Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Cherry Red: Going To Be Me: The Life Of A Toyah Super Fan

February 4th, 2022

The dedication and commitment of the super fan is something we never take for granted at Cherry Red. Their passion and energy for artists is the lifeblood of any musician’s career, and in our latest blog piece we celebrate that with a wonderful piece by writer and designer Chris Limb.

Chris has been a steadfast Toyah fan since the early 80s and wrote I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan; a fascinating example of loyalty and affection that serves as a window into the soul of any ardent music lover.

It is 1981. I am seeing Toyah play live. For the first time I am actually in the same room as her, albeit a very large room. There she is, over there. I can see her with my eyes.

It is 1991. I am putting together the latest issue of the Toyah Fan Club magazine Tellurian, a cut and paste concoction of photocopied articles as well as a handwritten letter to the fans from Toyah herself. I am typing up the lyrics for her new album Ophelia’s Shadow to include in it; once finished I’ll then take it to a print shop in Store Street WC1 to get a few hundred copies run off.

It is 2001. I am in a recording studio in Nuneaton where Toyah is recording guest vocals on a track by the band Chester with whom I currently play bass. The track will eventually be put out under the band name Family of Noise.

It is 2011. I am putting the finishing touches to the manuscript for my memoir I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan which grew out of a series of blog posts I’d written about my experiences some thirty years previously. I am about to self-publish this as both a paperback and an ebook.

It is 2021. I am writing this blog entry about Toyah and the impression she’s made on my life over the past 40 plus years.

• Continue reading at Cherry Red. Browse Dreamscape’s I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan news archive. There’s much more IWATTF content in our vast News Archive (scroll to around 2010 – 2012).

The Big Issue: Cover Stories Of Great Albums

May 26th, 2021

The Rolling Stones, Kate Bush, The Cure: Great albums’ cover stories revealed

From hiding film in Toyah’s knickers to combining Mondrian and The Rolling Stones, designer Bill Smith tells the cover stories of great albums.

The Rolling Stones, The Jam, Kate Bush, The Cure, Led Zeppelin – they’re not only among the most important musical artists of our time, they’re also some of the most visually striking. Bill Smith has designed album covers for all of them.

Bill Smith and his studio have been designing album covers since 1976. Across five decades they’ve worked with more than 200 bands and artists. They were even there at the start of the Now That’s What I Call Music juggernaut, designing the very first cover of the world-beating compilation album series.

Now Bill’s work has been collected into a suitably glossy, album-sized, 12-inch book, which also features the stories behind some of his classic album covers. He gave us a glimpse into the creative process behind some of his most famous works…

• Continue reading at

Books: Bill Smith Studio – Cover Stories

May 22nd, 2021

Toyah features in the new book, Bill Smith Studio: Cover Stories.

A beautiful 12-inch square hardback book featuring the influential album art produced by Bill Smith Studio and the stories behind them.

Across five decades Bill Smith Studio worked on countless covers for the likes of Kate Bush, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Toyah, Marillion, Genesis, No-Man, Thomas Dolby, Richard Barbieri, Mike Oldfield and others.

In Cover Stories you’ll find the stories of over 70 albums, featuring contributions from the bands, artists, photographers and painters involved, all offering a unique insight into the creation of several iconic sleeves.

Includes 40 album covers at original 12-inch size. Cover Stories offers a unique insight into the creation of several iconic sleeves and includes 40 album covers at original 12-inch size.

• Further info/Order the book at Burning Shed.

Books: Major & Minor Adventures In Lah Lah Land

November 3rd, 2020

The autobiography of Martin Kiszko, Major & Minor Adventures in Lah Lah Land, has just been published. Toyah wrote a film script with Martin and is mentioned in the book.

Available Now! My autobiography Major & Minor Adventures in Lah Lah Land, a candid fly-on-the-wall behind-the-scenes look at film music composition, natural history filmmaking, TV projects and eco-poetry. Also a personal memoir and a good laugh along the way! The book is also a useful primer for anyone wishing to enter the music and writing industries.

