King

 

Their first album, Steps in Time, was released in 1984. Its first single, 'Love and Pride', was released in 1984 but didn't have the success they expected. After touring and playing lots of live gigs, 'Love and Pride' was released again, in 1985, and became a big hit. It reached number two in the UK charts. The next single, 'Won't you hold my hand now'  also charted but was not a big hit. King kept playing an immense number of (live) gigs: about one hundred in 1985 (= one concert every three days)!

 

Their second album Bittersweet generated three hit singles, the first one being 'Alone without you ' which had considerable chart success as it reached number 8 in the UK. After that, the two other singles, 'The taste of your tears'  and finally 'Torture'  charted - but nog very high.

 

In 1986 Paul King went solo, so King was disbanded.

 

Read the whole story of King (as written by Paul King) at the King Official Website - History.

 

Band members:

* Paul King - vocals

* Mick Roberts - keyboards

* Jim Lantsbery - guitar

* Tony Wall - bass guitar

 

 

 

* General Information: this page

* Album information: this page

* Articles: this page

 

* Videoclip images (separate page)

 

* Images from live concerts: still to come

 

* Images from TV shows: still to come

 

Extras:

* I transcribed some interviews with Paul King and they can be found at the Interviews page.

* The story of "Love and Pride" and King, told by Paul King, Mick Roberts and Perry Haines in the programme Single Luck from 1999: here.

 

 

 

 

Steps in Time (1984)

 

1. Fish (P. King)

2. Love & Pride (P. King / M. Roberts)

3. And As For Myself (P. King / P. Haines)

4. Trouble (P. King)

5. Won't You Hold My Hand Now (P. King / M. Roberts / A. Wall / J. Lantsbery)

6. Unity Song (P. King)

7. Cherry (P. King / M. Roberts / A. Wall / J. Lantsbery / P. Haines)

8. Soul On My Boots (P. King)

9. I Kissed The Spikey Fridge (P. King)

10. Fish (Reprise) (P. King)

 

Lyrics: see discography page

 

 

Bittersweet (1985)

 

1. Alone Without You (P. King)

2. Platform One (P. King)

3. I Cringed, I Died, I Felt Hot (P. King / M. Roberts)

4. Torture (P. King)

5. 2 M.B. (P. King)

6. These Things (P. King / M. Roberts)

7. The Taste Of Your Tears (P. King)

8. (KFAD) Wait For No-one (P. King / M. Roberts / J. Lantsbery / A. Wall)

9. Sugar Candy Mountain Buddhas (P. King / A. Wall / J. Lantsbery)

10 Mind Yer Toes (P. King)

 

Lyrics: see discography page

 

 

 

Articles / Cover photos / Posters from magazines

 

Larger (more readable) files can be downloaded from thePhotogallery.

 

* Articles in Dutch

 

Note about my translations: my apologies if they're not really good English - I'm not an English native speaker, so inevitably there will be some mistakes in vocabulary and grammar. They will, however, convey the meaning of the Dutch or German text and that's their purpose. I translated the whole content, even some mistakes and errors; even if it's complete nonsense...!

 

* King's boodschappenlijstje (Hitkrant, 1985)

 

Rough translation:

 

1. A portion of overripe cheese. Preferably Stilton or Cheddar.

2. A tube of toothpaste that doesn't taste too sweet.

3. Fruit yoghurt; I especially like the one with cherries.

4. Strawberry ice

5. Pizzas. They can be prepared quickly and easily.

6. Lettuce.

7. Beans.

8. A steak and kidney pie. Typically English and very tasteful.

9. A bottle of Sambuca.

10. Peanuts. I eat a kilo of them daily. It isn't very healthy, but I can't resist them.

* "Nogmaals, ik ben NIET de vader van Prince!" (Club Magazine, 1985)

 

Rough translation: (not revised yet)

I tell you again, I’m NOT Prince’s dad!

What you are about to read, is the most chaotic interview that Club Magazine ever had with a pop star! While the photographer is clicking away continuously, and the manager is shouting that there is no time left now, because King have a performance right away, Paul King is talking to Club Magazine interviewer Wouter Middeldorp about love, life beauty and lots of optimism…!

Interviewing a pop star is never really simple, but… the King interview beats the lot! It’s all taking place in the NOS studios, where Paul King’s group King are having a performance for the music programme “Countdown”. Martin Paternotte, the photographer, and I, are waiting in the canteen. Experience has taught us that waiting might be long and even in vain… Paul King’s manager has promised me half an hour and that’s very little. Furthermore, the place is loaded with competing journalists and photographers who are waiting to take their chance. The photographer and I argue about dividing the allocated time: how many minutes of talking, how many minutes of shooting pictures? I’d like to have a good text, and he wants to have great pictures, but we both want the same actually: these two pages. The manager, nervously pacing between Paul’s dressing room and the canteen – guys, don’t enter his dressing room just yet, because he’s doing his make-up and he won’t be at ease before his appearance is perfect.” And so we’re held back for a long time, until I get enough of waiting and without telling the photographer, I decide to go to the dressing room. And there he was, the King, his extraordinary hair beautifully combed, clad in a track-suit, and wearing modern sun-glasses. And with a big grin.

