Press Clippings and testimonials

Lone Stranger's Weird Way to Success
(Anne Nightingale column, Daily Express, Aug 6 1981)

The 'phenomenal rise of Richard Strange' is not my description of the man's progress, but it IS his.

The immodest Mr Strange, a cadaverous 6ft 4in tall, is known to dress up as a vicar, or a pre-war Russian spy - and looks like becoming the rock world's latest stylish eccentric.

He makes his own records, produces others, and launched the highly fashionable Cabaret Futura in London's Soho - haunt of the dress-conscious new romantics.

His rise to fame has been deliberate but hardly rapid. Way before punk, Strange stood out in any crowd by dyeing his hair blue.

He remembers 'I bumped into Captain Beefheart (America's best-known rock eccentric) in a motorway cafe on the M1. Beefheart stared at me and said 'Man, you're WEIRD!' He was busy at the time buying a whole consignment of plaster toy dogs from the shop next door. And he called ME weird!

Richard's first group, the Doctors of Madness, became an important pre-punk band and has been cited as an important influence by later groups such as the Sex Pistols and Magazine.

But when touring became an economic nightmare, Richard hit on a novel idea. 'I realised all I needed to perform was a tape recorder, pre recorded backing tapes, a screen and a movie projector.'

With this one-man show, he took New York clubs by storm, and then brought his new-style 'cabaret' idea back to London and opened the Futura.

Strange has played solo all over Europe, including a show recently at a mental hospital in Vienna. 'The patients made a marvellous audience' said Richard in a clipped accent which smacks of an Etonian education.

'In fact,' he said airily, 'I have a working-class background.

'But I don't go along with all that "sticking to one's working class roots" business. I think one should try to better oneself. I always saw myself as some kind of public figure.'


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'... the rock world's latest stylish eccentric.'