“Mirror” article on Tony Hadley from 2013:
- By Olivia Buxton
The singer says that at the height of his fame the only way he could trust himself to stay faithful to his first wife Leonie was to go on bender
Eighties heartthrob Tony Hadley had so many offers from besotted fans he would drink himself into oblivion to resist the temptation of sleeping with them.
The Spandau Ballet singer says that at the height of his fame the only way he could trust himself to stay faithful to his first wife Leonie was to go on benders.
“There were always so many beautiful women throwing themselves at us,” he says. “One time we had 40 models in our hotel suite – someone had called an agency and invited them along.
“We were mobbed everywhere we went and it was tough to resist all that temptation, so the best thing to do was get so p***** I couldn’t have done anything anyway.”
He tells how at the time he had a young family and wanted to “uphold certain standards”.
Tony’s marriage to Leonie, mum of his three oldest children, eventually broke up – but he says he never strayed during the band’s heyday.
Now happily married to PR girl Alison Evers, the 53-year-old pop legend has two more children, Zara, six, and Genevieve, 17 months.
Despite having been in the business for 30 years now, he reveals how he is still faced with endless temptation.
“Charity ladies days are wild,” he says, laughing. “Me and Davina McCall both support Action Medical Research and during events we’re on the top table.
“It’s like a wedding except all the other tables are full of 250 housewives who like to lunch.
“They start off very demurely and they’re all dressed to the nines. But then all of a sudden the wine starts flowing and the volume levels become unbelievable. They’ve been known to raid the stage when I start singing.
“No one’s ever actually given me their keys, but I have had women say, ‘How about it?’ It’s definitely not my idea of fun.”
But while Tony has never enjoyed that aspect of rock ’n’ roll life, he does admit he wasn’t a total saint.
“I went over the edge when I was in the band,” he says. “I did a lot of crazy things when I’d been drinking. One time, in a hotel, I tried to jump off one balcony to another balcony and the guys had to catch me as I was about to leap off. I’d have died if I’d jumped.
“Another time I jumped, drunk of course, on to a moving sports car and rolled across the bonnet and dented it.
“I’m lucky the guy didn’t shoot me.”
He says he did manage to resist drugs though, adding: “I’ve been offered them loads of times but I’ve never touched them. I’m fascinated by what makes people want to take drugs.
“When you see someone snorting a line off a toilet seat, it’s gross. And I don’t get how you can tie a band around your arm and inject yourself.”
With fellow bandmates Gary and Martin Kemp, Steve Norman and John Keeble, Tony had 23 hit singles, including True, Gold and Through The Barricades. Spandau Ballet sold 20 million albums worldwide.
But the band split acrimoniously in 1990 and a huge battle over songwriting royalties ended up in the High Court in 1999. Tony and the Kemp brothers didn’t speak to each other for a decade. The band eventually reunited in 2009.
“Twenty years of harbouring grudges, and 10 of not even talking was weird,” says Tony. “Looking back I wish we’d never let it get to that stage. We were just 16 when we got together, and as you get older you become less confrontational. If I had my time again, I’d have handled things differently.”
The first time round for the band, Tony would get bras and knickers thrown at him. Now he says it’s red roses and, bizarrely, cookies.
“I said once I liked chocolate chip cookies and now I get full packets of them thrown at me on stage,” he reveals. “I wish I’d said it was Cartier watches.
“Fans used to write love letters to me, but I haven’t had any marriage proposals.”
That’s just as well or Ali might have had something to say about it.
“She keeps me in line,” he laughs. “And having children at my age keeps me young. Zara is bouncing off the walls and full of energy, and Genevieve is on the go from the minute she wakes up.
“When I met Ali I was torn about whether I wanted more kids or not, but then you fall in love and it happens and it’s great. Having five children is like, ‘Wow’.”
Being a dad to young kids at his age puts him in the perfect position to comment on Simon Cowell’s impending fatherhood. “Simon is a great guy and will be a fantastic dad,” he says. “He’s the same age as me, and he’ll have plenty of energy.
“I’ve met Simon a few times through the charity work he does, and he’s great with kids. Zara loves him.
“He has a fantastic rapport with children.
“People say 53 is too old to be a dad, but I don’t think so. It’s the input you have that counts, and you’re more experienced and worldly-wise.”
With plans to release a new solo album in the autumn and tour dates lined up for October, Tony still finds time to be a hands-on dad.
He admits things were different when his older kids – Tom, 29, Toni, 26, and Mackenzie, 22 – were little.
“I’m around a lot more now because I’ve stopped doing the block tours I did with Spandau,” he says.
“Although when the album comes out I’m going to be promoting that and I’ll be in Australia and New Zealand.
“But generally I have a lot more quality home time as I’m not going off for months and months. I want to appreciate every moment with the kids now as they’re only young for a finite amount of time.”
Tony’s fans these days aren’t the hysterical teens they once were. “The majority of my fans are 30-plus,” he says. “But I have some who are in their late 60s.
“On the other side, I also get kids who are 17 or 18 who are into the whole 80s thing and like tracks like Gold.
“The reaction was incredible after it was played at the Olympics last year, but even I was sick to death of it in the end.” Tony has made no secret of the fact that he’s a big fan himself of One Direction. “They should take advantage of the money, fame and girls, and fill their boots,” he says.
While he admits that watching Harry Styles and co makes him nostalgic, he says he is happier now than he was back in the early days of his career.
“Life has come good for me,” he says. “I have a beautiful family and a great career, and I’m actually earning more now than I was in the 80s.
“When I’m asked, ‘Do you have any regrets?’ I always say, ‘No, I don’t have any’.”
The above “Mirror” article can also be accessed online here.