By buying a book/books, you will be supporting an artist who received no support during lockdown and who was unable to work due to the closure of venues. You will also be helping to keep the Green Poems for a Blue Planet environmental campaign running.***

• Continue reading at

Blast From The Toyah Past: New Women in Rock

April 28th, 2020

Plundering the Dreamscape archives… Toyah in the excellent New Women in Rock book, published by Omnibus Press in 1982. Please click below to view a larger version.

Christmas 2019: Day 15: Once Upon A Christmas

December 15th, 2019

Christmas 1996, Toyah contributed a thoughtful festive recollection of Christmas Times past to the charity publication Once Upon A Christmas (Memories and Recipes From Your Favourite Celebrities). This book is now long out of print and unavailable.

In this delightful Christmas book, a host of our most popular and well-known celebrities from all walks of life have contributed stories, memories, recipes and thoughts about Christmas to make this the most irresistible festive anthology there is… Once Upon A Christmas will help to put – and keep – you in the Christmas spirit.

Toyah Willcox: Broadcaster and Singer

Childhood Christmasses were the most magical. It was the appearance of the Christmas tree that cued two weeks of sheer all-encompassing joy. I’m talking about being four years old. Just able to talk but unable to comprehend the hidden meanings of the words of wisdom from the giants, the adults…

• Continue reading Toyah’s Once Upon A Christmas contribution at Dreamscape’s Press Archive.

Books: Quadrophenia (At 40) The Complete Guide

December 7th, 2019

2019 has been an amazing 40th Anniversary year for Quadrophenia, with documentaries, reunion events, special screenings and more to celebrate. Rounding off the year is a revised “Complete Guide” book:

Quadrophenia (At 40) The Complete Guide by Layne Patterson | Specially revised & updated film only edition | Foreword by Franc Roddam. Afterword by Gary Shail

A percentage of royalties are being donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Following on from the book’s previous incarnation two years ago a new (film only) edition is now available to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the iconic film!

The new larger format is packed with many new pictures and newly gleaned information about the film that refuses to grow old gracefully! Following on from the previous book a further donation from the author’s royalties will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The author: Layne Patterson is based in Norfolk, having relocated from London in 2001, and is married to Liz, with three grown up sons and six grandchildren. This is Layne’s second solo book although he has previously contributed to two titles on his beloved Wealdstone FC.

• See further info/Buy the book at Amazon.

Books: Quatermass by Toby Hadoke

October 26th, 2018

Toyah is contributing to a new book – Quatermass – by Toby Hadoke.

The Quatermass book grows by the day. It’s pretty much my sole focus between now and Christmas. These past few months have found my securing contributions form David Tennant, John Carpenter, Barbara Kellermann, Indira Varma and Toyah Willcox. So it’s going to be pretty detailed! More info soon…

• Info Source: Toby Hadoke – October Updates.

Categories: Books, Press Clips Tags: ,

i-D: New Book: Val Garland – Validated

October 19th, 2018

validate18aCelebrated make-up artist Val Garland has just published her book Validated. In a new interview with i-D she cites Toyah as one of her early influences.

How val garland became one of fashion’s most requested make-up artists

Her new book, ‘Validated’, charts the make-up mastermind’s 25-year career

Regarded as one of the most important make-up artists of our time, Val Garland has spent the last 25 years creating era-defining images with some of this generation’s greatest creatives. Her boundary-pushing artistry has seen her shoot with photographers such as Nick Knight, Corinne Day and Miles Aldridge and worked for agenda-setting fashion titles, including i-D and The Face. She’s the make-up artist of choice for designers including John Galliano, Gareth Pugh and Phoebe Philo, and spent years working closely with.

Growing up, what were your creative outlets?
Well I think when I was a child, we’d just go and play on the railways. I always had a vivid imagination, so we’d make up some amazing story using sticks and stones and that kind of thing. I was always looking for treasure, but we didn’t have loads of money, so treasure was just things you would find on the street, pebbles and bottle tops and things like that.

When I got older, I got into music. I could get lost in music and musicians and singers became the new icons. It was the 80s, so we’d moved through the punk and it was more about the new romantics and everybody was painting their faces. I loved Toyah Willcox, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich. It never occurred to me try to look attractive or like a glamorous, sexual being. I just wanted to be noticed, to be a character. I wanted people to go ‘wow, who is that person in head to toe newspaper with newspaper print all over her face? What is she?’ That’s how I my love of make-up started.

