Talking about what it was like around 1984:
I'd grown up in an era of collective thinking, of 'movements'. I was full of political and moral certainties, and the wave of feminism that had taught me so much was a very uncompromising one. ...it was a mindset that had seemed the norm if you were part of the 'alternative' culture. But that was all starting to change. For now, there was simply a sense that we were on our own, as were our contemporaries - individual bands in an age that revered the individual above all thoughts of collective identity.
Playing at the Albert Hall:
I went backstage and hugged everyone, gushing about how it was one of the best nights of my life, then a few minutes later crept back on to the stage to collection something I'd forgotten. Already the audience had gone and the room was empty. Roadies were dismantling everything, joking and swearing, and out in the hall bits of litter were being gathered and stuffed into plastic bags. All the lights were on, and in the flat glare the room seemed suddenly vast and meaningless. Whatever had happened there a few minutes before was over, the atmosphere evaporated, the space simply dead and neutral, waiting for the next night, the next thing to happen and fill it with some substance. I looked around and wondered, did it mean anything then, when it was so quickly gone?
Being on tour:
So many things about this life actually turned out to be a bit Spinal Tap. It isn't a cartoonish satire at all but in fact the most accurate film ever made about what it's like to be in a band - any kind of band.
In the early 2000s
Like all mums, I sang to my kids at home, so they knew what my voice sounded like, and once when I walked into a branch of Gap, pushing Blake in pushchair, 'Missing' was playing loudly. He twisted round to look at me, little finger pointing upwards towards the source of the music. 'Mummy!' he exclaimed in a tone of pure amazement. 'You are singing in the shop.'
Around the same time:
I remember when the kids were very small standing outside school, Blake in a pram, waiting for the girls to come out. I was with a group of mums, talking about teachers and playdates and school dinners, when suddenly a huge, gleaming Range Rover pulled over to the side of the road. The window whirred down and a voice called out 'Tracey! Tracey! Hi, how are you?' In unison, all heads turned towards the car and the familiar face that leaded out, the stubble and sunglasses confirming the almost unbelievable fact that, yes it was George Michael.