing live dates in Britain are practically nil.”
Prince flew out on the first plane next day after spending the night at the Inn On The Park, in a suite adjacent to the one Howard Hughes lived in for so many years.
Whispers also noted that Prince was furious at Steve Wright’s comment about Michael Jackson being gay. “The guy’s a jerk,” he muttered sotto voce. We had to agree.
The evening began on a bad note for the Purple Pet as 40 photographers descended on him when he walked in and they all fell into an untidy bundle on the Grosvenor’s stairs.
George Michael, who was posing and entering at the same time, was totally upstaged when someone shouted “His Princeship has arrived” and the mob deserted the Wham man toot sweet.
Apart from granting Whispers its expected audience, Prince only said one word all night at his table. He snapped “Glasses!” at his minders, one of whom instantly produced the Royal Foster Grants (Purple Tints, Boots £19.99), handed them to another hulk who gave them a good polish and passed them to Prince on a silver salver. Incidentally, eyewitnesses opened a book on Prince’s height which is all of 5’1 ½”.
Prince’s night was finally ruined when there was a bomb scare which necessitated funny little men scurrying underneath the tables. He neither ate nor drank all evening but could have munched his way through trout cornettos in smoked salmon, duck and peaches, profiteroles in steaming hot chocolate sauce, lemon ice cream, lime sorbet, coffee, brandy and cheese on toast.
Strawberry Switchblade spent their time flicking rolls at Prince, though everyone had been warned “not to talk or stare” at him. No one said anything about not starting a food fight with him.
George Michael missed the scoffing because he was too busy looking for a pair of shoes to go with his white dinner suit. He arrived with Pat Hernandez.
The dog who appeared with Maurice Oberstein, BPI Chairman, was Obe’s mutt Charlie who is said to “run the CBS A&R department with a paw of iron”.
Finally Prince wasn’t the only person present to take umbrage at the announcements. When Noel Edmonds introduced Michael Buerk as “just back from hot beautiful Johannesburg”, Junior got up and walked out.
Congratulations to Paul Morley of ZTT who married Claudia from Propaganda in a registry office in London last week. Best man was photographer and video director Anton Corbijn.
Whispers bumped into Mr Morley celebrating a mini stag night with his rogue like pal Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17. The incorrigible pair spent the evening playing snooker in the Connaught Rooms (Glenn won five games to one) before retiring to the Wag Club. Morley was last seen heading for New Mexico…
Strange tales from ZTT: the company will be releasing a single by 50s rocker Roy Orbison at the end of March, titled ‘Wild Hearts’. The song is taken from the soundtrack to Insignificance, the new film by Nicolas Roeg, of Man Who Fell To Earth fame. The soundtrack also features veteran jazz arranger Gil Evans, avant gardist Stanley Myers, and a duet between Claudia and Glenn Gregory. The film is a “comic atrocity” concerning “the shape of the universe, Albert Einstein’s calves and Marilyn Monroe’s thighs”. Sounds well pervy…
Spotted in High Street Ken: lovely Heather from Brooky queuing at a Barclay’s cash point…
Fact. How do The Jesus And Mary Chain spend their afternoons in their squalid Fulham two-room bedsit? Pulling the wings off flies? Bible reading? Knitting? Nope, they watch Australian soaps like Country Practice and Young Doctor.
Incidentally, which one of JAMC is rumoured never to have had sex indoors? Whispers knows of course. The usual financial settlement guarantees our customary diplomatic silence, Mr Reid…
Meanwhile, trouble at t’mill for Bronski Beat. Little Jimi went on a bender after the BPI Awards and has not been seen since. At presstime, the band had cancelled their appearance on The Tube and there were fears that they may have split up.
Dave Gahan is sporting a neat beard these days. The Modeys are just off to America and will return to finish their next single, due in late April…
David Bowie may be making a cameo appearance in the Julien Temple film Absolute Beginners, which also features Sade, Paul Weller and Elvis Costello.
Bowie, who will shortly announce a major film role, also pops up in John ‘Thriller’ Landis’ new movie Into The Night. Bowie plays a mad killer, and you can see it in April…
And finally, a word from Whispers’ pal Prince: “Thank you, God, goodnight.”