Wendy & Lisa Vs Trevor Horn

Wendy & Lisa Vs Trevor Horn

The names above need little or no introduction.

Wendy & Lisa are a duo who first came to popular attention as part of Prince’s band, The Revolution. Two incredibly gifted musicians who then went on to forge a career in their own name, not always quite escaping the shadow of Prince, but successful to a degree nonetheless. Most recently, they are known for their fantastic scoring of the hit TV show, “Heroes”.

Trevor Horn is the uber producer that has probably made more hit records than any other producer in history. Working with acts as diverse as Frankie Goes To Hollywood to Leanne Rimes, Lisa Stansfield to Belle & Sebastian, Marc Almond to ABC, Pet Shop Boys to Seal, Yes to Simple Minds, TaTu to Dollar, and so many more. He’s also a performer in his own right and one of the worlds most successful label owners.

So, wassup?

Well, let me give you some background. In the mid 90’s Wendy & Lisa hooked up with Trevor to do some work, including the soundtrack to the film, “Toys”, and to do some work with Seal. They also recorded some of their own material but this never saw the light of day. Further wranglings ensued, with rumours of Trevor (under the guise of his businesses ZTT/Perfect Songs) holding them down to a 7 year contract. To this day, their work on this album has never surfaced.

Fast forward to today, when an article on Out.com features an interview with Wendy & Lisa. In this article, they made answers to the following questions:

You were dealing with [being lesbian] during the Reagan years when the AIDS crisis was exploding and the progressive attitude regarding gays started reversing. It must’ve been hard to contend with that while the music industry pushed you to be the next Mary Jane Girls.

Wendy and Lisa, nearly in unison: That’s exactly what they wanted.
Wendy: We couldn’t have been more opposite of that. We were just geeky musicians. We still are. We did a record 10, 11 years ago with Trevor Horn that was never released. We were hoping that we would have the next fucking Grace Jones “Slave to the Rhythm” extravaganza. We thought, “This is going to be genius! We’re going to be musician freaks and experiment.” And he, honest to god, wanted us to be the Spice Girls. My heart was broken.
Lisa: Not only that, but he was so homophobic. I hate to say it, but he wouldn’t even let us eat off of his silverware on Friday because he was Jewish. It turned into this nightmare. He and his wife, oh God, I don’t want to talk disparagingly about anybody, but it made us very uncomfortable.
Wendy: Our homosexuality became quite an issue for them.

That’s especially disturbing coming from the guy who produced Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Grace Jones and the Pet Shop Boys.

Wendy: And Marc Almond and ABC and t.A.T.u. You name it.
Lisa: He would come in and start talking, “Well, I asked my rabbi about homosexuality and my rabbi said it’s comparable to being born a mass murderer. You can be born a mass murderer, but if you practice mass murder it’s sinful.” I was like, “Okay, you can be born gay, but if you practice being gay, you might as well be a mass murderer?” Oh, thanks Trev. Let’s record this song now.

That’s some SERIOUS accusations, right there.

It is hard to believe, given my knowledge of Trevor, and my knowledge of others who have worked with him, that this is in any way true. Of course, I wasn’t in the room with the three of them (four if you include Jill Sinclair, Trevor’s wife and business partner) when any of the alleged comments happened. I don’t have anything against Wendy & Lisa either, given that I have been a fan of theirs since the early 80’s. I also am not homophobic in ANY way. My best friend is lesbian. Many friends and work colleagues are gay or lesbian. Ask any one of them if I am homophobic and they will say no. So, before anyone gets up on the “gay bashing” high horse, I am not, never have been nor ever will be homophobic. I am a big fan of both Trevor and Wendy & Lisa but these accusations sadden me, probably not half as much as they must be saddening Trevor.

It just seems all too easy to shout “I’m being marginalised” whether you are LGBT, black, white, red, blue, pink, green, Muslim, Christian, Right wing, Left wing or whatever. This story was brought to my attention by a young lesbian follower of mine on Twitter. It seems that she has jumped on the wagon of defending her sexuality and those others who share the same preferences simply because one of her heroes has made a wild accusation in an interview and “it must be true because she said it in an interview”. The fact that it was said in the safe arena of a gay website, where it’s bound to whip a frenzy of unity and hate against Trevor means that the article in question is heavily biased anyway. Why does there have to be this militant attitude amongst groups like these? I mean, let’s be real here… Gay people working in the entertainment industry??? OMG!!! Let’s lock up the kids!!! ;o)

No one knows the facts of this particular case except Trevor, Jill, Wendy & Lisa and whoever else was in the studio at that time (engineer, etc) but to make such an accusation, they had better have solid proof and evidence or else I can see a major libel case being brought VERY soon. However, if this is indeed true and is admitted by Mr Horn and/or proven by others, then he has sunk way down in my estimation. Homophobia and the treatment of homosexual people in any way other than equal to everyone else is completely and utterly wrong and I condemn it in all it’s forms.

  • Posted on April 17, 2009 - 10:03 pm
  • By Failed Muso
  • Posted in
comments so far
  • Dan Sullivan says:

    I just wonder if it is at all possible that if Trevor Horn said X or Y that he said it in a sarcastic manner thinking that that Wendy and Lisa would pick up on the fact that he was having a go at his rabbi or religion generally? Of course, as you say who knows exactly what was said and how.

  • Richard Hartley says:

    I was fortunate to see Trevor with yes for the “Drama” tour. Such talent. As far as Wendy and Lisa, well I’m a christian, and the bible sais “judge not, that you may not be judged”. he said, she said, what a trajedy.

  • Failed Muso says:

    If what they claimed was true, it certainly is tragic. If it isn’t, it’s equally tragic, and very concerning. Christian or otherwise, I think that if it did happen, they should be taking it up with him personally, rather than publicly airing their grievances without giving Trevor & Jill the right to respond. As it happens, nothing more has been said about it so either it wasn’t such a big deal for Wendy & Lisa or there was no weight behind the allegations. Or maybe lawyers got involved. Who knows.

    But given that Trevor still works closely with artists from the LGBT community, it’s hard for me to believe. If I was gay, and I knew for a fact that a person I was going to be working closely with was not tolerant of my sexuality in such a way as to be detrimental to our working relationship, I certainly wouldn’t be working with them any more.

  • Karen says:

    2017 UPDATE: Surprise! It turns out that Trevor Horn’s daughter Rebecca/Bill is now transgender , and was a lesbian for a while before that.

    So even if he might have been a bigot prude in the past (was he really?), he surely isn’t now.

Leave a comment