By Dan Shapiro
PHOTO COURTESY OF TAG TEAM MEDIA
British singer/songwriter Holly Golightly stopped by Plush on Monday. Although she works only half the year, she's made an album for 13 straight years and often tours the states.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Touring can be a difficult thing for a foreigner in a foreign land, but for Holly Golightly, the United States is a return to familiar faces, old friends and dedicated audiences.
Since the beginning of her career, Golightly has played what she knows.
"There isn't really an agenda for it; it's just whatever comes out. [Some songs] have been over the course of five years and then other things have been written in five minutes in the studio," she said.
Before training horses in England, Golightly lived on a boat floating in the Medway River and worked as a truck driver. Her exposure as a musician is mostly accredited to friend and fellow musician Billy Childish.
Golightly regularly saw Childish every Monday night in nearby Islington where he would play in his band, The Milkshakes. In 1991, Childish and Golightly coupled their creative talents to form Thee Headcoatees - a kind of dirty, bluesy rock band previously unheard of in the garage scene.
Four years later, Golightly began her singer/songwriter career creating what she called '60s Northern Soul and R&B-inspired rock, with influences from Bessie Smith and other blues greats.
"I generally will allocate some time to it [music] so that I can devote myself to it, then I go back to work," Golightly said at her tour stop at Tucson's Plush on Monday.
Making music for more than two decades, Golightly has created, on average, one album per year for 13 years straight. Her career has allowed her to meet new and interesting people.
"I focus much more on friendship. When I meet somebody, I generally stay friends with them forever," said Golightly, who likes to hang out with her 82-year-old neighbor as well as fellow musician and friend Jack White of the White Stripes, whose 2002 album Elephant featured Holly lending her voice to the song "It's True That We Love One Another."
She considers herself very lucky that she can make money, even if it's not an incredible amount, doing what she likes to do. Being committed to her music only 50 percent of the time, Golightly said she doesn't mind the lack of rock star attention that she receives and even prefers it to acquiring a large following.
"I don't think [stardom] is my aspiration. I don't really have that sort of strategy in mind. I'd much rather nobody knew who I was," she said.
Golightly said she is disappointed with the flakiness of the rock star image and has little trust in where the path of her music career may lead her if she were to devote herself fully to it
"They [rock stars] do drugs, badly, they can't really handle them. I'm sure I would be much better at handling them if I did do them. Then they have some very inflated idea of who they are in the world and in the scheme of things, when they are actually specks of dust like everybody else," she said.
So what does Golightly like?
She self-diagnoses herself and her lyrics by stating, "I like gentle-nasty. I like very quiet music and very vicious lyrics." Apart from the strange combination of lyrics and music, she described her songs as mostly very simplistic and formulaic in their nature.
Golightly also said she tends to like really familiar structures in terms of arrangement.
"It's what makes things sound familiar to people. Half the charm in what I do is that everybody recognizes it or has heard something like it," she said.
She admitted to not working very hard at her musical career.
"I don't put a lot of thought into it - if I did, I'd be dangerous."
So dangerous that she plans on continuing her strict regiment of releasing one album per year and finish up her tour of the United States before returning to England.