No Love For Gilbert

Source: Daily Express

Writer: Judith Simons

Now he looks like the well-heeled boy next door - but his neighbours happen to be his manager, Gordon Mills and his "stablemates" Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, in plushiest Weybridge, Surrey.

His singing and composing have also brought him a healthy 250,000 a year or so, two cars, and a blonde Norwegian air hostess girl friend.

Mindful of all this, I listened to O'Sullivan's new record album "A Stranger In My Own Back Yard" and was happily reassured that the new lifestyle has not affected his sensitivity.  Though the desolation of earlier songs, like "Alone Again (Naturally)" has gone, he has developed his intuitive observation.

O'Sullivan admits it has taken willpower to cut himself off from comforts and compose.  This album was written in Portugal.

Now after recording and touring Europe he has retreated to a country house near Hilversuum, Holland for another composing session.

"At the moment," he said there, "I feel just the way I felt seven years ago when I was out of work and had nothing else to do but compose songs.  I am alone here.  It is very important to my work that I stay a solitary person.

"It is so easy for a man in my position today to get misled.  All the comforts are there.  I enjoy appearing in concert and meeting people who tell me how great I am."

One track of Gilbert's new album "A Woman's Place (is in the home)" has already been released as a single - and proved his first flop.

"I thought it was a nice sounding title," he said.  "But it has rebounded on me something terrible.  Even my mother, a stay-home housewife, with six children, objects to my ideas.  In Europe disc jockeys wouldn't play it.  Surely the idea of keeping a woman at home and cherishing her is a compliment to her!"

When it comes to putting his thoughts into practice O'Sullivan's thoughts end at his piano.  "I have never been one to look for girlfriends."

"They have just happened to be there.  And when I work they disappear.  I have never been in love.  I think you fall in love only when you want to.  You reach a particular state of mind and allow yourself to be taken in.

"For me to fall in love I'd have to be fed up with music and looking for something else.  And that hasn't happened yet."