Were you popular with the boys at school?
Yes I was, but I was a playmate, a tomboy. I was just one of the gang. I liked to have lots of boy friends and just two girl friends.
When did you notice that boys were taking more interest in you?
Hmm, when did it matter? [Laughs] I guess with my first boyfriend, when I was fourteen. I was a relationships person, I was with him for three years.
Did being in your first band, the Pleasure Seekers, attract more sexual attention?
I didn’t think of it in that way. I had the entertainment gene in me. I started to see that I was sexy when the jumpsuit came in with the band. I only saw that quality when I looked back at pictures about a year later and I went: “Ooh!”
What was the spark with Len Tuckey, your guitarist who you were in a relationship with for twenty years?
He was a big guy, I liked that, and he played good guitar, and was kind and cute. That’s my kind of combination.
Were you propositioned by other stars?
Oh sure. And just because you’re in a relationship, you’re not dead. I had offers, but you walk away. I didn’t go out with very many other musicians because there was a feeling it was not the right thing to do; it’s like screwing your secretary. The famous story is when Alice Cooper and I had The Big Kiss.
Yeah, let’s talk about that.
This is way before Len, before I left America, so about 1970. Alice and I were good friends, and attracted to each other. We had a big smooch, and then we pulled apart and went: “Uh-uh!” I didn’t want to go all the way. It wasn’t right, Alice is a better friend.
_Nothing with Iggy Pop either? _
No. I didn’t even fancy Iggy. Not my type at all. Nice guy, and interesting to be around because his dad was a psychiatrist.
What about your hero, Elvis? If he’d tipped you the wink…
I talk a lot about that in my one-woman show, Unzipped. I had a lot of epiphanies with him that started when I was six and I decided I was going to be like him. I looked up to him too much. He’d be an inspiration, not a boyfriend.
Okay, on to your iconic, sexy leather look. Whose idea was that?
The leather was my idea, because it came from Elvis’s_ ’68 Comeback Special_. [Producer] Mickie Most was dead against it. He said: “Leather’s been done, it’s old-fashioned.” And I said: “Not by me it hasn’t.” Then he came up with the jumpsuit.
A friend of mine remembers seeing you on TV in the seventies with your jumpsuit and Precision bass, and that it was the first time he ‘felt funny’.
Yeah, I helped a lot of men through puberty. Men all the time say to me: “I had your picture on my wall.” And I say: “Oh, that’s nice.” And then they proceed to tell me the details. What am I supposed to do with that information?! I think the reason they tell me is because in a way I was there [laughs].
What was underneath the jumpsuit?
You can’t wear anything underneath something like that. Just a G-string. And socks, as otherwise your boots will rub. People tell me: “You were sexy because you were cute and it was natural.” I think if I’d had big boobs I wouldn’t have had quite the same effect.