“Hello?” he says, coming towards me. “Hello, I’m Wouter from Club Magazine. It’s a magazine for girls. You don’t know it, but it’s great. Your manager and I agreed on me interviewing you; were you informed about it?” “No, but go ahead, take a seat,” he says and points at the second chair in the dressing room. I sit down and hand him the interview recorder. “I hope that his thing doesn’t make you nervous, some people are…”  “No, not at all…”  “Okay, we have half an hour or less, so I’ll get straight ahead. You pay a lot of attention to your appearance, don’t you.”

My clothes give me self-confidence.

Paul opens his mouth and at the same time the door burst open. The manager says: “Guys, this can’t be, we barely have time to…” “Let us go on, man” Paul says, “we will be finished in ten minutes.” So he waves the manager aside. “Yes, I pay a lot of attention to my looks,” Paul says. “It’s part of King’s style and image. Some musicians say it’s nonsense to be dressed in a special way and that it’s all about the music. But we’re not only there to play music, but also to give a show – it’s a spectacle.. And flashing clothing goes along with that. But I don’t just dress according to the latest fashion. My clothes fit the music and my character. It goes together. I think you should show others who you are. You could also dress better! I don’t mean anything by it, just… Look, I know that I’m in the Netherlands now, and that it’s a sober, calvinistic country, where people say: ‘act normally, that’s weird enough’. I think that’s complete nonsense. Of course you have to embellish your life. Yourself, but also buildings, streets, cars, everything! Beauty is so important. We haven´t made the world beautiful yet. That´s just silly. Whenever I´m in a country where they embellished the city, I really enjoy such an artwork on the street. It serves no purpose, it´s just standing there. Marvelous. Fantastic!”

The door burst open and now Martin the photographer enters the room. “You bastard! Why didn’t you warn me?” he said to me. “Who is this guy?” Paul is asking. Martin introduces himself. “You keep on talking, I’ll shoot the pictures in the meantime.”

“You are known as a womanizer. Have you had a lot of relationships?” “Very many. I do love women.” Click, click. “I love women. They are beautiful. Admit it, what is more important to men than women?” Click, click. “You can have as many ideals as you like, but at the end it’s all about love. Nothing is more exciting to me than making contact with girls. And having a good time together. Doing crazy things. Living intensely together and having a great time on earth, that’s the main point!”

“Could you move your head a little to the left?” Martin asks. The manager enters the room again, looks at his watch and leaves the room again. “Yes, like that” says Martin. Click, click. “Eh, what were we talking about?” asks Paul. “Oh yes. Women. Of course, har har, how could I forget. You know, I respect women. They have something that men lack. Men remain children, are very playful, but women take responsibility. They probably live their lives more sincerely than men. And more seriously. But what I always like to do with women is having a good time with them!”

“Do you have a steady relationship?” “No, I do have some loose ones, har har.”

“Do you find yourself charming?” “You’re asking that because you’ve heard that people find me that way. I heard that too, so it must be true. There are quite a lot of girls who admire me. I do like some of them myself, but I’m very careful. I don’t want to arouse any false expectations. Because in fact the fans don’t know me. But I do reserve time for my fans and talk to them. I don’t just give away autographs.

“Love? Maintain your pride!”

“What do you want to say with your song ‘Love and Pride’?” “Not so incredibly much, har har. I just mean it’s important that besides love you need your pride. To preserve your self-respect. There are so many people who surrender completely to someone when they’re in love. Boys and girls. You will become dependent and inferior. I’m saying: keep your pride, your self-respect. Then you’ll be equal in love and that’s much more exciting. Then you’ll have much more to give to each other.”

“You’re quite an optimist, aren’t you?”  “You bet! I think that pessimism have no point at all. All around me I see people who are afraid and they’re pessimistic. They think it’s safer to be gloomy. ‘If I have too much hope, I’ll be disappointed’ they think. So for security reasons they remain pessimistic. But this way their situation remains the same. I think the world would be a much more fun place if more people would start to think positive. politics will never change the world. It’s all about people’s mentality, that’s all. People are society. Optimism gives so much energy and self-confidence! I think you can reach any goal you’d like, if you believe in yourself and if you’re not so afraid. And I’d like to add that you don’t have to reach that much, because that’s also an eternal mistake. But do you understand what I’m getting at? If you keep dwelling upon your problems because they haven’t been solved yet, for example, you will keep on worrying. But if you focus on the good things in your life, there will finally only be joy and liveliness left. It’s all about what you turn your attention to. It’s that simple, I think. And don’t you start wondering if this is all true, because that’s not the question, har har!” Quickly we shoot some pictures. King on a sofa, king before a giant wall poster of a forest. He’s clearly enjoying all of this. From the canteen at least twenty fans come running towards him. “King! King!” Before he walks towards them, he jokes to us: “So I tell you again, I’m not Prince’s dad. Bye!"

* King Cover (Popfoto 5, 1985)

 

 

* King: "Wij zijn een echte band, niet alleen een imago" (Muziekparade Magazine 11, 1985)

 

 

Rough translation (not revised yet):

 

King: we are a real band, not just an image.

 

He's been a jester, a Rolls Royce employee and police cadet. He's also played in the amateur band Reluctant Stereotypes in his hometown Coventry. But when Paul King scored twice this year with 'Love and Pride' and 'Won't you hold my hand now', the showbiz fever struck hard. 1985 is the year of King!

"We're a mixed crossbreed eighties' group," says their colourful singer Paul King. "Our characteristic style goes hand in hand with good music."

