"Instead of coming back and gigging and doing all of that, I just thought, 'Nobody's gonna want to see me.' I kid you not; that was going through my mind. Some of the mistakes that I've made in my life are the fact that I don't just keep going. Sometimes I just go, 'I'll leave that, and I'll just go do that now.'"
Success is a double-edged sword, especially for pop stars, who can be the flavour of the month one second and then fall victim to the tall poppy syndrome the next. In the new episode of the podcast, A Journey Through Aussie Pop, Peter Andre talked about the massive success he enjoyed early in his career in Australia with hits like Gimme Little Sign and Funky Junky and the dark side of that fame.
“People started noticing me, and it was a very surreal thing. Going from being picked on as a kid for being Greek – they used to call us greasy wogs back then – to then being recognised… a whole new generation of hatred started,” said the singer, who Molly Meldrum signed after appearing on the talent show, New Faces, as a teenager.
“You get a whole lot of guys going, ‘Who do you think you are?’ Calling you all sorts of things. And rightfully so, because I think if I saw someone on TV and their shirt’s always off, I’d be like, ‘Who do they think they are?’ So I get it, but at the time, I didn’t understand,” Andre explained on the podcast.
Things came to a head in Australia for Andre when night club appearances turned violent.
“I was starting to go out to clubs and get into all sorts of trouble. Somehow, I became scared of that sort of lifestyle, and I didn’t really like it, and I didn’t want to do it anymore,” he recalled. “I started getting really anxious and scared. That started to really affect me.”
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Andre jumped at the opportunity to get away from Australia and base himself in the UK to record his second album – sessions that yielded his biggest global hit, Mysterious Girl. A concerted effort to break him in Britain paid off, with number 1 singles Flava and I Feel You in 1996.
“It was so brilliant starting from the beginning because we had all the experience from Australia,” Andre said of making it in the UK. “The hysteria was off the scale – it was incredible.”
But his Australian hits dried up as his star ascended in the UK. Out of sight, out of mind.
“I think I just got scared of failure,” Andre admitted. “Silly me. Instead of coming back and gigging and doing all of that, I just thought, ‘Nobody’s gonna want to see me.’ I kid you not; that was going through my mind. Some of the mistakes that I’ve made in my life are the fact that I don’t just keep going. Sometimes I just go, ‘I’ll leave that, and I’ll just go do that now.’”
In the podcast episode, Andre also opened up about the breakdown that took him out of the spotlight following his third album, his comeback following an appearance on the UK version of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, touring Australia with Madonna and Bobby Brown, and why he didn’t think his breakthrough single, Gimme Little Sign, would be a hit.
Listen to A Journey Through Aussie Pop on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and all major podcast platforms or at chartbeats.com.au/aussie.