Bonnie Tyler: “Lost in France wasn’t really me”
Here’s another article from our Bonnie Tyler Archive, published in 1976 when “Lost in France” was high in the UK charts. It’s a great read!
Lost, one housewife
Bonnie Tyler, from housewife to star
Who’s the bit of al’right in glorious technicolour on the front cover? I’ll give you a clue, she’s right up there in the Top Ten with a little ditty called ‘Lost in France’.
For Ms Bonnie Tyler, a lot has happened in the past eight weeks or so. From being a housewife who liked to sing in the evenings for some extra pocket money, she’s now, in this short space of time, made her mark in no uncertain terms in the pop business.
To call her housewife – Superstar isn’t quite fair. Just 22-years-old, Bonnie has been in showbiz for five years. It all started when she won a local talent contest in South Wales and gave up working in a shop to become full-time resident singer in a nightclub.
For a time she worked with a group called ‘The Dixies’. Then she formed a group for cabaret and club work. Then came along Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe, songwriters, and producer Dave Mackay and the song ‘Lost in France’. A big push from RCA and there we were, blue-eyed, fair-haired Bonnie was up there with the best of ‘em jostling for chart positions.
Let’s go back to the beginning. Bonnie comes from a family of three sisters and two brothers and a dog named Sam from the village of Skewen near Swansea.
“When I left,” says Bonnie, “I wanted to work in a local shop. I started off selling potatoes, but graduated to sweets. I was interested in singing and music since I was very young. We were a musical family. I can remember using the vacuum cleaner as a pretend microphone. The whole family used to like singing.”
Bonnie’s first single, ‘My! My! Honeycomb’ was not an outstanding success. In fact it failed to take off at all. And Bonnie wasn’t too keen on ‘Lost in France’ when she first heard the song.
“It wasn’t really me, but everyone seemed to have so much confidence in it. I suppose it grew on me. I suppose it’s because it’s such a catchy song.
“My follow-up single is going to be much more gutsy. I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you, but it’s going to be a number called ‘Let Me Be More Than a Lover’. And we’re planning an album for January.
“No, I don’t like being written off as ‘just another Mary Hopkin’. I’ve always been a fan of Janis Joplin. My favourite song of hers is ‘Piece of My Heart’.
“I’m not sure what songs are being planned for the album. ‘Lost in France’ was aimed at the singles market, it’s not what I’d call an album track. I like more guts and more funk.”
So, Bonnie, what’s it like to be a star all of a sudden like? “I’m excited. I mean, all those people must like me a little to buy my record. I get asked for my autograph and everything (and everything?) now. I went into the chemist shop the other day and the lady behind the counter said her daughter wanted to know what I was buying. It’s strange, but it’s smashing. It’s exciting.”
As it happens, Bonnie has taken her rise to stardom in her stride. She doesn’t seem to have been affected by the razzmatazz of the pop music business, she’s taken it all very calmly.
“It came as a bit of a surprise to have a hit record. I never really thought about it before. I’m enjoying it. I just like singing.”
What was it like to see herself on Top of the Pops? “It had always been my ambition to appear on TOTP. Now I’ve done it, I don’t know what my ambition is now. I watched my first appearance on the programme on a TV set in a room in Glasgow Airport Hotel. The second time I was on, I was with all the family, aunts and uncles and all. I’d rather have been alone because I’m very self-critical.
“No, I’m not keen on cabaret work. I don’t like everything that goes with it. It’s not my kind of music anyway.”
The success of ‘Lost in France’ should boost Bonnie’s coffers considerably. The single’s being released in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, France and Germany, and Australia and Japan have ordered it. International stardom for Bonnie could be just around the corner. There have been talks of America too.
What, I wondered, did Bonnie’s old man, judo expert and club owner Bobby Sullivan think of his lady being a pop star. “He’s very happy about it, though I’m sometimes away in London for five nights a week. We’ll be spending Christmas at home.”
Bonnie may be Lost in France, but she seems to know where she’s going.
Jim Evans. Record Mirror. 4 December 1976. Page 6.
If you enjoyed reading, please leave a comment and we’ll endeavour to publish more articles from our archive. If you own any magazine clippings about Bonnie that you’d like to share with us, please get in touch.