"Everything's good in the world tonight!"
After 25 years in the music business, Martin Fry of ABC -- with a distinct twinkle in his voice -- calls himself "an elder statesman of pop."
Martin and I talked for about a half hour today as part of this week's Stuck in the 80s podcast on ABC. When I tell him that -- after waiting 20-some years -- I finally get to see ABC play live not once but twice in August (on Aug. 2 in Las Vegas and again on Aug. 30 in Clearwater at Ruth Eckerd Hall for the Regeneration Tour), I can almost hear him grinning.
"You won't be disappointed," Martin assures me. "I'll have to lay some glitz down in Vegas -- it always brings that out in everyone who plays Vegas."
It's a great interview, but you have to wait until Saturday to hear the full conversation and some great music clips. In the meantime, here are some highlights...
ON THE NEW ROMANTIC LABEL: "I never liked the term New Romantic at at time. But then again, with the 'Lexicon of Love,' we did want to bring back a romantic edge to this. A sort of epic quality."
ON THE CAMARADERIE OF THE REGENERATION TOUR ACTS: "As the years roll by, there's a great deal of respect for any musician who's been around for more than 15 minutes. And also, to stand on a stage in 2008, it's a privilege and honor, in my case, to perform the 'Look of Love,' 'Poison Arrow,' 'When Smokey Sings' and 'Be Near Me'."
ON 80s NOSTALGIA: "It was all J.R. Ewing if you think about it -- the 80s pop scene. It was big. There's an element of looking back to an age when life was less complicated."
ON THE FAMOUS GOLD SUIT: "I had that made up by a guy on Carnaby Street in London. I have three gold suits, and one of them got stolen. Another one I left in Japan."
Don't worry, Martin will have the shiny outfits for the shows in Vegas and Tampa Bay. "I've gotta carry that flag," says our statesman.