• Continue reading at i-D.

Categories: Books, Press Clips Tags: , ,

Pop Styles (1984): Thunder In The Mountains: Sci-Fi Toyah

April 3rd, 2018

sotw12aOver the past 40 years Toyah has provided the world with numerous “Iconic Images” (good name for a fanzine, that!) but has there ever been imagery as mesmerising as that which Toyah adopted for Thunder In The Mountains in 1981? The book ‘Pop Styles’ seemed to think so even back in 1984…

Pop Styles, by Ted Polhemus & Lynn Procter (1984) An A-Z Guide To The World Where Fashion Meets Rock’N’Roll

Crazy Colour: Perhaps the most important pendulum swing in the history of pop styles is that between nature and artifice. One of the best ways to join the against-nature school of thought is to dye your hair a bright colour or better still a whole collection of colours which nature never intended to appear on the head of a human being. Historical examples are few, however, as the technology has only been widely available a short time. Only impermanent vegetable dyes were available before the seventies and it was punks who first combined an anti-natural attitude with the new chemicals. Special credit therefore goes to Wee Willie Harris who caused a furore in the fifties when he dyed his hair so pink it dripped down his collar in the rain, Roy Wood who fronted Wizzard behind a mass of multicoloured locks and of course David Bowie. Ultimately, however, the first prize must go to post-punk Toyah Willcox who with dyes and hair spray has resculpted her head into a homage to artifice which even the most daring of science fiction films have failed to equal.


• Toyah’s Offical website/social media spaces will be counting down to Toyah’s Birthday with Forty From Toyah – 40 classic images spanning Toyah’s amazing career.

Herald Scotland: The Look Of Love

November 1st, 2017

herald16aThe Look of Love: Photographer Brian Griffin on shooting Depeche Mode, the Bunnymen, Kim Wilde and the stars of 1980s Pop

There were so many nightmares,” Brian Griffin tells me. “People who cared about their hair too much. People who were totally uninterested in being photographed.

“There would have always been a member of the band who was a pain in the arse. There would have been a member of the band who looked awful, who was not very photogenic …” He thinks about that a moment and then adds, “It would generally be the drummer.”

pop17bBack in the day Griffin took pictures of pop stars. You will have seen them. You might even own some of them. His work appeared in music magazines (the Face, i-D, NME) and on single bags and album covers. If you were buying records at the end of the 1970s or at the start of the 80s it’s more than likely you will know Griffin’s images. Elvis Costello on a diving board (a picture that features in the inner sleeve of Armed Forces), Echo and the Bunnymen snowed in in Iceland (the cover of their album Porcupine) or on a beach in Porthcawl (Heaven Up Here), a topless Billy Idol (for the cover of his album Rebel Yell). All of them bear Griffin’s signature.

• Continue reading at Herald Scotland. ‘Pop’, by Brian Griffin and Terry Rawlings, is published on 31st October and is available to pre-order at Amazon – Click on the photo above. (Photo © Brian Griffin)

Quadrophenia – The Complete Guide

May 2nd, 2017

qtcg17aThere’s a recently published new book on the legendary 1979 film, Quadrophenia.

Quadrophenia – The Complete GuideThe Film, The Music, and all things Quadrophenia. The book includes a foreword by Quadrophenia director, Franc Roddam.

What is the connection between Queen ElizabethII and the 1973 album? What character in the film was played by a Baron? Which actor had his part in the film cut, before going on to serve as a Conservative MP in Margaret Thatcher’s Government? The answers to these, and many more questions are all here! Including details of all known locations, and personnel involved with both the Album and Film, illustrated with in excess of 200 photographs over nearly 350 pages! This book will tell you all you will ever need to know about Pete Townshend’s masterpiece that is, Quadrophenia.

• Further info on Quadrophenia – The Complete Guide/Buy the book here.