 

Three years ago

The idea for forming King arose three years ago in the office of manager and fifth group member Perry Haines, who was then working in the fashion world. "Perry had seen the Reluctant Stereotypes perform on The Old Grey Whistle Test. He was so impressed by my performance that he had become curious of how I was as a person. A few months later he phoned me up and asked me if I'd like to appear as a model in one of his videos. I came down and stayed a with him for a few weeks in his flat in London. Right from the start it was clear that we got on incredibly well. We began to discuss what qualities a good band should have and what a band for the 1980s should look like. We thought long about the image, especially. We both like glitter and glamour and that's why we'd chosen a colourful outfit that reminds us of the seventies. I even gave my black, inelegant boots a bright colour as well. After this series of talks, Perry sent me home to Coventry. 'I'd love to be your manager, but you first have to form a band.' Because I didn’t have a band at the time. The Stereotypes were disbanded by now."

 

"Coventry isn't really the Mecca of Pop," says Paul. "Musically, it's sort of an incestuous place. Everybody has played with everybody else, and everyone was looking for the musicians who I was looking for. I was looking for people who wanted to play in a successful band and who had the right sort of attitude. Dedication and enthusiasm to really make it as a band. You won't make it by just making some music. But firstly I had to find out if the candidates could deal with the stress of being involved in the hard music business."

 

King is not a producer's product. King is a real band that gets down to it with heart and soul

Paul King did find the right people. Guitarist Tony Wall mainly owes his position in King to his wild hairdo and spectacular appearance. Paul discovered keyboard player Mick Roberts when he saw him perform with the band Edison Lighthouse. And he met Jim Lantsbery at a local Coventry football game. The group was complete and Paul presented his band to Perry Haines, who gave his approval and became the official manager for King.

 

"Perry's opinion is very important to me. I'm so pleased with him, because he confirmed for me that I have talent. You can think that you're successful, but if no-one tells you so or backs you up, it does't mean anything. He believed in me and backed that up by committing himself to me." King is almost three years in existence, and has been the supporting act for Culture Club in Wembley, has scored two international hit singles so far and released an LP, 'Steps in Time'.

 

"We're very ambitious," Paul admits. "We want to make fantastic records and give unparalleled live shows. Everything we do, we do with our heart and soul. King is not a product of some smart producer. King is a real band. When 'Love and Pride' had a high entry in the UK Top 10, everyone shouted 'hype'. At first I was very upset about that, but now I don't even react when they say that. I think these people who say those things about us, are very naive. You can't 'buy' a position in the Top 10. That's nonsense. We're quite big now, but we did it all by ourselves. We're not a hype."

 

At our request to explain the stormy success, Paul King answers: "In the UK we all like the underdog. Just look at the FA Cup finals. We tend to support the losing team. New, fresh, unknown bands are one up on others. But as soon as you made it, it will become more difficult. People start to react differently. They disapprove of ambition. But why? Isn't that the only way to survive as a band?"

 

"I'm an eccentric weirdo'

As a teenager, the now 25-year-old Paul Francis Luke King looked even stranger than he does now. After leaving school, he joined the police academy when he was 16. But that didn't last long...

 

"I left after three weeks," Paul tells us. "I only joined the police school to prove to my parents that I could actually do anything I wanted to, and that I could be the person I wanted to be. I was very extreme about that. My parents always considered me as a problematic case. They used to say "What should ever become of Paul?" They looked upon me as an eccentric weirdo, who would probably never achieve anything. I left that school because I didn't count as an individual. I belonged to the masses. They tried to wipe out my whole personality. Well, count me out."

 

After that, Paul King worked in the Rolls Royce factory and later he was a porter, shop assistant in a boutique and driver. He discovered that he had a feeling of theatre working as a monk in a medieval restaurant. "I was the jester," Paul says. "My job was holding speeches, telling jokes, singing and dressing up. It was a very useful experience, and I have learned a lot of it. It helps my current stage-act, because you always have to react ad rem and sustain your part - as a jester and certainly as a pop star."

 

"I've learned that you shouldn't be afraid of your audience. Some bands fall silent in between the songs. You can prevent that by a simple gesture"

At stage, Paul King looks more like a crazy mime artist than a dancer. He's a charmer, a good talker, he's full of energy and high-spirited, which provides the perfect tension between the group and the audience.

 

"I've always loved theatre," King says. "I felt very comfortable at drama school. Personality is the most important thing for an actor. I've learned a great deal from those drama lessons. For example, that you shouldn't be afraid of your audience. I've seen many bands that fall completely silent in between the songs. But you can prevent that by a simple gesture or a certain movement. If you're relaxed, you can communicate much better with your audience."

 

Love and Pride's position in the American charts proves that King is also quite successful in the USA. An enthusiastic King have recently returned from an American promotional visit. Is this success important to him? "Of course. King is my life and success gives you a certain power. I'm not full of myself, but I consider it an enormous luxury to do the things that I really enjoy and that makes me happy. And if we're giving joy to other people as well with our records and live shows, then that's of course amazing."

