Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mel C offers an explanation

No Rock invested its faith in Mel C to save us from a Spice Girls reunion. She let us down, and the world suffered the consequences - Gordon Smart making jokes about his erection, a lukewarm, legacy-trashing comeback track, Geri Halliwell released back into the wild. And Emma Bunton sitting in for Judy Finnegan.

Now, Mel C explains why:

"I was the one who didn't want the reunion. I took a hell of a lot of persuading because I was so reluctant to go back into it for all sorts of reasons.

"Part of it was I felt we could never recapture those times, and there was a big part of me that just didn't want to be reminded of who I was back then.

"It's amazing to think that as part of the biggest band on the planet I spent most of my time completely miserable because I had a terrible eating disorder.

"At the height of it all I wasn't eating and I was exercising so much my periods stopped and my bone density was low."

But her main worry is the impact her skinny image may have had on her fans: "The worst thing for me was that I was a role model to millions of young girls," she says.

There's an awful lot of good ideas for not doing it. So how much - sorry, what was it - that persuaded her to get back on the saddle?
"Eventually I thought: ‘Why not?' The other girls really wanted to do it. At first I was frightened of being overwhelmed by all those old feelings, but then I started to feel that maybe this was something I had to do.

"The idea of putting on a great pop show was appealing, as was the idea of spending time with the girls.

"It was an incredibly positive experience. We're all older and wiser, and we put a lot of ghosts to rest on that tour.

"When it was over, I was finally proud to be a Spice Girl. All those frightened, negative, mixed feelings had disappeared.

"Whatever was said, we all got on incredibly well. We've had our fights and feuds, but we're now more like sisters than friends."

We're trying to process this - so the time she was in the band was horrible, forcing her to make herself sick and setting up a horrible set of expectations in young fans - so the idea of "spending time" doing that again was somehow attractive?

Perhaps it seemed so in retrospect. Or at least when the cheque had definitely cleared.

Still, it was nice for Mel to take a trip down memory lane. She's even been revisiting old rumours:
"I've just come back from Canada," she says, then leans forward and adds: "But they're a bit behind with their gossip. They kept asking me whether I was a lesbian, which was funny and quite sweet.

"I haven't been asked that in years. I know everyone thought I was gay when I had my hair cut and put on a bit of weight, and, of course, because of my tattoos."

Yes. Of course "because of tattoos." Especially the "I am as queer as a Bryan Adams collaboration" one she's got on her left thigh.