You may remember a while ago that we featured an article written in the German language, taken from a scarce copy of East German magazine Melodie und Rhythmus.
Originally printed in 1984, the article featured Kajagoogoo as a four piece band with a separate section about Limahl. Although interesting to KajaFans who could speak German, the article was a mystery to those of us who don’t! Well, thanks to KajaFax reader Dagmar from Essen in Northrhine-Westfalia, we now have an English version. Dagmar commented on the translation:
“….the contents are written in a strange tone and are sometimes not very polite/positive. In my translation I tried to stick to that strange way of writing. Its not the way, the German magazine “Bravo” would have written it. Nevertheless, enjoy it now….”
This being the case and to correct the unusual tone of the piece by the original East German writer, we have altered the phrasing slightly to make it a little more natural to English ears :)
Article 1 – Kajagoogoo Phase II
It all began at the end of 1982 by chance, or rather a coincidence, of fortunate circumstances. Guitarist Steve Askew, bassist Nick Beggs, drummer Jez Strode and keyboardist Stuart Croxford Neale had been performing as Art Nouveau, but their “Art” couldn’t have been so very new as success stayed away. The decision was made to dissolve the quartet. During one of their last meetings they stumbled across an advert in the Melody Maker, the leading British paper for music:
“…am a 22 year old, good looking, talented songwriter, looking for four musicians with similar attributes to form a successful band…” That is the way that Limahl – then Chris Hamill – the former actor and lead singer with different bands – presented himself. After a few rehearsals, the five of them agreed that Limahl was to become the singer of the band. The new group needed a new name. It should be easy to commit to memory – who knows, maybe some clever public relations manager helped – but the result of their thought process was worth it: Kajagoogoo.
Psychologists would surely consider this nonsense name very easy to remember.
The new group made one last effort, and with borrowed money, they organized two concerts at London’s Embassy Club. Many representatives from the British showbiz scene came to the shows. Finally, it was Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran that managed to get the record company EMI interested in the band. Contracts were signed and everything started well. The first single, Too Shy, went with lightning speed to number 1 into the UK charts. The band became immediately well known by everyone, with singles sales of 750.000, sell out concerts, interviews and TV appearances. With the singles that followed however, the band had to be satisfied with slightly lesser positions in the charts.
Music critics have since debated if the music of the ‘Kajas’ was really something new, or if they had simply copied the ideas of other bands of the New Romantic era (Duran Duran, Talk Talk). Fans between the ages of 6 and 16 were less concerned with that! The image of the group – colourful clothes, ingenious haircuts, young, fresh looks and a dynamic stage show, appealed to people of this age who admire groups not for their musical skills but for their entertainment value. This is shown by the moderately small success of the first Kajagoogoo album, White Feathers that appeared in April 1983. The musical substance was only good enough for a few singles to gain success. Later, in September when the British press shocked their readers with the sensation of Limahl´s departure, the band’s fate seemed to be sealed.
Reasons for the split were said to be a difference of opinions about the selection of material for the second album, and the future musical direction of the group. In the meantime, Kajagoogoo had survived the split. Nick Beggs is now the singer and leader of the band and also plays the miraculous instrument, the Chapman Stick. For live performance, they use two female backing singers and a keyboard player to gain added musical possibilities. Their latest album, Islands, has sold quite well, and the new Kajagoogoo live show is worth both seeing and hearing, although it manages without big lights or other special effects. Audiences in the Republic of Poland will have the chance to see this for themselves in August when the group play the country.
The tour may very nearly have failed, as Jez (born 17.01.1958 in Luton, Bedfordshire), Stu (born 05.08.1960 in Leighton Buzzard), Steve (born 09.12.1957 in London) and Nick (born 15.12.1961 in Winslow, Buckinghamshire) are all vegetarians. It is rumoured that both the band and their crew requested on the rider over 400 sandwiches filled with many types of cheese. Luckily, the organisers met their demands, even down to Nick’s glass of honey with lemon juice. This is why Nick happily welcomed his audience in the Polish language. The Polish audiences sang along enthusiastically to hits like Lions Mouth, Big Apple and of course Too Shy.
