An Open Letter to Toyah Wilcox


Dear Toyah,

The 80s shaped me. I became a rebel without a cause and my poor parents didn’t know what to do with me! I sang your songs at them, dyed my hair a myriad of colours mixed and matched the most outlandish clothes, cast off any preconceptions about who I was and who I should be and had the time of my life. I should blame you for me dropping my A levels before I’d barely started them and for drinking, smoking, riding motorbikes and generally behaving like a punk. I do blame you. I thank you! You see I had to get it wrong before I could get it right. I had to find out who I was before I could be comfortable with myself.

Now you’re in trouble with me again. You are touring and misbehaving – not toeing the line. You are perfectly capable of selling out large arenas, yet you insist on playing some absolute dives enabling people like me to go your gigs. You are putting enjoyment before money! Your fans before your wealth! You really don’t fit in well to the “rich and famous” brigade do you! Screaming along to a gig at Middlesbrough rekindled the rebel in me.

Then, to completely tip me over the edge, I attended the Film Premiere of “The Unfortunate Woman” at The Forum in Darlington, and there you were, giving the most inspirational talk to the audience about the next PIMM film and the part you are playing in it. You stood on the stage and reminisced about banging on a film producer’s door, demanding that he give you the part you’d auditioned for in “Quadrophenia” and I thought YES! Never mind me sitting back all lady like and demure, hoping that someone will publish my book, hoping that I can reduce my hours at work to spend more time doing what I love, wishing that I could set up my own business. I’m not giving people choices anymore. I might be an ageing hippy, but inside me, there’s still a feisty punk. Punk Never Dies! So I’m off to bang on some doors! If I get into trouble for being a nuisance or too demanding, I blame you! Thank you 🙂

Yours sincerely,

Rachel HippyPunk Coverdale

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