Shirley Bassey

Though the sun is already low in the sky, the day is young for Dame Shirley Bassey. She rarely manages to get to sleep before 4am, her body clock having been irreparably skewed by all those years of playing late-night cabaret, and she rarely rises before noon: she says that as she lives alone, and doesn't have the concentration necessary to read books, she tends to fill the small hours watching films on satellite television. Today she is recording a song at Sir George Martin's Air Studios, a converted Read more [...]

Paul McCartney

The soundcheck over, Paul McCartney -  he rarely uses the Sir -  stares out across the empty seats of the ice-hockey stadium, eyebrows raised in that way of his, lost in thought. In two and a half hours these chairs will be filled with Americans waving the Stars and Stripes; holding up lighters; crying, singing, hyperventilating; greeting the latest concert of his 19-city tour with what the press have been calling 'Maccamania'. He hands his guitar to a roadie and picks up his jacket, flipping it Read more [...]

Marc Almond

My idea of living dangerously is staying up until 2.30am watching television and drinking whiskey when I know I have to drive to Wiltshire next morning for a wedding. Marc Almond's idea is to jump on a plane to New York, consume a wheelbarrow-full of LSD, heroin, crystal meths, Quaaludes, opium, mescalin, Ecstasy and cocaine, and then spend a week crawling from one S&M club to another, before bursting into tears and making his mascara run. Concerted self-abuse of this sort takes its toll. Read more [...]

Elton John

Witnessing Elton John greet his burly, unshaven manservant with a peck on the cheek and a fruity 'How are you, dear?' was more than I had any right to expect. But then he sat on his piano stool, placed his fingers on the keyboard, and sang half a dozen of his most memorable ballads - all with the jutted jaw and the grimace of emotion directed at me, his one-man audience. Now, as he shows every sign of laying on one of his celebrated tantrums as well, I get the feeling he's just spoiling me. The Read more [...]

Tim Rice

It's all that Andrew Lloyd Webber's fault. If it hadn't been for his soppy influence, Sir Tim Rice could have been a serious rock 'n' roller: helping Keith Moon throw television sets out of hotel windows; hanging out with John and Yoko as they lived off a diet of champagne, caviar and heroin; and generally having some phreaked-out phun with the children of the revolution. But, oh no. What was Tim Rice doing in 1968 instead? Touring provincial schools with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Read more [...]