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old lace, obscure ancestry and pigtails, is what in old showbiz parlance they call a trouper. She can take the strain. Tat was the beginning of Paul Rambali’s article on the iconic singer from the NME back in 1979, and how right he was, in both respects. Nowadays, performers believe they’re making a statement by getting near naked. Read: Miley Cyrus. Darling, anyone can take their clothes off and stick their tongue out. While Lady Gaga’s outfit of raw meat perhaps swayed towards the more original, it also smacked of shock tactics. It might be said that it’s impossible to be different, to be original now. But in 1979, Lene was. She subverted a traditionally male-controlled industry and controlled it herself. And what about Paul Rambali’s remark that she could take the strain? Tirty-four years later, with a string of invitations and dates ahead of her, you can decide for yourself, as she plays in Norwich this month.


A lot of people won't know Norwich is something of a homecoming gig for you now, isn't it? Well, it's a very familiar place for me. Both my daughters went to Art School in Norwich so I spend a lot of time here. Yeah, I’m very familiar with it; Anglia Square is almost the centre of my universe.

[LAUGHS] Now that's a pull quote! [LAUGHS] And I’m very proud to say that! I often go to the Hollywood Cinema. I went there recently to see the Lone Ranger, which was wonderful. But I have lots of strange cosmic connections with Norfolk. My mother's from Yorkshire, but her maiden name is Norfolk, which is quite bizarre.

But Lene, you've had many homes. I was thinking about your initial switch from Detroit to Hull when you were young. I mean, East Yorkshire - maybe it's just that Detroit seems exotic just by rights

38 /November 2013/

that it's in the US - - It was also dangerous. Yes, it sounds more exotic but it was really a hard place to be, especially at that time and now - the whole centre of Detroit has gone into decay. I don't know enough about it because I haven't been there in a while, but you know the whole prosperous and extravagant shops in the central area of Detroit has completely gone away now, from what I hear. It's almost gone back to sort of medieval times with people setting up farms. So big cities everywhere, take note: it can happen. It happened to Rome.

But Hull - maybe Hull never had any grace to fall from - it's quite a down to earth place, isn't it? Was it a bit of a culture shock? It was a welcome shock. It was a welcome shock because as I said, Detroit was a very troubled place and also my family was… was very messed up. Basically my mother ran away from my

father, who had lots of problems, you know, mentally and aggressively, in his attitude towards everybody… Oh, this is like a novel, so I won't go into detail, but it was a great escape for me. I didn't really mind where I was going, I was just glad to be getting away. As long as I was with my mother and my brothers and sisters. We all kind of escaped and went to Hull, which was great.

But as you came of age, you moved to London, to art school, didn't you? I moved to London, because after a while, as you grow up and become a teenager you want your own identity. When you're little, I think you want to be the same as everybody else because little children move in their own personal groups and they like to be together, and if you're the odd one out, it's very noticeable. I was the odd one out because as I grew, I realised my visions and my ideas were different to everybody else. I think every school has their Wednesday Adams, and that was

Lene Lovich: A Hit Ms Tat Refuses To Fit. Lene Lovich, five foot nothing of

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