The fact remained that Limahl (born 19.12.1958 in Wigan, Lancashire) was missing, although Nick Beggs was able to stand up to the comparisons with Limahl so far as voice and charm are concerned. EMI Records had to postpone the release of the first Limahl LP, Don’t Suppose, because the material written for it was ‘too thin’, and single Tar Beach failed to meet the demands of the EMI executives.
These actions naturally justify the belief that his ideas were right to be opposed, although two singles were moderately successful, especially Too Much Trouble. At the Tokyo Music Festival in 1984, Limahl was to make new fans as he sang the leading track for the film Never Ending Story; the music for which also appearing on the new album.
Maybe the musical story of Limahl and Kajagoogoo will last longer than it seems?
Article 2 – Limahl
He looks like he is taken out of a picture book – a kind of modern fashion prince. Visual appearance means a lot in the life of Limahl and helps make the bond between him as a personality and his pop-art, as well as between him and his mostly female fan community. The Never Ending Story and its international success in the pop charts had created a Limahl boom by the end of 1984….as did Limahl’s spectacular departure from the group Kajagoogoo – or vice versa. Limahl states: “I was fired….the manager told me during our tour” In the meantime, it seems that his anger may well have been overcome as the worldwide success of album Don’t Suppose and also the single Never Ending Story has won the race between him and his ex-Kaja colleagues, certainly so far as popularity and commerciality are concerned. Their new projects have set a new direction, as both acts have produced more breadth in the stylistic spectrum more than ever before in pop with the special “disco-cut”.
Limahl has stayed with danceable pop music, but as shown in some of the tracks on his debut solo album also demonstrates the possibilities of both modern electronic sounds and in his bass lines some harder funk influences as his preferred style. An important partner for the 26 year old pop star, real name Chris Hamill (Limahl is an anagram of his surname), is the successful disco producer, songwriter and composer Giorgio Moroder. As an official member of the jury, Moroder heard Limahl at the Tokyo Music Festival where he enjoyed the performance delivered by the sympathetic Englishman with the white mane. Limahl was singing there (as one of the soon to be prize winners) his first hit single, Only For Love and Moroder enjoyed his performance so much that only three weeks later he asked Limahl to sing vocals on the main theme to the English version of the film Never Ending Story! Upon first listening, no one could tell if the Never Ending Story was sung by a boy or a girl.
And so the short story of the pop disciple Limahl becomes a love story….
Many thanks go to Dagmar on behalf of our readers for taking the time out to provide this English translation. We hope that our modification of the original text did not move too far away from the spirit and meaning of the original piece.
Kajafax will return next week with a special announcement!
Today, we have great news for all fans with some exclusive news of a forthcoming festival performance!
Limahl has confirmed his appearance at next year’s Chilfest Festival in Tring, Hertfordshire. Chilfest is a three day annual event, with Limahl and his band scheduled to take the stage on Saturday, 11th July 2015. Full details of the event including ticket information can be obtained over at the festival website, http://www.chilfest.co.uk. KajaFax are so ahead of the game on this one that details won’t be available over on the official site until October 31st. You heard it here first! We will as usual bring you all the latest updates on the event as soon we have them.
Keep checking the KajaFax ‘tour’ page for the latest information and updates.
Thanks for visiting KajaFax, the premier Kajagoogoo website.
KajaFax has on many occasions showcased for you, our readers, the very best in Kajagoogoo content. For your appreciation of this, we are incredibly pleased and of course grateful! On other occasions however, we have sneakily brought to your attention those things that may be best left alone. Think thrash metal versions of Too Shy by Albanian rockers ‘Big in Albania’ or Croatian singer-songwriter Vuco’s ‘unforgettable’ efforts.
Well, what we have for you today surpasses everything in its wake. Period.
