Whispers at the No.1 party
“No.1 is 1. You are invited to the first birthday party of Britain’s best selling pop weekly at Busby’s, Tottenham Court Road, on Tuesday, May 1, 7.30 till late.”
That’s what the invite said—
Who was there? Easier to say who wasn’t—
Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet actually flew home from Germany especially to help No.1 celebrate, while The Shillelagh Sisters hammered back from a gig in Birmingham only to arrive at the club’s door just as it was closing around 2.30!
Meanwhile The Thompson Twins, on tour in the States, kindly sent a specially inscribed silver disc (for ‘Into The Gap’) in their place!
But the full cast list in attendance that starry night—
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Nick Heyward, Wham, The Belle Stars, New Order, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Tom Robinson, Captain Sensible, Blancmange, Helen Terry, Animal Nightlife, JoBoxers, Haircut 100, Imagination, Sade, Bourgie Bourgie, Orange Juice, Jerry Dammers of The Special AKA, Depeche Mode, Shirlie Holliman and Dee C. Lee, Spider, Thor, Jocelyn Brown, Freur, Blue Rondo, Mari Wilson, Marillion, The Truth, Modern Romance, Matt Bianco, Edwin Starr, Helen And The Horns, Phil Fearon, Yvonne French, Steve Strange, Pat Nevin of Chelsea FC… and that was only the ones we spotted in the ladies’ room.
No wonder No.1’s pneumonia-struck Paul Simper climbed out of his hospital bed to boogie on down!
Nick Heyward was looking cute in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, and shocked us all by actually laughing and chatting with Haircut Les Nemes.
The Wham boys turned up covered in mossy bites after shooting the video for George’s ‘Careless Whisper’ (not about us, surely?) in Miami. Turning up at all was quite a feat—
Miranda Belle Star spent the evening canoodling with Frankie’s teen idol Mark O’Toole, while Paul Rutherford generated the heat on the dance floor.
Siouxsie arrived late, nattering away to Animal Nightlife’s Andy Polaris. Bourgie Bourgie left early—they had an LP to record in Bavaria.
Martin Kemp was looking a bit worried in case he got mobbed by star-spotting hacks. But at least he was there.
Poor old Steve Norman got left behind in Munich after Spands manager Steve Dagger put his foot down and wouldn’t let him leave the recording studio. Never mind, Steve—
Blancmange’s Stephen Luscombe got all tetchy, as did Chelsea dribbler Pat Nevin, complaining because no one recognised him and then desperately trying to get New Order’s autographs.
As strong drink took its toll, various people disgraced themselves (a big hi to No.1 photographer Neil Matthews!).
Meanwhile onstage Gary ‘Motormouth’ Crowley marshalled an impressive array of guest performers.
Dee C. Lee gave notice of her intent to hit the top of the charts with a dynamic performance of her next single ‘Yippi Yi Yo’, backed up by Switch presenter Yvonne French and Boy George’s make-up artist Lynne Easton.
American heavy metal heavyweight Thor stunned the rabble to silence by blowing up a hot water bottle until it exploded! Top pop stars all around were seen going pale with terror.
Phil Fearon of Galaxy decided not to risk breaking his neck with a backflip off the tiny stage, but delivered a rousing version of ‘What Do I Have To Do’, while Matt Bianco were spied ‘Sneaking Out The Back Door’.
But the star of the show turned out to be soul veteran Edwin Starr. His new single—
Finally at 3.00am, Busby’s manager Vic Sparrow gave his verdict: “That was the best party we’ve had here since John Travolta came down for the premiere of Saturday Night Fever.”
That night, Robert Stigwood gave every guest a magnum of champagne each. No.1 editor Phil McNeill settled for lager and limes—
A clash of the titans (well, they chinked glasses anyway). Thor prepares to kick ass onstage while No.1 editor Phil McNeill threatens to kick ass lithe staff aren’t in on time next morning.
Dee C. Lee, make-up artist Lynne Easton (left) and former Switch presenter Yvonne French (right) do the locomotion. Meanwhile out on the dance floor they’re breaking (their necks, that is).
So that’s what friends are for! Nasher, Ped and Paul from Frankie Goes To Hollywood support each other. What a nice girl like Helen Terry was doing with this lot we can’t imagine. And we never did identity the jolly mustachioed gent on the end. Perhaps he was Frankie.
Gary Crowley, DJ of Capital Radio and Earsay, amazes partygoers with his ability to spin discs, introduce PAs, conduct three different conversations and spot someone who isn’t dancing—
Orange Juice’s Edwyn Collins takes the salute for the passing out parade.
Thor and Dee C. Lee demonstrate the muscleman’s method of picking up girls at parties.
Making up is hard to do. But head Haircut Les Nemes was later caught chatting to his old friend and foe Nick Heyward.
In the absence of Bryan Ferry, Bourgie Bourgie’s supersmooth socialite Paul Quinn does a passable imitation.
Oooh, he is awful. But we like him anyway. And so does Helen Terry, judging by the way she’s snuggling up to Blancmange bad boy Stephen Luscombe…
Tim Parker and Graham Smith, No.1 (piss) artists, take over the disco turntables.
Romance in the air. Modern Romance, that is. They weren’t in the air actually. Everytime we saw them, they were at the bar…Continue »
We’re getting married in the morning… amazing what 15 cans of lukewarm light ale and a few party streamers can do to a chap, especially when he’s not too Sensible. Phil Fearon supports the blushing bride…
Mari Wilson, bereft of beehive but with a beaming drummer boy.
Well, what would you do with this lot? Phil Fearon surveys the dance floor and seems to be having second thoughts about taking the stage. (Photo: Terry Beasley)
We’re not sure what caused Blancmange’s Neil Arthur to look so choked. But we think he’d just sampled the No.1 cocktail—
This has to be the stuff that soul legends are made of. Sixties’ Motown veteran Edwin Starr (left) meets up with young British soulboys Phil Fearon and Imagination’s Leee John. Making up the quartet is disco diva Jocelyn Brown.
When you’re young and in love… you don’t want a photographer sneaking in on your romantic moments. Mark from Frankie and Miranda from The Belle Stars look suitably startled as Tony Mottram catches them in the act…