You pondered, we probed on your behalf and she spilled good and proper. Here’s what Mari Wilson (pictorialed above, sans beehive and all grown up) had to say about said beehive, junky cum and being the Bette Midler of the UK…
Has anyone ever confused you with Mary Wilson off-of The Supremes? I know I have. Smalls
Yes, I’ve got a fantastic story about that. We were doing a tour of America in 1983 and we were playing in Detroit, where most of the audience was black. A guy knocked on my dressing room door and said, ‘I’m looking for Mary Wilson’ and I said, ‘I’m Mari Wilson.’ He went, ‘You’re Mary Wilson? Oh shit, I thought it was Mary Wilson and The Supremes,’ and I said ‘No, I’m from England!’ I was worried that they would all be expecting that, and I went on and I won them over, which was great! In fact it was one of the best gigs of the whole tour.
Was Boy George an absolute cunt to work with? One suspects he might be. Peseta
No, he was great. He can be a bit moody sometimes, but he was the star of the show and it was quite tiring I think. Musical theatre generally is. At the end of that Taboo run I took a video camera in and I went round the dressing room asking them all to say something about me, nice or horrible, and he said, ‘Now Mari, we would really like it if you could give back all the things you stole!’
How do you keep your impressive beehive vertical? Does it involve any ‘There’s Something About Mary’ gel? Seems to work best for me. Although junky cum ain’t up to much. Amy Wino
Well it used to be Bristows Hairspray which stunk to high heaven and it was like bloody glue. But now Elnett, thank you.
How do you think your ‘Cry Me A River’ stands up to the Julie London one? Dolly Wotsit
If I’m honest, I prefer Julie London’s. I was young, and I’ve never recorded it the way I would like to hear myself sing it. When I sing it live now it’s much better than any of the recordings, but I don’t think mine comes anywhere near to hers.
I was never sure if your act was a joke or serious. It looked like a joke but the records were really good. Bernard
I suppose I’ve always tried to be like the Bette Midler of the UK. I like it to be pure entertainment; I can sing a song and it will be very tongue in cheek but I can then sing a ballad and make people cry. It’s about pathos, and it’s about entertaining and performing.
The 80s were a rich time for new fashion and music, so much so that today’s youth are constantly raiding back issues of The Face for ideas, due to their lack of brains and originality. At the same time, you raided the 60s during the 80s … how was that received by your peers in an era when everyone was so desperately wanting to be modern/futuristic? Consuela
The records were actually very modern sounding, it was just 60’s influence. There’s always some influence, because everything comes from something else, and I think people liked that I was honest.
Without you there would be no Amy Winehouse. Discuss. Phil McCracken
I don’t think that’s true. I’d love to say that’s true but she’s probably never even heard of me. She’s very much The Ronettes and in a way black beehives on more dark-skinned skin. I kind of like that, I love Bobbie Gentry. Blonde beehives are great but it’s a different look.
Are you planning to do any more Girl Talk shows with Barb Junger and Claire Martin? They were great shows and you all looked like you were having a good time! Kelly Marie Tunstall
It was a laugh actually! I just had lunch with Claire, she’s about to get married and Barb is in New York, so the problem there is because we’re three singers in our own right with our own careers it’s really difficult to get together at the same time. It got to be a pain in the arse really. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be like the Golden Girls and do it when we’re old.
Oh, and what was it that you just always wanted? Do you still perform that number? Kelly Marie Tunstall
Yes I do. I always wanted true love and self-confidence, and I’ve got that now.
Oh (am I allowed three questions – bit of a fan y’see) ‘im indoors and I are coming to your Brighton gig next month as our stag night before our civil partnership (so there had better be strippers) but do you fancy being a bridesmaid?! Kelly Marie Tunstall
Ooh, that’s put me on the spot! It depends where and when, and what the dress is like!
The bridesmaids are wearing knee-length shrimp. That OK? elsie tanner
My question is: Is the dress in the shape of a shrimp or is it the colour of a shrimp?
Never mind Mary Wilson, how often are you mistaken for Meri Wilson? Have you ever performed The Telephone Man?
I see the beehive ‘do working for lyrics like ‘we did it in the kitchen and we did it in the hall and we did it in the bedroom and he hung it on the wall!’ Richard the Big Bunny
Oh that’s bloody annoying! I get emails from people saying, ‘I love Telephone Man!’ You want to say, ‘Fuck off!’
Don’t miss Mari’s new album Emotional Glamour, out now! Visit www.mariwilson.co.uk for details of her tour.