Berlin's Terri Nunn on Working With Sisters of Mercy and Her B-52's Fandom
Photo courtesy Berlin
On Sunday, June 14, KOOL 105.1 hosted its annual KOOL Concert. This year, the featured artists were stars of '80s new-wave pop, including Tears for Fears, the
“People were like, 'What the fuck is that?' recalls Berlin singer Terri Nunn. “What was happening at the time was skinny ties and power pop and punk. We were neither one, and it took a while. It would have taken a while anyway, as we had to get better as musicians anyway, but it was especially hard because people didn't really know what we were about. I remember we opened for Iggy Pop, and that was a time when people thought it was cool to spit on you, [getting that] from England. I was petrified getting in front of the audience, because it was a punk audience. Iggy was cool, and he liked us, and he was good to put us on as an
Nunn left Berlin briefly in the late '70s but returned in 1980 after bassist and songwriter John Crawford approached her about recording some demos. Those demos became the Pleasure Victim E,P and Berlin was one of the first two acts signed to legendary independent label Enigma. (The other was Mötley Crüe.) When lead single “Sex I'm A...” was picked up for airplay by KROQ, Berlin quickly became a nationally known band, with Nunn's vibrantly emotional vocals a centerpiece of its sound.
Berlin's biggest hit came along in 1986, when the band recorded the Giorgio Moroder-Tom Whitlock-penned “Take My Breath Away” for the soundtrack of the film Top Gun. But tensions within the band resulted in a 1987 split following what was then its final album, Count
“What became 'Under the Gun' was originally called 'Living for Love.' I loved the song, and I wanted to put it on my solo album, but my label people didn't get it at all. I played it for Andrew, and he got it immediately. He said, 'I really like this. Could we do it?' I
Berlin reunited briefly for the VH1 program Bands Reunited in 2004, but Nunn has since kept Berlin together without the original lineup and has embraced newer electronic music including EDM, which informed the sound of the 2013 album Animal.
For the current tour, Nunn is excited to be performing on the same stage with bands of which she is a fan, particularly the B-52's.
“I remember the first time I saw them,” she enthuses. “It was on Saturday Night Live. This red-haired girl with a beehive started singing the beginning of 'Planet Claire.' I was absolutely riveted to the screen. I couldn't believe what I was watching. It was the best thing I had seen in ever. I have to tell you, B-52's are one of the best bands ever in the history of the world. B-52's and Devo — they win, because they are so unique. I love unique. I love bands that don't sound like anyone else. They last forever. They never age, because
If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.
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