Smash Hits

28 February-13 March 85

Personal File

Rose McDowall, Strawberry Switchblade

Name Rose Mary McDowall

Born 21/10/59 in Duke Street Hospital, Glasgow

Were You A Tomboy? Yeah! Why? Because boys had better fun than girls. I wanted more than just to push a pram around all day. I loved to climb trees and play cowboys and indians and get mucky.

Nickname At School Didn't have one. They threw plenty of names at me but none of them stuck.

First Concert The Osmonds at the Glasgow Apollo. I was about 14 at the time. What I remember most is Donny looking at me - he loved me and I loved him.

First Crush I must have been nine. I was in love with two boys at the same time. Kainnard Marshall and Patrick MacMahon. I tried to lure Kainnard with sweets but he wouldn't have any of it. He was obviously very shy and didn't want to be seen with a girl in front of all his mates. For Patrick I used to buy toy wedding rings for him to give back to me - but he never did. He used to take me to Sunday school with him - I only went because of him, but again, he just wasn't interested.

First Job Helping out on my dad's coal round - he used to sell coal shaped like bricks (called brickettes) off the back of a horse and cart. I was a coal scuttless! My first proper job was potato picking in Glasgow - yes, of course there are lots of potato fields in Glasgow, in an area called Huggenfield lock. I must have been about 15 and I got around 6 or 7 a week.

Where Do You Live? In a flat in Muswell Hill (North London). I live on the ground floor and Jill (Bryson, Strawberry Switchblade) lives directly above. There are polka dots all over the place - big dayglo pink ones all over the walls. And there's smaller ones on the curtains cushions, settee and the whole place is a mess. I live with my husband Gunter Lemon (Yer what? - Ed.) We've been married nearly seven years. He does lots of things- plays the drums on our radio sessions, writes his own stuff, does drum machine programming.

What Do You Wear Around The House? The same things I normally wear, except I don't put on as many ribbons. I'm always washing them because when I eat they always fall in my soup. I do take them off in the bath though.

What's The Worst Thing About Having A Hit? Not having the time to realise you've had a hit. Has anything changed? Not really, except people keep asking us what it's like and we can't answer because we don't know yet.

Aren't You A Bit Sick Of Polka Dots? No! They're brilliant. It's like asking someone if they hate flowers or trees.

If You Were A Flower What Would You Be? I think I'd rather be a tree. A really big one. No, I'd actually like to be a wee one that grew. I like to watch things... I know, I'd like to be a tall tree that is able to watch all of the world.

Are You A Feminist? Yes and I always have been, even when I was really young. I always used to think, anything boys can do, we can do. I was never a bullied wee girl - I was just bullied by grown-ups. I just think anyone who isn't a feminist must be mad.

Have You Ever Seen A Ghost? Lots of ghosts. I always used to see them until a while ago. They were nearly always shadowy with a vague outline. One of them followed me round for months - it was evil, I hated it... it made me cry a couple of times. And why do I see them? Because I want to.

Favourite Book I love The Green Child by Herbert Reed. It's about this man who finds two small green transparent children and they take him underground to where they live in this underwater cavern. It affected me inasmuch as I had the same experience - in a dream. The only difference was that my child was blue.

What's The Weirdest Idea You've Ever Had? Judging by people's reactions, it's when I go on about how my organs wobble. I sway from side to side all the time and that's because I can feel my organs wobbling so I sway to keep up with them. (What on earth is going on here? - Ed)

Ideal Holiday I'd like to stay in a wee cottage in the Highlands, thousands of miles from anyone or anywhere. I'd just want my guitar - I love being on my own. And why the Highlands? I just love the bleakness of it all.

Did You Get A Valentine? Yes, one, off Gunter. The postman probably stole the rest.