Gilbert O’Sullivan gets a lot of letters from The Netherlands
I would run away after any show”
crusade of pop idol
looks like a young American army officer (except for his long hair), in his
light blue shirt in military style, with stitched breast pockets and two big
copper G’s on the points of his collar.
so military, I ask the new Gilbert O’Sullivan, who sits easy backwards in his
chair, drinking tea. “I love that”, the English singer of the often
sensitive pop song, answers. “A nice young lady once told me: a uniform looks
nice”, he adds smiling.
his sleeves he wears big badges loudly proclaiming ‘Gilbert O’Sullivan’.
So each mistake is out of the question.
is the way the new Gilbert O’Sullivan appears, starting his enormous European
tour on 9th May. On 12th May by night he sings in the
Rotterdam Sportpaleis Ahoy. It is his only show in our country.
the beginning I was more popular in The Netherlands than in England”, he
admits. “So I like to go there. I often get a lot of letters from there”.
a venue in Amsterdam wasn’t available”, he goes on chatting. He is startled
when he hears that Rotterdam will be a nightly show. “What with all these
young kids?”, Gilbert sincerely worried asks. “It’s a pity”.
just came back from Dublin when I spoke to him, and immediately after this
interview a television show in Spain was waiting. For the rest he imprisons
himself in his new home in Weybridge, little South West of London. There he
writes new songs.
that he is busy recording for his new album. Eight tracks are already finished,
it will be released end of summer. Gilbert’s new massive single ‘Get Down’
is #1 in England. In Germany some 80.000 were sold within two weeks.
this pop idol also is surrounded by publicity people, he manages to keep his
disarming, fresh honesty. “My big, old fashioned schoolboy’s cap, the
complete old image, was frightening. But that was my natural me. This Gilbert is
a pin-up. This uniform is just ‘fun’”.
does he think about his fans,shouting and screaming? “If they want to pay for
me and listen quietly or not, they have to decide that for themselves. For me it
is not frustrating if they scream and do not understand a word of it. I don’t
like it. For one reason or another they shout for you”.
the new Gilbert lives all alone by himself. He only has a cleaning lady. “I
haven’t bought anything for myself, even though I could easily do that. No
Rolls Royce. I turn down all kind of tempting invitations of rich girls. I never
go to parties”, he says, and he pours himself a new cup of tea from an
am not engaged in matters of money. I am engaged in music. Above that, a lot of
money go to taxes. Others take care of my money, at least I hope so”, he
FOR A WALK
O’Sullivan keeps coming back to: “I am a person who likes to be on his own.
I like going for a walk. If I could see what I do on stage, I wouldn’t believe
O’Sullivan wants a cigar. They deliver a massive one. He finds it too big, he
want a small one. His agent explains: “He cannot smoke a big one.” “I am
really shy, Preferably I would run away after any show”, Gilbert adds.
caption: “The new Gilbert O’Sullivan. “In the beginning I was more popular
in The Netherlands than in England. So I like to go there”.
Translation by Rob van der Vaart