[ King perform 'live' Dec. 6 in Vredenburg, Utrecht ]

* Paul King: "Beroemd zijn is fantááástisch!" (Hitkrant 17, 1985)

 

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* Het ware gezicht van King" (Hitkrant 47, 1985)

 

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* "Liefde is voor een mij een raadsel" (Hitkrant 2, 1985)

 

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* "Wat is King aardig hè?" (Hitkrant, 1985)

 

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* King staat er gekleurd op (Hitkrant 14, 1985)

 

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* King Cover: Paul King slaat toe en hoe! (Hitkrant 14, 1985)

 

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* King intiem, "Voor de grote liefde heb ik voorlopig geen tijd" (Hitkrant 16, 1985)

 

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* De verrassende eerste showbizstappen van King (Hitkrant 12, 1985)

 

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* King ontmoette de Queen! (Hitkrant 23, 1985)

 

King met the Queen!

 

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* King poster (Hitkrant 23, 1985)

 

 

* De gevoelige top 10 van Paul King (Hitkrant 3, 1986)

 

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* King heeft de smaak te pakken (Hitkrant 10, 1985)

 

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* "Even de boel opfleuren, hoor!" (Muziek Express 6, 1985)

 

Rough translation:

 

"Let me brighten things up here"

 

Paul leaves his mark everywhere, literally and figuratively...

 

You have certainly noticed that King are always colourful, and they brighten it all up themselves, because wherever they go, Paul King likes it to be as colourful as possible.

 

Would you like a little bit of colour in your life? That will all be arranged by King, because this band have a special connection with with colour. The laced boots they wear are actually plain white or plain black. But don't worry, Paul will take one or more spray cans with brightly coloured paint and turns them in no-time into multicoloured footwear. And the same they did to the leather jackets worn by the breakdancing kids in their video for Love and Pride.

 

Nothing will be left out

The ordinary black jackets went through a real metamorphosis during their dyeing treatment. After inventing a flashy design to apply to the back of the jackets, they brightened them up with some spray paint - some cheek! And what about the background of Love and Pride? They chose a neutral white quarry as background. Armed with large spray cans they turned it into a colourful lot. You can see almost every colour of the rainbow in this video. Paul also likes to dress in very bright suits - green and yellow are certainly not the most popular colours among pop artists, but Paul likes to be different from others. He's got long hair when most men choose to have short haircuts. And the same is the case with his clothing: because he does stand out in his brightly yellow and black suit, which he also wears in the video for the new King hit 'Won't you hold my hand now?". These colours have also got a deeper meaning. Paul's favourite music is reggae. With his first band, The Reluctant Stereotypes, he played nothing else than reggae and ska music. And you may be aware that green, yellow and red are the colours of reggae. So perhaps we'll see Paul next time dressed in a bright red suit.

 

Paul takes a spray can and makes his own decor

And what do you think Paul was carrying with him when he entered the photo studio? Yes, a spray can. Paul wanted to make his own decor. "Let me brighten it up a bit", he commented. Well, leave that to him - within a very short time, the name 'King' was brightly displayed.

 

 

* De Opti-King (Oor, 23 March 1985)

 

 

 

The Opti-King

 

translation still to come

 

* Tussen 2 vuren (Pinkpop Magazine 1985)

 

Rough translation:

 

King, caught between two fires

by Corné Evers

 

And then there was King! Pinkpop is to be confronted by “the first eighties’ dance-hall band”. You can leave entertainment with a capital E safely to Paul King and his men. After all, they overwhelmed the English pub and club circuit before torpedoing the charts with 'Love and Pride'.

 

“While there is life there is hope” is his motto. “Not until the day comes when earth stops to exist will I be inclined to say the world’s situation is negative”.

 

The front man of the group named after himself, King, mainly believes in the sunny sides of existence, just as you can hear from his debut album, which was released a few months ago. ‘Steps in Time’ is driven by funk, ska and soul-spirit, amongst other things, and deals with ‘growing up in England’, and which shows a striking positive attitude clearly featured in the music and the lyrics. “A reflection of a new time spirit,” according to Paul King, who labeled 1985 as ‘the year of optimism’.

 

“People need that. Why else do you think a song such as 'Love and Pride' is so popular? The year 1984 was a very depressive year, especially for the UK. Lots of awful things happened. The miners’ strike, the still growing number of the unemployed, you name it. The year 1985 has to be better. And that’s what 'Steps in Time' is about. We approached primary human feelings in a positive way and described them in a way everyone can relate to."

 

DOWN-TO-EARTH

Born in 1960 in Irish Galway, Paul King spent his youth in Coventry. Although his parents weren’t rich at all, he described his childhood as ‘not really marked by poverty’, and is, in contrast with many of his colleagues, quite down-to-earth about his working class background. At comprehensive school Paul King was a paragon of diligence, which made him pass with credit. From early childhood he plays theatre, and sings the song ‘King of the Swingers’ from the movie Jungle Book – with foresight – at a school play. He adored T. Rex’ Marc Bolan, David Bowie and later Roxy Music.

 

It’s this band that Paul King especially holds up as an example. “King is a lot like Roxy Music,” he says. “Roxy Music was THE seventies band that assimilated various different style elements into their concept. King is doing the same now. Both bands have a quite distinctive presentation style in common".

 

After going to drama school for a short time, Paul became the singer of the jazzy ska and reggae ensemble Reluctant Stereotypes. A band which got carried along in the Two Tone explosion and even managed to get a contract with a major record company, WEA.

 

PHOTOGENIC

When at the end of 1982 Reluctant Stereotypes ceased to exist, Paul meets manager Perry Haines (known for his involvement with fashion magazine I-D and groups such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Scars and Polecats). At first it’s particularly Paul’s photogenic appearance, which is extremely suitable for video productions, that made a great impression. After a while Perry Haines decides to manage the new band that the singer had just started.

