1980s Culture / Tears For Fears

How to Tweet an 80s pop star….and maybe eventually get to interview them

Tears for Fears 89

It was so easy in the 80s. Want to interact with your favourite pop star? Well simply write via their fan club and if you’re lucky you might get signed photo. Take it one step further and try and dodge security to get backstage and party with them for a while. If you’re really desperate you could always write to Jim’ll Fix It….

Fast forward to 2015 and a quick search on Twitter will hopefully pull up a ‘verified’ account with your dreamboat followed by thousands, millions even whilst they follow a few hundred. So you can pretty much guess that any following from you will not be reciprocated.

I hold my hand up and say that RepHERtoire has been on a back burner for a while. It had a hiatus and came back with the Paddy McAloon audio interview, then vanished again (sorry).

A few days ago I decided to stack up my old Garrard 60s portable (60s idea of portable that it can be moved..) record player with some old 7 inch singles. I did a lucky dip of as many as I could squeeze on the spindle and let the old girl do her magic. There were some bad choices but I let them play anyway. Then a gem dropped: Tears for Fears’ 1989 epic ‘Sewing The Seeds of Love’.

I’d forgotten what a fantastic song this is, even in its compressed form on a 7 inch piece of vinyl playing out through a single speakered 60s record deck.

Song finishes and Garrard is promptly switched off and YouTube is switched on. I find this:


Ignore Roland Orzabal’s wet armpits and its an absolute marvel. The first time I heard the song was alongside the lovely video,  on a ‘video wall’ in the front of the local Baptist church. I was lured in on the promise of this TV wall showing the latest pop videos, we didn’t have MTV at home and other than Top Of The Pops and The Chart Show, my access to them was rather limited. It was free…the wall of pleasure did not disappoint but it did mean staying for the rest of the event which if I remember ended with an altar call. Whilst some dude was rambling on about ‘giving your life to the lord’, I was pondering upon a new god in his Beatlesque flower-powered world, floating on his back in the clouds. Incidentally all the videos shown were all suitable for such a Christian event so I never got to see Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. I now wonder if the line ‘Politician granny with your high ideals, do you have no idea how the majority feels?’ went down in well in a Thatcher worshipping town such as Billericay in Essex or that most of the audience were there for the videos or there to have their souls saved.

At this point I discover that Roland Orzabal has a Twitter account. Roland was the one I fancied on account of his pouty lips and thick curly hair cut into the kind of bob that was trendy at the tail end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. I also loved his big voice and his talent for writing great songs. I then find his band mate, Curt Smith who has a lot more followers (37K) than Roland (10K) reason being that Curt was an early adopter of the short form social network whereas Roland is relatively new to the game. Good news for me though as I should be in with a better chance with Roland 😉

Before pouncing, I have a look at his Twitter habits. It appears he does reply to fans but there seems to be handful of the same people, a group of females in their 40s, mainly American. Some of the banter is quite risqué and it appears that these ladies were some of his first followers as they are discussing their ‘numbers’. These are hardcore fans and Roland rewards their devotion with regular twittercourse. For example

@rolandtff We have a 22, how do you feel about 69? The number, I mean…

My first attempt is a comment on a photo that is already a few months old. I think its quite witty but 24 hours later, there are no notifications to tell me he’s responded. OK, lets go with a direct tweet.

I tell him that Sowing The Seeds of Love features in the political novel I’m writing (true) and I refer to an old interview of his on YouTube where he talks about the rise of the Green Party and the use of a sunflower as their emblem. I cheekily mention I stood as a Green candidate in recent election.

I wake up the next day to see he’s favourited this. Result.

Now time to ask him for an interview for RepHERtoire. I wait…

I’m hoping that he might follow the link I’ve provided, read and/or listen to my interview with Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout and think that he would like a similar treatment. But time passes, I notice plenty of twittercourse with the usual suspects but nothing with me. Maybe he doesn’t like British fans, I say this because Tears for Fears never seem to play the UK any more, but there’s plenty of dates to be had on US soil.

So I will continue to try. In a minute I’ll tweet this out with his name tagged in it and see what happens. If you do read this, Roland, have a look at my interview with Paddy McAloon or even better listen to the audio version. This is a female centric music blog that loves the 80s. I think you’ll feel right at home here…

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