Monday, October 22, 2007

Strange music, stranger man: Tricky

People often ask me if I ever had any famous boyfriends in my MTV days & generally I have to disappoint them as I always stayed clear of relationships with rock stars or other men who were in the limelight (too much ego and too many potential problems)

There was one exception though; I did have a relationship with Tricky for a while. Now, I’m sure that he seems like a strange choice to most people. Out of all the famous men out there, surely I could have picked someone better looking and appealing than Tricky? Yes, yes, yes, that’s surely true. Tricky does look like an alien and even after knowing him I sometimes wonder if he actually is one. He’s the strangest man I have ever met in my life & for a while he had me ‘hypnotized’ with his strangeness & I became quite besotted by him.

This is what happened. I had recently met Tricky as I interviewed him for the Partyzone. His album ‘Maxinquaye’ had just been released & was the breath of fresh air that I had been waiting for. I loved that album, as it had seemed to me that, at the time, no one was doing anything new in the dance music scene & this was finally something original. Up to that point I had been bored out of my skull with what was going on musically and was seriously considering packing in my job with MTV. So ‘Maxinquaye’ restored my faith in what was possible musically and re-ignited my passion for music.

A few months later I bumped into Tricky again. This time at a ‘Dazed and confused’ party. He pulled me aside from the dancefloor, sat me down and told me: ‘Listen, you’re not at all the way people think you are…’ And then went on telling me all about myself. He told me things that I had never shared with anyone, he told me about my fears, my hopes, my dreams…I mean, he knew everything, really weird specific stuff, like things that I did when I was a little girl. For instance, about how I used to pull the sheets up to right under my chin at night, so that I would wake up if a Vampire would try to bite me. And he knew that my wild confident persona was all just an act, that I was actually a lot more introvert and insecure than I pretended to be. And these were just two of the things he told me; the list went on and on. When I asked him how on earth he knew all of this, he just said ‘I’ve been observing you for a while’

I was in utter shock. On the one hand I felt flattered by the fact that someone bothered to look that deep into me and on the other hand I was just confused by it all. I didn’t quite know how to react when Tricky said: ‘Look, the real issue is this, you like me and I like you’
‘I do?’ was all I could answer. He really had me confused now. I had never even considered looking at him like that. ‘Yes’, he answered, ‘And so the question is, what are we going to do about that?’

Well, that was it. It was the start of our relationship. I fell for him in quite a bad way, probably because the guy was just so endlessly fascinating. His mind didn’t work like anyone else’s. Whatever was going on in the world, Tricky would see the issue from a completely different angle. I didn’t always agree with him, but I liked the fact that he made me question things that other people would take for granted. Being with Tricky was never dull as it really felt like being on a different planet. His life was utter chaos though. People would actually have to wake him, get him out of bed, drive him to the studio and stay with him until he started to get into the music, otherwise he would just walk back out again. And I remember packing his bag for him as he was walking out the door to go Norway or something, without even his passport on him. People were always looking for him & there was just this general sense of disorganization and the feeling of this dark past hanging over him. Still, in the midst of it all, there was always his inspiring creativity.

But what I didn’t know was that he was seeing Björk whilst he was also seeing me. They were already together when I first met him. When I finally did find out things had already gotten quite messy. Björk had apparently shouted out during a performance ‘Why won’t he love me?’ and was fuming with me and with Tricky. I never spoke to her about it, but it was obvious from that moment on that she hated me. And I can’t blame her. And things continued to get messy as Björk started to go out with Goldie who, at the time, wanted to kill Keith from the Prodigy, who I was hanging out with a lot, etc. It was all a bit of a crazy time. Tricky laughed it all off & didn’t see what the fuss was all about. He suggested that we would have an open relationship; free to see whomever we wanted. But that just wasn’t something I would ever be comfortable with. So that’s when I bailed out.

We did stay friends though and many months later he told me that he had not wanted to commit to me, as I had been too much of a stable influence on him. He was worried that without drama in his life he would not be able to create. He said that he needed to feed of this drama and that I was simply too ‘together’ for him. It reminded me of the time as a teenager when I got dumped by a guy for being too ‘proper’ & decided to see it as a compliment.

Now, looking back, I know that it was all the truth. I am too ‘together’ for a crazy, drama filled, rock & roll lifestyle. I opened the door, looked in, smiled at the interesting chaos and walked away. I’m just happy to be normal.

1 Comment:

Bas said...

Wow, I actually remember the whole Tricky/Björk/Goldie fuss. In fact, I believe Björk eventually broke up with Goldie when he and Tricky decided to throw each other a few punches when they met again at a club.

I never knew you were involved in that (but apparently, neither did you at the time :( ). I enjoyed reading this though, it shed quite some light on the time.