 

From that moment on King is following the tracks set out by Perry Haines meticulously. “Perry is very important,” Paul admits. “And even more, he’s my best friend. He’s someone who has great ideas himself, but who can listen well to other people’s ideas as well.”

 

At the start of 1983, King, besides Paul King himself including keyboardist Mick Roberts, bass-player Tony Wall and guitarist Jim Lantsbery, made their stage debut in London as a support act to Wah! Although various record companies had shown interest from the very start, they first wanted to present themselves as a live act.

 

It’s summer 1983 when King signs a contract with CBS. Finding a suitable producer was so problematic that it went well into 1984 before the band goes into the studio with Richard James Burgess, known for his production work for Spandau Ballet, to record 'Love and Pride' at first and later 'Steps In Time', Burgess not only producing but also drumming.

 

Criticism that king would want to follow Spandau Ballet’s success deliberately, is resolutely rejected by the singer. Paul: “Of course we want to be successful. But that’s certainly not the reason why we chose Burgess. Richard is a great drummer and producer. Our first album had to be a reflection of King as a live act. We wanted a band on the record, not a product. What we were looking for, was someone who didn’t only have the right technical skills, but who was also sympathetic to our objectives, and had the same ideas about sound as we had. I’m absolutely not a fan of technical perfection. Just as in the art of painting, the irregularities make something interesting to me. In our opinion Richard was the ideal man for that, the only one who actually sensed what we wanted to do.”

 

MIDDLE COURSE

Just before Christmas 1984, King toured successfully as a support act to Culture Club. And the eloquent singer has a very plausible explanation for this step as well: “Touring with Culture Club gave us the opportunity to present King to ten thousands at the same time. I don’t want to criticize Culture Club. They’re quite sincere and what they’re doing can be called outstanding. But King is different. Acts like Duran Duran and the like are extremely commercial without actually having something essential to say, as opposed to Special AKA or someone like Paul Weller, who are pretty committed and try to denounce social problems with their music. What King is trying to find, is a middle course between these two sides. We are glamourous and we have got a strongly visual image. King, however, is a band that are interested in people, not in selling fairy tales. Calling King another empty band is a glaring mistake.” How far is Paul King prepared to go to be successful and famous? “I’d like to remain proud of what I do, to keep my dignity. King makes music for the head and for the heart."

 

 

* Hoe lang houdt King dit vol? (Popfoto 5, 1985)

 

 

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* Paul King Poster (Hitkrant 9, 1985), top half

 

 

* Paul King Poster (Hitkrant 18, 1985)

 

 

* Paul King Poster (Hitkrant 48, 1985)

 

 

* Paul King poster (Hitkrant 50, 1985), top half

 

 

* Artiest van de Week - Paul King: superstar na slechts één hitsingle (Top 40, 06 April 1985)

 

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* Paul King: "We moeten de beste band worden" (Veronica Magazine 27, 1985)

 

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* King (Veronica Magazine 20, 1985)

 

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* 'Formule 1 in concert' met o.a. King (Veronica Magazine 20, 1985)

 

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* "Dit is mijn beste kameraad!" (Hitkrant 19, 1985)

 

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* Paul King heeft er twee voor de prijs van één (Hitkrant 27, 1985)

 

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* Paul King paspoort (Hitkrant 44, 1985)

 

Paul King passport (rough translation)

 

"Sometimes I find it a bit embarrassing to be addressed as King,” says Paul King. “They seem to forget that King are a band and that I wouldn’t have come so far without my three companions.” A modest guy, is Paul. And that’s not his only quality. Read on!

 

Name: King

Given names: Paul Francis Luke

Birth date: 20 November 1960

Place of birth: Galway, Ireland. When I was three I moved to Coventry with my parents.

Length: 1.80 m

Eye colour: dark brown

Hair colour: black

Civil state: single

Parents: father works in the Talbot car factories and mother is a housewife.

Siblings: one sister, Linda. She’s ten years older than me.

School report: smart but very lazy

Childhood dream: to become a professional football player. I’m a persistant Tottenham supporter.

Hobbies: driving, playing with Toby, my cockatiel, reading, history

Best friend: King bassist Tony Wall

Favourite music: David Bowie, T. Rex, reggae

Favourite movies: anything with Katherine Hepburn

Favourite sports: football, cricket, athletics.

Former jobs: shop-assistant in several shops, Rolls Royce employee, actor

Instruments: I play the piano quite well.

Best quality: I’m an outstanding diplomat (though I say it myself).

Worst quality: I’m quite moody and I often make a fuss about nothing.

Most precious possession: my colourful boots, which are unfortunately too heavy to wear them in live gigs.

Afraid of: I’m not afraid of anything.

Favourite girl type: I like them all.

Would like to: sleep some more.