Gered Mankowitz: Rock and Roll Photography

August 19th, 2016

gmrarp16aA newly updated and revised version of , Rock and Roll Photography, the book of photographer Gered Mankowitz’s rock photos has just been published. It includes a photo of Toyah on the cover (Thunder In The Mountains) and inside (The Blue Meaning/Ieya).

Gered Mankowitz was the man who created the enduring and defining image of not only Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones but of ‘the rock star.’ Now you can enjoy the best of his 50-year career in this defining tome of photography which chronicles music history, and tells you more about relevant popular culture than any text book could.

Mankowitz has been photographing rock stars for 50 years, helping to create the image of musical legends like Annie Lennox, the Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithfull, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Elton John, Oasis, Wham!, and more. Mankowitz’s favourites of his own portraits are included in a new release of his book  Rock and Roll Photography. Here are some of the best, from a flawless Kate Bush to a sun-bronzed George Michael, along with quotes from Mankowitz, both from his book and in conversation with BuzzFeed.

Toyah, 1980: “Toyah is a real performer, she developed these extraordinary visual identities that sort of related to her music was saying at that time. This look of flaming hair, punk-priestess, was a portrait intended to present her confrontational power.”


Categories: Books Tags: ,

Events: Derek Ridgers: Punk London 1977.

May 5th, 2016

punklondon16ePhotos from Derek Ridgers’, soon to be published, book Punk London 1977. are included in one of three events on punk all currently taking place in London.

As previously mentioned, an unseen photo of Toyah is included in the book.

Punk was always more than a t-shirt or a piece of loud music: it’s an irrepressible attitude. Throughout 2016, London will host gigs, exhibitions and events to commemorate 40 years of punk’s ongoing influence through fashion, film, photography, design, literature and of course music.

• Browse further info on the events here. There’s also info and photos at UDiscover. Read an interview with Derek Ridgers at Infringe. Ridgers’ photos will also feature at a forthcoming Punk Weekender event, in June.


Daily Mail: When Punks Ruled The World

March 5th, 2016

punklondon16cDebbie Harry and Toyah Willcox feature in vintage photos

When punks ruled the world: Fascinating 70s photos capture hell-raiser fans at riotous Debbie Harry gigs as they surfed a wave of rebellion

• Amateur photographer Derek Ridgers used to blag his way into gigs in the 1970s London punk scene

• Described himself as a ‘mild mannered, bespectacled office worker in the middle of a punk mosh pit’

• Many of his photos have never been seen before, while some have featured in sell-out books

• Derek’s book, Punk London, 1977, will be released this May to coincide with movement’s 40th anniversary

A striking series of black and white photographs has offered a rare insight into London at the height of the 1970s punk movement. From Adam Ant shirtless on stage, to a young Debbie Harry entertaining riotous crowds, the images – most of which have never been seen before – offer a glimpse into an era when rebellion ruled the music scene.

They were all taken in between 1976 and 1978 by Derek Ridgers, a man who, at the time, claimed he ‘wasn’t really a photographer’ but simply borrowed a friend’s camera and blagged his way into gigs – snapping what would become known as the first wave of punk culture.

It now forms a collection of more than 130 vintage photographs, which Derek has finally decided to publish this year – in a book entitled Punk London, 1977 – to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the movement in 2016.

Punk London 1977, by Derek Ridgers, is available from May 1, 2016 from Carpet Bombing Culture

• Continue reading at the Daily Mail.

Cuepoint: Punk London, 1977

March 4th, 2016

punklondon16aA very rare photo of Toyah is included in a new book, Punk London 1977, which will be published in May.

Punk London, 1977: Thrilling Photos of a Subversive Era

In 1976, Derek Ridgers started shooting punk rock shows in London with a borrowed camera, pretending to be a professional photographer. Edging his way up to the stage, the mid-20s, burgeoning shutterbug witnessed and documented the cultural explosion by night, while by day working as an art director in advertising. Little did he know, his hobby would blossom into a decades-long career, photographing everyone from James Brown to Tony Blair and working for outlets like The Sunday Times, The Independent, GQ and NME. In his latest book, Punk London 1977, Ridgers collects over 130 vintage photos from his early career, capturing the formation of one of the world’s most exciting and influential musical movements. Cuepoint asked Ridgers to elaborate on select photos from his fascinating book.

