Kim Wilde's tribute to Visage star Steve Strange
Singer Kim Wilde has led the tributes to the "elegant" and "lovely" New Romantic icon Steve Strange.
A leading light of the 80s New Romantic scene, the frontman of group Visage died of a heart attack on holiday in Egypt yesterday (Thursday). The musician was 55.
Kids in America star Kim, from Codicote, went on a date with the influential synthpop pioneer early in her career.
And on her official website Kim recounts her time with the Fade to Grey singer.
She describes Steve as “the most elegant and beautiful of the New Romantics at the beginning of the 80s” and cites Visage’s biggest hit, Fade to Grey, as “one of the very best and most influential records of the decade”.
In her tribute, Kim, a patron of Hertfordshire community interest company Waste Not Want Not, writes: “Steve took me out on a date to the iconic ‘Langan’s Brasserie’ in Mayfair right at the beginning of my career in 1981.
“I was very in awe of him only having just met him, but we quickly became friends and laughed at ourselves ordering sausage and mash with Champagne!
“As we left, the press descended on us and took some fabulous pictures, we both pouted furiously and headed off to ‘The Blitz’ club where we bumped into Marilyn and a host of exotic, beautiful New Romantics, drank vodka and crashed out at his apartment in Notting Hill.
“When I woke up in the spare room the next morning, I wandered through his elegant apartment to find him asleep with his eye mask on, I guess he didn’t get to be that flawless without a beauty regime and he certainly had looked far more glamorous than I did the previous evening!”
She also tells of the “hilarious” time Steve visited her at home for her birthday – and Kim’s rock‘n’roll star father Marty Wilde sent him packing.
Kim’s statement says: “I remember one time when he travelled all the way to Hertfordshire from London to our family home where I was still living during the first years of my career.
“I’d invited him to my birthday party, but things had wound down by 1.30am and everyone had gone to bed.
“He knocked on the door, and my Dad Marty sent him and his entourage packing with a ‘what time of the morning do you think this is?’… I only found out about it at breakfast the next day… still brings a huge smile to my face!”
The pair have stayed friends since, as Kim explained.
“Over the years Steve and I kept in touch from time to time and toured together with ‘Here and Now’ in 2002.
“We recently met at the Spandau Ballet film premier ‘Soul Boys of the Western World’. I’m so grateful that life brought Steve and I together, he was funny, great company and completely bonkers in the most adorable way.
“He would often call up for a long chat, and always asked after my husband Hal, and our children Harry and Rose. Steve was a family man first and often spoke of his beloved family in Wales.”
Kim adds: “I shall remember him for his humour and generous spirit; he really was a very lovely man.”