 

 

* Articles in German

* Stars unter vier Augen, King "Ich bin noch zu haben" (Bravo, 1985)

 

 

* Stars face to face

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* King, "Neider drohten mir Prügel an (Bravo, 1985)

 

 

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* King, wie ihn keiner kennt (Bravo, 1985)

 

 

King, as no-one knows him

 

translation still to come

 

* Articles  in English

 

* King Cover (No. 1, May 1986)

 

 

* King signed photo

 

 

* Paul King: "I used to think I was God's gift" (Smash Hits, January 1986)

 

Text:

[picture 1: Paul King tries hard not to pass through French customs unnoticed

picture 2: According to Paul: "If I'm at a party I'm not really the one who jumps up and dances in the middle of the floor." Fibber

picture 3: King (left to right): Tony Wall, Mick Roberts, Jim "Jackal" Lantsbery and Paul King

picture 4: The dressing room: an overnight bag, some Levi's, 12 cans of lager and... oh, someone's packed their granny's all-weather simulated rubberex rain boots (har har).

picture 5: Paul gets his spots Tippexed out before a TV show.

picture 6: Seven fans who travelled from Coventry to Switzerland just for one concert!]

 

Bong! goes the aeroplane public address system. "Hello-this-is-your-Captain-speaking-our-estimated-time-of-arrival-in-Zurich-is..." King are flying from Paris - where last night they played a concert - to Zurich for some radio and TV interviews and another concert. As yet the group is practically unheard of in Europe so they've got loads and loads of promotional work to do. And, on top of that, they've got to put up with Smash Hits following them around asking questions every five minutes.

 

I've never seen myself as a sex symbol," splutters Paul King as he scoffs his way through an airline meal thousands of feet above the Alps. He's taking the interview very seriously, answering each question with deadly earnest concentration but somehow the point is somewhat lost when two Swiss Air hostesses appear in the gateway ogling at him, asking him what he's doing, who he is and is he, by any chance, a "rock musician."

 

For a second Paul looks a mite embarrassed, but then he decides to fib: no, he's a lecturer and he's travelling from Paris to Zurich for a conference. The "joke" falls a bit flat as the two hostesses huff and wander off up the aisle obviously thinking that Paul is just a bit too big for his boots and muttering something in their own language: "I think," says Paul forlornly, "that must be the German for 'What a prat!'"

 

But at least they've left him alone, something the daily papers have stubbornly refused to do since they decided he was something of a "sex symbol". This stubble-faced 25-year-old may not be quite getting the full Simon le Bon or Andrew Ridgeley treatment but the papers do love to print pictures of him in swish nightclubs with his arms around a couple of "young lovelies" or talking about the extremely naughty doings he got up to as a 12 year old. So does he ever look in the mirror and say to himself 'Crumbs! What a sexy beast!'?

 

"I don't at all, actually. In fact I'm amazed at how I get away with it," he says, feigning modesty. In that case, where do all those dodgy photos of him alongside lots of "foxy chicks" come from? "Mmm. Lucky me," he smirks. "Well, I do like ladies. I always have, from an early age. But I don't think I need to rely on that to promote myself. I'd hate for that to be the only reason for people to know Paul King - 'because he hangs around with girls.' I don't want to be a celebrity for celebrity's sake. So I am wary of that.

 

"Obviously sex or romance or whatever you want to call it motivates a lot of people. I mean, I'm a very normal guy..." Rather more normal, in fact, than he's admitted so far to the press. At the end of last year a newspaper revealed that Paul actually had a fiancée called Maxine! All that after he'd been telling us all for yonks that he was "unattached" and "looking for love". He'd been telling ruddy great whoppers, then?

 

"Well, says Paul evasively, "I've always kept my private life private. It's important to retain that privacy, otherwise the press will just eat it up and spit it out. It's very, very interesting to see how the media push you into a certain role which isn't necessary you... which is what they want you to play." Like 'Paul King: I'm-an-incredibly-sexy-beast'?

 

Paul picks up a roll from the airline meal tray in front of him. "Is this sweet bread, or just ordinary bread?" he asks, completely ignoring the question. As a matter of fact, far from being "a right raver" and "a swinger", the off-stage Paul King is actually a rather quiet and serious chap. Only the night before, the whole group were invited to a big party thrown for them by their record company in a posh restaurant in Paris, and while the other members were getting a bit squiffly, glugging champagne and singing v. rude songs around the piano, Paul stood at one side chatting politely to the record company toffs. It was only when everyone clamoured for him to join in that he jumped up on the piano to deliver an impromptu verson of "Fish".

 

"Umm..." comments Paul, "I am very insular... a quiet person. I enjoy just sitting and observing. If I'm at a party I'm not really the one who jumps up from the settee and dances in the middle of the floor. Though on stage all that changes - I do enjoy that centre-stage role." That was pretty obvious the night before when he stepped on to perform at a small Parisian venue called The Eldorado. King aren't very well known in France and it looked like most of the audience didn't want to know them, but Paul worked hard to win them over, bounding around stage dramatically and doing all those peculiar pixie-like knees bends and spooky old hand gestures. ("Yes, I do have a tendency to go over the top," he says.) And by the end of the show they'd earned themselves two encores.

 

Paul's fairly chuffed about this small success and deservedly so. After all, he certainly puts enough effort into this pop star lark. He exercises regularly to keep fit, makes sure that he eats proper food and that he gets loads of sleep. All very sensible, but it's not really the wild rock'n'roll lifestyle, is it?

 

"There are performers  who live that lifestyle," answeres Paul. "They live it and they die it. They're totally extreme and on the edge. I may like them as artists, but as people I find them total jerks. They're assholes really," he blurts. "I don't think that I could be tempted into that sort of lifestyle."