Courtesy of Buttress O’Kneel, we bring you Never Ending Story, as performed by Limahl. What’s wrong with that? we hear you ask. Well, it’s like this. In an effort to match the movie itself, the track has been expanded to 102 minutes in length, which, as the uploader states, makes the track not literally never-ending but certainly very, very long.
So long in fact, that neither Steve C or myself have actually listened to it end to end!
Apparently, ‘NeverEnding’ is the fourth piece in a series of similar works by Buttress O’Kneel on a ‘spiritual’ theme
KajaFax think this is all a little odd, but far be it from us to be dismissive. What do you think?
Comments are welcome as usual in the below comments box – only spiritually minded KajaFans need express their opinions….. ;)
This could well be the oddest remix that you ever heard….. it begins with a long silence, so be patient.
Welcome again to KajaFax! Today we roll back to the late 1980′s and Limahl’s superb solo single ‘Inside to Outside’. A fan favourite, the song was included on Limahl’s set-list for his 2012 gig in Perth, Scotland, and was released in some wonderful editions to satisfy the keen collector.
What we have for you now is a record store only promotional poster.
We have not seen one of these before and only recently acquired it for the KajaFax collection.
What do you think??
See you again soon for more of the very best in Kajagoogoo news, views and merchandise!
The opening section of his article is the long awaited follow up to our earlier ‘vintage magazine scans’ post, the first instalment of which can be read HERE .
KajaFan ‘Pink’ from Holland has kindly supplied us with more fabulous magazine scans from what seems to be a vast collection, and today’s entry showcases those vintage magazine features.
As is the usual, click on the individual image to open a larger version in your browser.
A massive ‘thank you’ goes out to Pink for taking the time to scan and send these great images to us.
Finally, and for those who have not yet seen them, please check out our ‘tour’ section for details of forthcoming live Limahl shows in 2015. Limahl is doing a series of UK dates, the first of which is in February of next year. As usual, we will post any updates about these gigs as soon as we have them!
Click on the ‘Tour’ link on the menu bar below our site banner to for full details!
Thank you for visiting KajaFax!
Always striving to showcase the very best in Kajagoogoo’s history, ‘Team KajaFax’ have again gone the extra mile to publish what we think is a scarce broadcast dating back to the 1980′s. Interviewed by Capital Radio’s Paul Sexton, this clip was recorded for broadcast on 27th May 1984 and scheduled for syndication over the United States of America as a part of the Rock Over London series.
The below ‘soundcloud’ clip features an interview recorded during the promotional campaign for Limahl’s then hit single Too Much Trouble and as I’m sure you will agree, perfectly captures exactly where Limahl was in his fledgling solo career at that time.
So here it is….sit back and enjoy Limahl in conversation.
I wonder what happened to ‘Compromise’, the Jellybean Benitez track?
Today’s impromptu post is a mix of video media both old and new.
Our first two clips demonstrate the global impact made by Kajagoogoo following the release of their debut single Too Shy. For our first clip, we travel to the United States of America. Hot on the heels of stable-mates Duran Duran, Kajagoogoo also had their sights set Stateside; and it seems that the American public were licking their lips in anticipation of their visit. ‘Too Shy’ had hit number one on charts all over the world and had, most encouragingly, raced into the US Billboard Charts, peaking at #5.
What we bring you now is a clip lifted straight from a radio recording of the Casey Kasem American Top 40 Countdown show, originally broadcast in 1983.
Kajagoogoo are also popular in Japan where, purists that they are, lip-synching on television appearances would appear to be somewhat frowned upon. YouTube user ‘nyuv’ has uploaded this great footage of the band performing Too Shy live in the studio.
In case you missed it, here it is!
Finally, we bring things more up-to-date with a solo stick recital from Nick, recorded only a few days ago. This really is a beautiful performance, so settle down, turn up the volume, and enjoy!
KajaFax returns in a few days time with a real treat for Limahl fans that you don’t want to miss!
See you then!!