Christian Sayer was born in Great Britain on August 1, 1964. We
don't know much about Nick's early life, though we look forward
to those revelations and many more in the upcoming Transvision Vamp
biography "Twice As Bright." We do know that possibly
the most interesting part of his life story started on November
4, 1983. Nick was drinking in a basement club in Brighton, England.
He was an aspiring songwriter, and had his mind set on finding a
beautiful Scandinavian to make his lyrics and music come alive.
That night, the magic happened. Wendy James, a stunning blonde,
was singing covers of Patti Smith, and caught Nick's fascination.
He ended up approaching her with the proposition that she sing his
songs. Little did Nick and Wendy know when they made their decision
to collaborate, that they would one day land on the top of the charts.
and Wendy spent the next year and a half concentrating their efforts
on writing and rewriting, recording and re-recording songs for a
demo tape to sell themselves to the record companies. Nick had a
4-track Teac 144 tape recorder on which they would lay down tracks
that were inspired by their love of sci-fi movies. The songs were
intended to be the soundtrack for a film they wanted to make called
"Saturn 5." The name for their band, a name that suggested
a "Worldwide re-excitement, revamping the music scene," would be
with their six song demo tape, Nick and Wendy moved to London to
begin work on landing a record deal. Filled with excitement and
naiveté, they would not be denied. Transvision Vamp's
demo tape ended up in the hands of Dave Ambrose at MCA, who signed
the band on December 8, 1986.
Nick and Wendy
started recording thier first album in a flat in London. They met
Dave Parsons, a musician himself, between thier home and a local
pub. Dave became Transvision Vamp's bassist. Tex Axile lived
right next door to the recording flat, came over to investigate,
and in the insuing discussions, Tex became the band's keboardist
The 1988 debut
album from Transvision Vamp was all written by Nick Sayer,
save one cover song of Holly and the Italians. "Pop Art"
still resonated with Nick and Wendy's interest in science fiction
and carried new depth with pop culture references. "I Want
Your Love" was the track that really kicked the band's career
into gear, and paved the way for 1989's "Velveteen." Nick
wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the Vamp's sophomore album, and
was co-writer on the remaining track. You can imagine his ecstasy
when the album debuted at #1 in the UK charts! Transvision Vamp
became a household name in Britain, with the first two albums spawning
ten hits. Nick and the band toured the world, and were huge successes
in Europe, Australia and Japan.
Wendy, Dave and Tex decided to take a break after six months of
solid touring in support of the monumental acceptance of "Velveteen."
The small break turned into eighteen months off as the band explored
new sounds and maturity to thier music. The third album, "Little
Magnets Versus The Bubble of Babble," held a swampy, mystical
feel, slower, more moody and perhaps more thought provoking that
the previous two pop friendly albums. It was the album that was
supposed to break Transvision Vamp through to the lucrative American
market. Circumstances leading to the decline of the band was instead
what Nick and Company would face. The first few singles from the
album were ill recieved, the British press were had become very
anti-Wendy, and MCA decided to cancel the release of the album in
the UK. Over in America, ears turned to the new sound of Grunge,
cancelling out any interest in British music. It was a terrible
turnaround for the band who had just enjoyed being on top of the
world. The band did tour in support of "Little Magnets...",
even in the USA, but the deterioration was irreversible. When the
tour was over, so was Transvision Vamp.
had well known drug problems. Most evident on the tour supporting
"Little Magnets...", Nick has been observed by fans as
fairly motionless, smoking between songs, having no interaction
with the audience, and even letting the other guitarists cover some
of his parts. Likely his response to the obvious depression of Nick
and the band knowing the impending failure of their third album
due to its cancellation in their home country. Wendy criticized
Nick's use of drugs during this time, obviously distressed as he
wasted away. Interviews with Wendy during her solo career related
stories of Transvision Vamp's internal disintegration during that
time period, becoming physically ill, the high blood pressure, insomnia,
and immense alcohol intake that was their misery and reaction to
Nick seems to
taken the demise of his dream the worst. While his bandmates have
all gone on in the music business, releasing solo efforts or joining
other bands, next to no information is available on Nick. He
got a woman pregnant in the early 90's, and she gave birth to a
baby boy. The mother refused to have anything to do with Nick or
the child, so Nick looks after his son. Sometimes Wendy would even
look after Nick's son on the weekends.
and Wendy did attempt collaboration on some song writing around
1996-97, but gave it up as they had apparently grown apart musically.
Nick's style of music now has been reported as along the lines of
Radiohead type of bands. He has been said to have no plans to be
a performer again, either in a band or solo.
Vamp released more or less what they recorded, unlike other bands
at the time who might record thirty songs, then select certain ones
for release. No doubt Nick did write a few more songs than were
actually released on "Little Magnets Versus The Bubble Of Babble",
but the extra two or three songs would have been used for the b-sides
of forthcoming singles ("Twangy Wigout" and "Pressure
Times", both ended up canceled.) Everything else they ever
recorded is available on their albums and singles.
Nick Sayer once
said "Landslide Of Love" was the song which he felt (at
the time) was his best example of "pure" song writing In fact this
song has been covered in gigs by other UK bands more than any other
Vamp track. As for material he'd like undone, it is easy to guess
that Nick was NOT happy with the dreadful version of "I Want Your
Love" done a year or so ago by the Australian girl group "Cherry."
Also Transvision Vamp used to do a Gary Glitter song (I Never Thought
I Loved You Until I Saw You Rock and Roll) on the Pop Art tour,
and it is highly unlikely Nick would want to remember that as Mr.
Glitter was recently convicted of possessing child pornography and
a resulting jail sentence. At the time, Transvision Vamp also covered
John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth" (very apt!)
5," from Nick and Wendy's original demo tapes (1986/87) took inspiration
from a movie called Saturn 3, starring Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett.
(1989, written by Nick & Wendy) contains obvious lyrical references
to a woman wondering why she sticks with a certain guy. The song
is widely regarded as a comment on Wendy and her boyfriend at the
time, Rowlan Rivron, who were having very public arguments.
A very special
thanks to "Charm Pinkerton." Some information on this
page was gleaned from his FAQ section at wendyjames.nu.