 

"If people see the artist they've made successful going round blowing money, they don't want to know. They've got a hard enough time themselves - they don't want to see some asshole up there blowing it!"

 

Crikey! What happened to the quiet, reserved Paul King? "I am quite even-tempered," he says, despite his outburst. "It actually takes a lot to make me riled now. Thta's developed in the last four years I think. As a teenager I was very arrogant. I believed that the world was my oyster and that I was God's gift, and I think it took the experience of realising that not everybody liked me for me to change that!"

 

Actually it looks as if Paul was a bit of a tear-away as a teenager. If you look at his thumb there's a small blue cross tattooed on it. He did that himself, and regrets it now. It's the mark of a gang that he used to be in as a kid in Coventry.

 

"I think that deep down the basic ingredient was a very nice kid, but I was very immature. I used to love going out in a gang - not to fight - just to check out the local girls, things like that. But then I found out later that I preferred more sensible company. When I lost my gang identity I began to do things to make myself stand apart, and a lot of that is the showman part of me."

 

"Bong!" goes the public address system again. "We're-now-descending-to-Zurich-ladies-and-gentlemen-would-you-please-faten..."

 

After landing, the passengers file down the gangway out of the plane. At the exit stands one of those air hostesses who Paul had tried the actually-I'm-a-lecturer "joke" on. "Goodbye professor," she smirks cheekily.

* Torture songtext (Smash Hits)

 

 

* Paul King poster (Smash hits, 14-27 February 1985)

 

* Paul King reviews the singles - photo (Smash Hits)

 

 

* The Taste of your Tears - Ad (Smash Hits, 9 October 1985)

 

 

* King Pen Pictures - Paul King

 

Text:

 

Name: Paul Francis Luke King

Birth date: 20.11.60

Birth place: Galway, Ireland

Raised: Coventry

Starsign: Scorpio

Weight: 11 st.

Colour of eyes: Brown

Colour of hair: Black

Education: Comprehensive

Previous occupations: Don't count: It's history

Previous bands: One

Favourite colours: Purple & yellow

Favourite food: French

Favourite drinks: Amaretto

Favourite group: Too many to mention

favourite female singer: Patti Smith

Favourite male singer: Serge Gainsbourg

Most attractive personality: The active type

Best dressed female in pop: Annie Lennox

Best dressed male in pop: Need you ask?

Favourite singles: Change every weekend

favourite albums: Change every weekend

Musical influences: The sea, the land, the cities & records

Favourite film: Aguirre 'The Wrath of God'

Favourite magazine: Sunday supplements

Favourite concert ever seen: Bowie, Coventry Apollo 1973

Favourite concert performed: Coventry Apollo 1985

Favourite concert venue: Brighton Dome

Favourite place: England & Florence

Favourite day: Tuesday

Favourite book: 'The Dice Man' - Luke Rhinehart

Favourite author: Richard Braughtigan

Favourite sport: Soccer

Favourite holiday spot: Scotland

Favourite animal: Dobermans called Donny

Favourite person: You

favourite thing to do: Piano-playing & dancing

Favourite toy as a child: Action Man

Favourite car: Bristol

Lucky number: Changes regularly

Ideal hair colour: Red

Ideal eye colour: Blue

What qualities do you look for in a woman: Humour, intellengence & passion

Who do you most like to meet: Frank Sinatra & Francis Coppolla

What or who was your first love: Football

Any hobbies: Muscles

Ambitions: To build my fortress

Most treasured possessions: Clothes

Most hated records: Guinness Book of!

General likes: Discipline, laughter, subtleties

Heroes: Batman & Spiderman

Villains: The Joker & The Riddler

What do you consider to be the worst human quality: Apathy & ignorance

What do you consider to be the best human quality: Optimism

What do you consider to be a good night: A show - a movie - a meal with good company

Favourite fantasy: A favourite actress finds me irresistable

Favourite experience: Driving a Vespa in the sun

Do you believe in God: I can see the need

favourite bird: Cockateel

Favourite dance: Jazz

Is there a love story that makes you cry: Yes

Ideal place to live: Halfway between city & wilderness

What would you want on a desert island: A boat

Favourite board game: Twister (very physical)

What would you take on a space-flight: Binoculars

Which historical figure would you like to meet: Kennedy, Lenin & Bruce Lee

Which sports personality would you like to meet: Olga Korbut

Favourite computer game: Solid State Logic

 

* Three pages of an unknown article (1985)

 

Text:

 

* A career man?

- Is 1985 the year you'll choose if you're asked to appear in The Time Of Your Life with Noel Edmonds?

I just think this is chapter one. There's a whole book opening in front of us. We've been going for three years and 1985 is the year the door opened up for us, but I'd like to think 1990 is going to be very special for us too.

- Are you monstrously rich?

No, not at all. I think the potential is there if I work very hard. I am an incredibly hard worker, the main reason being that I enjoy what I do. In that sense money is a by-product. I'm not doing it to earn money.

- Why have you had only the one big hit so far?

We've had an incredibly successful LP, which pleases me in many ways more than the singles, because it means that we're breaking out of the pop market into the album market, which goes to show as we've always said that we are a band who've got more depth than just being a pop band.

- Has fame gone to your head?

Some people would probably argue that I haven't changed. I've always had a certain amount of arrogance and confidence - showbiz I call it. I've always said that if you don't tell people how good you are, then they ain't gonna listen. I do believe I'm humble enough to know my limitations and that I'm only part of a team.

