Things Aren't Always As Glamorous As They Look

1 March 2016 | 7:35 pm | Shane Pinnegar

"We were so tired we hated each other. We hated everything."

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From influencing the electro-pop genre with 1981’s The Metro, to outraging prudes with their provocative 1982 single Sex (I’m A…) and soundtracking Tom Cruise in Top Gun with Take My Breath Away, Berlin were always cool to like, and Terri Nunn is looking forward to mixing their hits up with some new material when they hit our shores.

“We're going to play the hits and we're going to play some songs from the new album, Animal,” the singer reveals, “and then if we can fit in, we'll do some of the more obscure Berlin tracks.”

The single and video for Sex (I'm A...) was banned by some radio and TV stations.

“I knew that it had not been talked about in a song before,” Nunn explains, “I was going through it at the time with my boyfriend - just trying to spice up our sex life because it was getting boring and well, maybe we can do some role-playing and make it more fun. He was like, ‘you know what? I am just a guy. I don't want to be your pirate, be a burglar… I'm just a guy. I just like normal guy things'. And so I wrote the song around that."

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It’s a song that puts the female in the dominant role, taking charge in the bedroom and in the relationship, and was adopted as an empowering song by many women.

“It was - and I loved it!” Nunn exclaims. “My favourite part was just seeing women on dance floors with their guys, because that's every guy's dream: a woman who's going to be a geisha and a little girl and a porn star.”

Fast forward a few years to the apotheosis of Berlin’s rock'n’roll spirit: the Count Three And Pray album, released in 1986 and featuring guest rockstars Ted Nugent, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, and the legendary Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS) co-producing.

“It was pretty amazing, especially David Gilmour,” Nunn admits. “He's my favourite guitar player of all time. I have never had, to this day, an experience like I did listening to him play that day. He never played the same thing twice. I sat there, my mouth dropped open. I was like, ‘I'll have your children - I will do anything for you if you will just stay in my life and do this forever!’

From Sex (I’m A…) through to Take My Breath Away, the video clips make it look like a glamorous time for Berlin, but Nunn says their reality was somewhat different.

“It looks glamorous because that's the way the record label wanted it to look. But no, we were working our asses off. We were too young and dumb to ask for a break because we didn't know how long it was going to last. We were so excited to even make a living at music that we didn't stop.

“But we just fought with each other and broke up. We were so tired we hated each other. We hated everything. Looking back, all we really needed was some time off. I didn't have sex for four years, seriously. I wish I could tell you it was glamorous, but believe me, I'm so grateful because that work has been the basis for an amazing career that has gone on from 1979 to now!”

Originally published in X-Press Magazine