Wendy Has No Time For Tears
Herald-Sun Newspaper May 1993
From Transvision Vamp to vamp transition, Wendy James no longer has world domination on her agenda, Nui Te Koha reports.
[submitted by Justin Whyte]


She use to be the human headline, she use to the outspoken pop starlet with an opinion on everything.

She use to be well... Wendy James.

Of course she wasn't alone in all this, The tabloids, the glossies, the broadsheets all had a hand in baiting the highly articulate James for a controversial statement and more often than not they got it.

In 1991 amid publicity for the last Transvision Vamp album Little Magnets... James launched her global domination package. A grossly ambitious one year plan to conquer Hollywood and Dwarf Madonna.

Apparently drowning in a sea of Beaujolais at the time, James spat: "Kylie Minogue is pollution of the mind and I'll lay a $100,000 bet with any journalist that there'll be a point in Hollywood that I will win a Oscar in Hollywood."

"There's no doubt about it. Imagine how much controversy there is going to be when I am more famous than Madonna. It's going to be beautiful isn't it?"

James's 12 month plan crumbled with the failure of Little Magnets, the album touted as most likely to break Transvision Vamp in the highly lucrative US market. The Brits who fell over themselves for their first two offerings Pop Art and Velveteen weren't interested either.

"Anyway," James begins. "I think your talking shit. I'm not after some big star trip any longer. Two years ago I had all these large scale dreams that I told everybody about. I'd say most young girls are like that. But allot has changed since then. I can't think in headlines any longer."

"Have I grown up? I guess so. I use to enjoy giving over the top, exciting replies to questions, but I can't do that anymore. There are more important things in life than wondering about good headlines."

"As for regrets, I don't regret anything. I have learned from certain experiences, but there is no point in regretting them. I am very excited about the future.

Wendy James became disillusioned with Transvision Vamp toward the end of 1991.

Their world tour took them to Ireland where they shared the stage with Elvis Costello. Although she had never met Costello, she saw him as a kindred spirit and her decision to split Transvision Vamp was cemented. Soon after James wrote Costello a letter asking for help but nothing specific.

"I could see that everything he was saying and doing were in my heart and mind as well. People might take at face value the music of Transvision Vamp and the way I had behaved in the past and the way Elvis conducted himself and think were poles apart, but were not."

"The end of Transvision Vamp was very natural. We were continually honest with each other and we could feel that something wasn't right. We had been together for a decade and it was time for a change. Simple."

"I think I was still OK when I came through Australia, August/September 1991, but it was in the back of my mind then. I was doing enough to get credit and that wasn't enough. I wasn't the songwriter and that's what I wanted to do - write songs."

"The letter I wrote to Elvis was very personal. It said that I was going solo, that I wanted to be free to write my own songs and not have the pressure of formulating pop hits. I asked him to help me make the transition."

Two weeks later Costello phoned James to say he'd written an entire album for her and the demos would be waiting for her in London after she had returned from the tour. The result is 'Now Aint The Time For Tears.' a hard assed package of 10 songs, some directly about James, others more ironic.

"The whole album is not a representation of me, although at times, it does come close. There had been no prior consultation and Elvis Costello doesn't know me. I suppose he got his information from the fairly inaccurate press about me.. It's all rather hypothetical really."

"Now Aint The Time For Your Tears seems to sum up all that I was going through during the transition period. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I was being very strong and brave."

She has just finished writing and recording 12 songs, some of which will end up on an EP by the end of the year.

"Most of the songs are about self -analysis, letting off steam. I don't how personal I'd get in a song. It would depend on how much I'd want to give. I wouldn't do it for what the public and media are going to think. I am not out to seek approval."

Wendy James embarks on her first solo tour through England this week and while she does not regret the past - no Transvision Vamp songs - which in past interviews she has regarded as her babies will be included in the live set.

"I don't think I'd ever make a gushing statement in regards to the material I am writing today. Sure looking back it's hard to remember where most of the Transvision Vamp stuff came from. But no, I wont perform Transvision Vamp stuff anymore. If I'd wanted to do that I wouldn't have left Transvision Vamp."

"I'm very happy about writing and recording my own songs. This is all I need," concludes James. "For now!"

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