Tonight I’ll be going to see the Pet Shop Boys for the first time ever and this reminds me of a sort of a funny story. Sometime last century while laboring (under a misapprehension) about becoming pop stars, our then-manager Ginger Canzoneri (who rather famously and more successfully managed the Go-Gos) pitched us to music legend Seymour Stein of Sire Records (this was the man Madonna got to sign her by visiting him in hospital after he had had an unrelated heart attack).
Anyway, Ginger had sent over our demo and press kit but heard nothing back. So she called and she called and she called. One day Seymour finally came on the phone and snapped “Haven’t you ever heard of the Pet Shop Boys?” And then he hung up.
Our relationship with the Pet Shop Boys doesn’t end there. Just when we were starting out – and a few months before they released their first single – their producer Bobby Orlando called us up and asked if we could come into the studio to record some vocals. Sure! It was some track called “Run Way Girl.” Well, a few months later we hear this same song on the radio. Ohmygod, we’ve made it. We’re going to be famous! But the song on the radio was the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” not “Run Way Girl” – even though they sounded exactly the same. Turns out when the Pet Shop Boys left Bobby he just had us re-record over the vocal tracks and released that. So close, yet so far.
– Fenton Bailey
(Photos: Pet Shop Boys, Madonna and Seymour Stein)