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Pop stars may not grow up but they do grow old, explains Midge Ure as he sits backstage at London’s O2 arena, in the middle of an 80s revival tour called Here and Now. It’s been a licence to print money for all those concerned, but it’s also hard work for a bunch of artists who are now mainly in their 50s rather than their 20s: step forward Mr Ure, with Boy George, Kim Wilde and Belinda Carlisle providing back-up.
Midge has always been fascinated by what goes on backstage ever since he first went on tour as a musical youth, more keen on the after-show antics than the band’s on-stage performance. The Here and Now Tour gave him this opportunity to make a programme about it.
It turns out that the real stars are not the pop stars, who now choose to guzzle green tea instead of absinthe, but the road crews. The latter reminded me of Formula 1 pit-stop teams who change tyres before Martin Brundle’s had time to name the driver.
Meanwhile, Belinda Carlisle tells Midge that as soon as she’s finished her performance she’s straight into bed with a good book. That’s the woman who had a 30-year drug habit. Please tell me Keith Richards doesn’t tour like this…
Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, who has spent 30 years touring with bands including Thin Lizzy, meets promoters, caterers, roadies and the stars themselves to hear about their bizarre way of life when spending months on the road. With contributions by Jason Donovan, Boy George, Kim Wilde, Toyah Wilcox and Martin Kemp. First aired in 2011.
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