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Tony Hadley talks about aging gracefully, blessings from Sinatra… and the rift that destroyed Spandau Ballet: I wish someone in the band would have the courage to admit what they did to me

please tell me your name Tony Hadley Anyone who was young in the ’80s will immediately imagine what he looked like at the height of Spandau Ballet fame: ruffled shirts, satin suits, costume jewelry, and cantilevered hair. .

But when I spoke to him, he said he felt humiliated by the thought of ever having to wear leather pants again. “There’s nothing worse than seeing people of a certain age, 50, 60, 70 years old, still dressing like they were teenagers. It’s embarrassing,” he shuddered. Ta.

“I think you have to age gracefully. Look at Robert Palmer, he was so cool, kind of a gentleman rocker. I like that.’

Four decades after Tony’s voice was the soundtrack of my teenage years, he can now lay claim to being a gentleman rocker in his own right.

He’s even more rugged these days, and his knees are dodgy (he slips in). Italy (August this year), he ditched his former peacock lifestyle for a well-tailored suit by Savile Row tailors Souster & Hicks.

Tony Hadley, 63, has an album coming soon, a full diary of festival bookings for summer 2024, and a new show set to tour the country in March.

But that voice, the voice that helped define the decade and made Spandau Ballet a supergroup, well, nothing has changed. It still has the same raw power and rich emotion that lyricist Tim Rice had when he described the song as “few of its contemporaries could match it.”

Tony says, “No matter what I sing, I sound like Tony Hadley.” He just keeps moving forward making music. The last thing I want is for it to become my own tribute act. ”

The trajectory of his long career, its triumphs and tribulations, and this willingness to embrace his own growth, is endearingly not very rock’n’roll.

Tony, now 63, can casually recount the time he forgot to scrub the bottom of his new cowboy boots and fell down a long flight of stairs as he touched down in front of 10,000 fans at Wembley. “It’s an elementary school student’s mistake.”

Or, more recently, he admitted on stage at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival that he had forgotten the gold lyrics to the eternal hit Spandau. “Someone in the audience did something that distracted me and I lost my place. I just said, ‘That’s jazz…'”

When I ask him for a true rock star anecdote, one that involves groupies, private jets, or being open 24 hours a day when he fronted a band that sold 25 million records, he laughs and says: The real Norman normal. I decided from the beginning that it would happen.

“I didn’t want to live in this gilded cage. In the early days, some of the Spandau boys were annoyed because I still went to the pub with my older friends.” I just have a job, which happens to be a great job and a blessed job, but it doesn’t make me any different from anyone else.

“And you have a responsibility for the job. The only people who cancel a show are the singers, not because the amplifier breaks down or the guitar string breaks or the drum skin comes off.

“When I’m on tour, I literally drink two or three beers and go to bed. If I go to a club until 4 or 5 in the morning and stay up screaming, it would be a miracle if I could perform the next day. I can’t do that. did.”

So unlike some vocalists who are too old to reach the high notes of their prime, Hadley’s voice is still in pristine condition and he always sings in the same key. He has an album coming soon, his full diary of festival bookings for summer 2024, and a new swing show touring the country in March.

Swing was the music of his childhood, and his mother, Pat, would play standards by Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra while cooking Sunday roasts at the family home in north London.

Later, when a teenage Tony told his mother and father John (who worked as an electrician for the Daily Mail) that he wanted to be a pop star, they listened to the Sex Pistols as well as swing classics to develop his skills. The Clash and Buzzcocks insisted that we should learn.

Tony actually met Sinatra at the age of 17, when he evaded security guards and dove onto the stage of the Royal Albert Hall to show his appreciation for his coveted show. Ta. “Sinatra said, ‘Hey, son, we’re glad to have you young people here!’ This is exactly what I tell people today.

“He asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was in school but also in a band and wanted to be a professional singer. He shook my hand and said good luck. Six years later, Spandau Ballet performed at the Albert Hall. So, it wasn’t so bad, was it? “It didn’t go well at all,” he smiles.

Tony (center) joined Spandau Ballet in 1985. The band disbanded in 2017, then reunited in 2009 after 20 years.

Tony (center) joined Spandau Ballet in 1985. The band disbanded in 2017, then reunited in 2009 after 20 years.

He is happily living with his second wife Alison, whom he married in 2009. They have two daughters, Zara, 16, and Genevieve, 11, and he has three children from a previous marriage. (Touchingly, the girl he had his first kiss with in the back of her father’s van when she was 13 still comes to his shows from time to time.)

Career-wise, he just wants to keep doing what he’s doing. “I’m never going to retire. I have 20 years left in me. I don’t like golf, I hate gardening, and I don’t collect stamps. I’m still a kid in a candy store when it comes to making music. Something like.”

Although he loves new songs, he never tires of the songs that made him famous. He will be singing Paul Anka’s version of “True” and a swing version of “Gold” at the upcoming show. He’s trying to figure out how to incorporate his favorite Spandau song, “Through The Barricades.”

Straight up on the piano, he thinks. “It’s really upsetting when artists deny their past, because if you have an established past, you have to give people what they want. Moments in music evoke memories and evoke emotions, so it’s really frustrating when artists deny their past. It’s disrespectful to them. That’s why you give people what they want.”

Other than that, no matter how much we baby boomers and Gen Xers wish for it, there will never be a Spandau Ballet reunion. This is the first time since they broke up in 2017 and reunited in 2009 after 20 years.

“No, that’s not going to happen,” Tony says. There won’t be the consolation of a biopic like Elton John’s “Rocketman.” “I have nothing to do with it. I’m sorry. I don’t want anything to do with it.”

The band first fought over royalties, culminating in a court case in which Tony and two other band members sued songwriter Gary Kemp (brother of band member turned actor Martin Kemp). Lost the case.

He’s not ready to reveal why he left for good in 2017 after two blockbuster comeback world tours. “That’s not for me to say. I really hope one of them has the courage to admit, ‘We did this to Tone, and that’s what caused him to leave the band.’ There is.

“Maybe one day one of us will have the courage to do it. I had great memories, but I retired completely in 2017. That’s life.’

Then he lights up. ‘Its the life! That’s one of the songs I do at swing shows. This is a song that sums up most people’s lives: you go up and you go down, but you just have to keep moving forward. ”

  • Tony’s The Big Swing Tour 2024 starts on March 3rd. MyTicket.co.uk.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-12775333/Tony-Hadley-growing-old-gracefully-blessing-Sinatra-rift-destroyed-Spandau-Ballet-wish-one-band-guts-admit-did-me.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Tony Hadley talks about aging gracefully, blessings from Sinatra… and the rift that destroyed Spandau Ballet: I wish someone in the band would have the courage to admit what they did to me

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