- Does it ever get to the point where you feel like locking yourself in a room and screaming?

No, not at all. Why should it? I get frustrated and I get depressed as anybody would in any walk of life but I think the day you start believing you're something special is the day that you get messed up and end up in that room screaming to yourself.

- What's all this about King and dolphins?

Dolphins have got a lot to do with King. We often ally ourselves with them, with the spirit of them because we're in the entertainment business like a dolphin is in its pool when it actually has the capability to do a lot more, like King do. And if we are that dolphin then we actually create our own hoops to jump through... As a matter of fact we filmed our video for "All Alone Without You" in Greece at a place called Delphi and that means dolphin.

- "All Alone Without You". All alone without who?

It crosses over on two levels lyrically. It can be taken as a love song, but at the same time it's a song about King and its audience - without its audience it would definitely be alone.

- Do you really take it that seriously or is that just what you say in interviews?

My yardstick for whether you can still keep a grasp on where you were and where you're going is that as long as you can remember what it's like to be a fan then you'll never lose it. That's what King are. We are fans. Fans are important because without them you are alone.

- Are you ever embarrassed about having been in The Reluctant Stereotypes (the shambolic group Paul used to be in a very long time ago)?

Oh yes! Frequently. When I was in Reluctant Stereotypes I believed in it 100%, but we change and we grow up. I'm not ashamed that I was in Reluctant Stereotypes, but there are elements of what I was then and what I said and did which I cringe about.

- Is Paul King the pop star anything like the Paul King who skulks away in private?

No.

- So, what's the other one like?

That's Paul king - private.

 

* A sex symbol?

- Isn't it time I had my hair cut? I have had it cut! Can't you see? It's definitely much shorter. Too short on top I think. At the end of a gig it gets all sweaty. It's horrible.

- I think my voice is underrated. A lot of people are surprised when they see us live how strong it is, but I think I've got a good voice".

I actually picked up the jacket in a flea market in Paris. It cost me about L20. But the other things I wear on stage - the suits - they're usually tailor-made.

- This is the black and white Paul King - it's a move away from the well-known multi-coloured Paul King.

- I suppose I am a sex symbol to certain people. I think it's fun to be quite honest. I don't see any harm in it. If it's not me it's going to be someone else.

- King concerts? King have entertainment, King have glitter, King have glamour, they have showbiz. They are entertainment with a big "E", they have music that has balls, and there's omthing there to stomp your feet to.

- I like to move around a lot. I've never considered myself to be a dancer but I do use a lot of energy and I enjoy what I want to do. I wouldn't consider it dancing in the classical sense. Or even in the good sense.

- One of the most embarrassing things I've done is I used to lift my leg on to the keyboard for one song. It made this great looking shape. We've stopped doing it since the time it got caught there and I couldn't make it back to the microphone. That's the closest I've come to looking stupid on stage.

- I don't actually wear the boots on stage, simply because they're too heavy. They're not practical at all.

 

* A bit of a laugh?

- How old are you?

25 in November.

- How did you dress 10 years ago?

Very much like David Bowie in his 'Young Americans' period. I was copying David very much - suits and things. And I had my hair cropped very short.

- What order do you take your clothes off in?

First socks, then I start at the top. I always leave the middle bit till the last minute.

- Do you ever cut yourself shaving?

Lots of times. I hate shaving. I'm really dark - I've been shaving since I was thirteen. I've been plucking my eyebrows since I was thirteen too.

- Do you sleep much?

I don't sleep as much as I should. Five or six hours. I usually like seven or eight.

- Are you vain?

Yes.

- Can you whistle?

Yes, but not very well. I've just whistled on our new album, funnily enough. A track called 'Platform One'. There's not enough whistling on records these days.

- When was the last time you cried?

Oh, last week on a plane when I was watching the film Witness. I cry to movies quite a lot.

- Do you think cricket is boring?

Incredibly. And golf, and snooker, and darts. I hate darts and snooker. I despise the people they've made into celebrities.

- Does spaghetti stick to your chin?

No... I've mastered spaghetti.

- What are you most frightened of?

I'm a pretty confident chappie... to the point of arrogance. But that's partly a big show. There's a lot of performance and showmanship in that. I'm frightened of disappointing myself.

- Do you get embarrassed when you see yourself on TV?

Oh yes. I tend to watch everything I do for the purposes of seeing what I do and whether I like it.

 

 

* Press release: Love and pride (1985)

 

Text: King - Love & Pride Body and Soul Mix

 

You may well be aware of KING via the postcards they dispatched - so you'll know what they look like - "hybrids in the age of the hybrid" is the byline for the style AND the music. Take a listen to the brilliant "Love & Pride" and you'll see what I mean.

 

KING's music makes use of many diverse and disparate influences - and they're brought together with a heady power that puts "Love & Pride" right up there among the contenders. It's not easy to describe their music - except to say that it's a great danceable track that should work well with practically everybody. It's got a really good and original feel and some excellent hooks that take no time at all in imprinting themselves on the brain - so provided you give it the plays it deserves - and it deserves a lot - KING could well have a massive debut hit.

 

It's been a long time since there was a band as original as KING with a song as good as "Love & Pride" - well now they've arrived and it could well signal the start of something big (and booted).

 

 

P.S. Check side 2 for further insights into KING-dom.

* Picture

 

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