By Bob Andelman
September 15, 1986
The personal manager traveling with Bananarama has a worried look on her face.
She’s concerned that a reporter about to interview the female vocal trio is only interested in one thing.
“Keren (Woodward) is, uh, you know – tired of answering questions about her pregnancy,” says the manager.
“Could you not bring it up?” she asks. “Talk to the girls about their music. We’re trying to stress it.”
That shouldn’t be too hard: Last week, Bananarama’s cover version of Shocking Blue’s old hit “Venus” was the No. I song in the country. Their latest album, “True Confessions,” is in the top 20.
KEREN WOODWARD interview excerpt: “I’m keeping (my baby) away from Sarah. She’ll turn it into a mental case. She did the same thing with my dog.”
Billboard magazine noted that “Venus” was the first No. I record that was a remake of another No. I and that also has the same name as’ another No. I that’s completely different – Frankie Avalon’s I959 song, “Venus.”
The magazine also points out that Bananarama is the sixth pop band named after a fruit to hit the top. The others are the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Lemon Pipers, Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band, Wild Cherry and Peaches & Herb.
So it wouldn’t be hard to work around the pregnancy, except Woodward’s mates Sarah Dallin and Siobhan Fahey bring the Subject into the answer to almost every question at a Tuesday night autograph-signing party at Robiconti’s.
For instance, “Venus” soared to No. I in America despite the fact that Bananarama never has toured in this country.
“We had a band, we rehearsed before Keren got pregnant,” says Dallin. And despite Woodward’s condition, “we were still ready to tour. … It was quite disappointing.”
“We’ve been threatening to tour for a couple years now,” says Fahey.
“‘It’s a running joke,” agrees Woodward.
Although there seems to be some professional disappointment brought on by Woodward’s pregnancy, it doesn’t carry over into the trio’s longtime personal relationship.
Woodward, says Dallin, will be “a very, very good mother, She’s very maternal. She’ll take the baby everywhere.”
“I’m keeping it away from Sarah,” retorts Woodward. “She’ll turn it into a mental case. She did the same thing with my dog.”
In lieu of a musical tour, Bananarama is doing personal appearances in l5 cities around the United States, including a stop as presenters at the MTV awards a week ago. From there they had a weekend stay at a Miami studio to mix a third dance version of their latest British single, “A Trick of the Night.”
The Bananas’ timing in landing here couldn’t have been better, according to Fahey.
“We arrived, and we were No. 1,” she says.
Fahey isn’t concerned that a big hit will raise future sales expectations for Bananarama.
“I don’t think in terms of people expecting more,” says the singer. “I’ve expect more of ourselves than anyone does.”
Two years ago, Bananarama placed “Cruel Summer” in the American top l0 after a string of hits in Britain, including “He Was Really Saying Something,” “Shy Boy,” “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” and “Robert De Niro’s Waiting.”
“Everybody wants to be successful in America,” says Dallin. “It’s the biggest. You can’t even make a living off (hit records) in England it’s too small.”
After the promotional tour, Bananarama will shoot a new video in Los Angeles for “A Trick of the Night.” Then they’ll start work on a new album, which they say will include songs contributed by Tears For Fears.
Dallin expects that keeping busy and productive will reduce the disappointment of not doing live concerts on the heels of “Venus.”
“It’s not a setback ‘cause it’s only I our first (American) hit,” she maintains. “After we get a few more hits, under our belt, it’ll be a better time to tour.”