Wendy James, former lead singer of rock group Transvision Vamp and one of the originators of the ‘girl power’ movement, was born on January 21, 1966. Wendy spent her teenage years growing up in the British seaside town of Brighton. It was here, when she was 17, that Wendy first met future partner (personal and professional) Nick Christian Sayer. Wendy was covering Patti Smith songs in an after hours club. At the end of her set, Nick stepped forward to introduce himself and inquired whether Wendy would be interested in singing some songs he'd been writing.

For the next 18 months, Wendy and Nick wrote and recorded songs for a screen play they had written. Titled "Saturn 5", the film was to be set sometime in future and was centered around youth rebellion. The demo tape for Saturn 5 had six tracks, and served as their first demo to start flogging to record companies. Wendy and Nick moved to London, full of confidence in thier aptly named new band "Transvision Vamp", and were signed to MCA by the winter of 1986.

Transvision Vamp set about recording their first album titled "Pop Art," which would provide the public with four awesome singles. The first single, "Revolution Baby," did not do as well as MCA hoped, so it was followed up by a cover version of the old Holly and the Italians classic "Tell That Girl To Shut Up". The second single did fair a bit better, but it took the ‘arrogant and brattish noise’ of the amazing third single, "I Want You Love," to really get the band noticed. This song reached the Top 5 and catapulted Wendy into the limelight. Wendy was everywhere - radio, TV, and magazines. It was about this time that Wendy started to get herself a reputation as a bit of a loudmouth. Pop Art dove straight into the charts at number 4, and Wendy proudly announced that fact to the crowd Transvision Vamp were playing the night the charts came out.

1989 was a hectic year for Wendy and the Vamps. After releasing a remix of "Revolution Baby" and "Sister Moon", Transvision Vamp unleashed thier sophomore album, "Velveteen," to the world. This album landed on the top of the charts in the number one position. As soon as the opening riffs of "Baby I Don’t Care" hit the airwaves you knew the charts were screaming 'Welcome Back’. Wendy was everywhere. Promotion for the album saw Wendy and the boys travel through Europe, Japan and Australia. Subsequent singles included "The Only One", "Landslide Of Love" and "Born To Be Sold." Wendy and the boys set off on a world tour which had the band playing sold out tours in England and Australia. The tabloids went crazy over Wendy, especially her on-again-off-again romance with comic Roland Rivron. The end of 1989 saw Wendy James and the band take a well earned break that was meant to last only short time, but ended up with the band not releasing anything for 18 months.

1991 was meant to start off with a huge Transvision bang. Wendy had been extremely busy co-writing songs with Nick for the new album which was to be called "Little Magnets Versus The Bubble Of Babble". The first single off the album, "(I Just Wanna) B With U," was released in the UK around April 1991, but flopped badly and was savaged by the critics. A second single, "If Looks Could Kill, " did not fair much better. It was a shame really as both these singles still had the old Vamp sound as well as having a more mature sound to it. The British Press just couldn't see the music through thier hatred of the lead singer. It was around this time that Wendy caused a huge uproar by appearing semi nude on the cover of Britain’s "The FACE" magazine. Wendy’s public image was crumbling. Magazines were baiting Wendy into saying something controversial, and more often than not they got it. Comments such as “I’ll lay a $100,000 bet with any journalist anywhere that there won't be a point in my career where I win an Oscar,” and “Imagine the controversy when I am more famous than Madonna," layed waste to thier credibility. Towards the end of 1991, MCA announced that the Transvision Vamp's third album would never see the light of day in the UK.

Wendy and the boys embarked on what could end up being described as the bands farewell tour in the USA. They played a handful of dates in support of The Buzzcocks. It was while playing in Washington D.C., that Wendy sat down and wrote a now famous letter to Elvis Costello about her frustrations. When Transvision Vamp’s tour ended in San Diego, in what Wendy described as a flea pit, Transvision Vamp called it quits and went back to England.

Wendy found a package waiting for her. It was a tape of demo songs that Elvis Costello had written in collaboration with his wife that would soon form Wendy's solo album, "Now Aint The Time For Your Tears." Released in 1993, Wendy had spent five weeks recording the album in the South Of France. The first single, "The Nameless One," jumped feet first into the Top 40 before slipping out, never to make a recovery. The next two singles, "London’s Brilliant" and "Do You Know What I am Saying" both failed to chart, and Wendy was quietly dropped by MCA. It is said that Wendy had one of the shortest record deals, from the time she was signed to the time she was dropped, it was only about 15 months.

In 1995 however, Wendy James was signed by One Little Indian Records in London. She wrote, recorded and had plans to release an album titled “Lies In Chinatown.” She was even participated in a small interview for a UK newspaper promoting the album. Unfortunately record company politics got in the way, and only a small handful of copies of “Lies In Chinatown" are known to exist. The first single that was to be released is called "Without You ( I Want To Be Abused )." It is a very emotional piece of work, one that was going to give Wendy the song writing credibility she so rightfully deserves.

After the "Now Ain't The Time For Your Tears" and "Lies In Chinatown" fiascoes, Wendy was still determined to get her music to out to her fans. In 1997, she recorded yet another entire albums-worth of material in New York. This tape is still in demo form, and has never been heard by any of her fans. Around then, Wendy also tried collaborating again with Nick. The two of them worked on a few songs together, but Wendy felt they had grown apart musically. The sessions were scrapped, and these songs only exist on a tape in Nick or Wendy’s living room.

To find out even more about Wendy and her solo career, check out the explosive site-within-a-site: World Of Wendy. WOW is brought to you by Steve Hughes who created the World of Wendy fanzine in the UK, Jimmie Matsson who had "Wendy James, The Homepage" from Sweden, and of course Cam McAra and Jay Whyte, your humble WATV slaves! :)

Click Here to Enter the World Of Wendy

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