STYLE YOUR HAIR DAILY
Marc Andrews Talks of the Unreleased 1989 'Smash Hits' Australia Interview
In late 1989 while I was working at Smash Hits magazine in Australia, we were contacted by Mel & Kim's record company - Mushroom/Liberation - to see if we would like to do a phone interview with the girls to clarify their "health" situation and that they would most definitely be returning with a second album sooner rather than later.
I was assigned the phone interview as I loved the girls and their music (and was always a big Stock Aitken Waterman supporter). As it turned out, the girls actually were speaking to me from Mel's hospital bed.
Sadly the interview was never kept (the cassette it was recorded on never survived a few house moves unfortunately), but what I do remember from it was a giggly Mel insisting she was feeling better than ever, that she had beaten the cancer and that she couldn't wait to work on Mel & Kim's second album. They planned to take it in a much more "house music" direction, influenced by the US remix of "I'm The One Who Really Loves You". Mel was bright and bubbly, as was Kim, and the two of them kept talking over the top of each other (they were on speaker in the hospital room) and the sense I got was that everything was great and that the cancer had been beaten.
At this time Smash Hits Australia usually worked about two or three months in advance due to printing deadlines. We planned to run the interview in one of our upcoming issues. No sooner had we slotted it in than we received our weekly bag of post from the UK (this is before there was such a thing as the internet!) with the important British magazines and newspapers to read through on trends, music newcomers and news etc. We were all aghast when we saw that the News Of The World had splashed Mel's death all over the front page.
We were gutted. Not only were we were devastated to hear of her death and that there would be no more Mel & Kim, but also there was no way we could publish "the last interview from Mel's death bed". It would have just seemed too macabre, too ghoulish and basically too much in bad taste. If I remember correctly, in her honour we put on the copy of their "FLM" album (on CD, no less!) and played it as a Smash Hits office tribute to someone who was briefly one of pop's most shining stars. As they would say in the magazine - sniff, blub, wibble.
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