Photographer Derek Ridgers captured a riotous scene exploding in front of his lens

“That is Toyah Willcox. That was at the Man in the Moon pub in Chelsea at an X-Ray Spex gig. I had a conversation with her and she told me she was going to be famous. Of course I didn’t believe her.”

Photos taken from Derek Ridgers’ Punk London 1977, available May 1st, 2016 from Carpet Bombing Culture. Reserve your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers.

• Continue reading at Cuepoint. (Photo © Derek Ridgers)


Modculture: Quadrophenia: A Way Of Life

February 7th, 2016

quaditmo14aOut Now: Quadrophenia – A Way Of Life by Simon Wells for Kindle with bonus downloads

What does a couple of quid get you these days? Not a lot. But it does get you Quadrophenia – A Way Of Life by Simon Wells for the Amazon Kindle, which also comes with a few bonus extras.

It’s the same book we flagged up back in May 2014, which is when the print version landed. That is still available if you prefer print. But if you don’t and have a Kindle, you can opt for this version.

It’s just the same in terms of the book, a look at the making of the cult mod movie and its subsequent influence on popular culture. There are interviews with principal cast members, director Franc Roddam, scriptwriter Martin Stellman and other involved in the creation of the film, coming together as a good overview of the movie and the background to it.

It doesn’t say so on the listing, but according to author Simon Wells, the e-book contains a link to download 49 continuity Polaroids from the making of the film. That’s got to be worth the modest price tag alone. £2.10 is that price and the Kindle book is available now.

• Continue reading at Modculture.

Books: Kiss & Make Up – Carl Stanley

April 27th, 2015

kamu15aCarl Stanley’s debut novel, Kiss & Make Up, has been rightly praised and is eagerly anticipated.

By many, including 80s icons Toyah and Marc Almond.

It will be published by Ignite Books next month, and can be pre-ordered via Paypal now to be posted out as soon as it’s available.

Carl’s eloquent, witty, and wicked writing is a wonderful statement to the glory of the ’80s.”, Toyah Willcox.

Carl sets his own soundtrack to this vivid and colourful book about a sexually confused teenager growing up in the `80s. I’m thrilled to have been a part of that soundtrack and an inspiration for this wonderful book…”, Marc Almond.

Hilarious and heartening, you may need to retouch your mascara after reading”, Damian Barr.

• Further details on Kiss & Make Up at Ignite Books. Or visit the Facebook page.

Flexipop! The Book: Covers Preview

April 4th, 2015

A double-page from the forthcoming Flexipop! The Book. More info/Pre-order here.


Flexipop!: The Book

March 11th, 2015

flexipop15aFlexipop!, the legendary 80s magazine which featured Toyah on one of its covers, is back. A new book is in the planning, but they need your help.


Here it is. After two years of blood, sweat and tears, The Flexipop! Book.

But this isn’t just any old book. It’s a catalogue of calamity, cock-ups and guffaws featuring many of the greatest moments to ever grace the pages of Flexipop! There’s also a Best Of Magazine plus an exclusive free flexi disc by Spandau Ballet and Marc Almond made with love by Pirates Press – the only flexi-making company left in the world and based in San Francisco.

We originally published 27 issues of Flexipop! with flexi discs on the cover (the next six didn’t have one) so the new record is numbered 28. But here’s the thing. We can’t publish the book without a bit of help and we need to hit a figure of £10,000 to breakeven. You can help us reach that goal by pre-ordering a copy now, which retails at £24.99.

• Continue reading/further details at Flexipop!

Categories: Books, Magazines Tags:

The Mick: Chris Limb/I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan

September 24th, 2014

There’s a great article on I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan, and an interview with its author, Chris Limb, in the latest (Issue 58, September 2014) of Mick Mercer’s The Mick magazine. It’s available in PDF for free and can be read by clicking below.  (Photo © Dean Stockings)


The brilliant I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan can be bought in paperback at Amazon. Visit the book’s website. Read more of Dreamscape’s IWATTF related news here.