it's not what you think
As you can tell from the title it's not one of those highlights in music journalism, but it's the background information that comes with the load of rubbish that makes it interesting..
This was originally published in Select October 1993
Toni and Dean: do they or don't they? David Cavanagh dissects the lives and tangled loves of the Peters and Lee of multi-decibelled emotional extremity...
In the ten years that she's known him, Toni Halliday has gone to both extemes for Dean Garcia. In 1985, hurt and desperate, she sued him. Three years later she offered him and his pregnat wife a place in her flat and full use of her 16-track basement studio. Pretty amizing; she hadn't even seen him in those three years. But then these two have really been over the coals together - failure, success, malice, love, hatred - and, as the gossip likes to have it, they have done virtually everything except have sex with each other.
"Never," says Toni Halliday quickly, "It would be weird."
"It would be sacrilege," says Dean Garcia
They have always been candid about their relationship, but say they've never been interviewed about echt other before. Toni's takes place in a pub in Camden, Dean's a couple of hours later in a cafe. "He'll buy all the drinks," Toni had said, and she was abolutely right. And if Dean had any inclination to hiss "What she say? what she say?" he was polite enough to keep it to himself: a very, private, gracious, sometimes intense man, according to Toni; a complete bodyclock enigma with a massive fear of flying, lifts and boats. Distrustful of, and disgusted by, the music industry, he - more than her- is obsessed with Curve being huge, except that he hates the idea of compromising along the way. Totally in love with his family: wife Judy and two small kids. Thirty-four years old, domesticated, an "absolutely amazing musician".
She, meanwhile, is (according to him) a pussycat with worryingly authentic-looking stripes. Very warm on minute, chillingly cold the next. Beatiful, but with a raw quality taht he finds attractive. Achatterbox, a good listener. Excitable. Distressed and in a bad way recently when she split up with longtime boyfriend Alan Moulder. Easily hurt. Twenty-eight years old. Will probably have kids in about five years.
Long ago, before anuy of the bad blood and trauma, there was a Eurythmics gig in 1983 at the Hammersmith Odeon. Backstage, Dave Stewart introduced Toni, a 20-year-old singer, to the Eurythmics' then-bassist Dean. She can't remember him saying a word. In those days Toni had white hair. Dean was (still is) married.
"I thought she was very beautiful," says Dean now. "I thought he was very sweet," recalls Toni.
After a couple more Dave Stewart-instigated meetings, in 1984 they were put together by a management company as two members of the ill-fated State Of Play, a studio band signed to Virgin: a forced, unnatural band being tugged several different ways. But she and Dean would work together on B-sides, which sounded a little like embryonic Curve.
Their days were numbered the day Toni discovered that the management required her to go to acting classes, dancing classes and, laughably in her case, an assetiveness training course. She refused. She kept asking what was happending to all the money. She wanted a seperate accountant. The rest of the band, nowhere near as cocky as she was, closed ranks against her and she was booted out. The management asked for the clothes back.
"She was left in the shit, basically," admits Dean. "She was just
"We fell out traumatically," says Toni.
She got a "very serious" lawyer, sued the band, Dean included, and
would not even speak to him when he came round to discuss the situation: "I
just had to try and protect myself."
State Of Play ended in rancour and recriminations. And so did Toni and Dean's friendship.
"We were brough together through music," is the way Toni puts it.
"And we were broken up through music as well."
But, no unlike the faithful, endlessly optimistic protagonists of Our Tune, she never once thought that was the last she'd see of him. And, funnily enough, he was the same. For some reason, even though they hated each other, they knew they had to work together in the future. They decided to have a long holiday from each other. Dean and his wife went to Spain, where they made plasticine films and spent all their money, and Toni went solo. Her album, 'Hearts and Handshakes', was delayed for two years, was never completed to her satisfaction and she badly missed the elemental goosebump spark that Dean's bass provided. In the meantime, the State Of Play management settled out of court with her.
In 1988 Dean came back from Spain with no money, no home and a pregnant wife. It was either ring Toni or his mother; he chose Toni. For four months they lived in her flat - an offer he still finds astonishingly generouss - and thrashed out the past. One evening the four of them - Dean and his wife Judy; Toni and boyfriend Alan Moulder - dranktwo bottles of Jack Daniel's between them and somewhere in the drunken haze the past was exorciesed.
"We got it all out in the open," smiles Toni. "When you're that drunk, alcohol is the truth drug."
On the second day, Toni took Dean downstairs to see the 16-track. "He was like - home." It was a very delicate situation; they didn't record together for a while. He'd get her to add vocals to the odd track, just to ease them both back into the water. Soon, it started to happen. Then Dean, short of cash, went off on tour with Sinéad O'Connor, which made Toni (to her surprise) incredibly jealous. Toni went off to Spain for a week with Judy, who told her she and Dean should get back to working together. Meanwhile, Dean, nearing the end of the Sinéad tour, was writing the words "work with Toni" in his things-to-do-book. In fact, the only people who wanted nothing to do with it were Dave Stewart and Anxious, who shivered as they recalled the last time Toni and Dean had worked on something together.
Back at the basement, they went ahead and did it anyway: wrote and recorded the first Curve EP, "Blindfold", in a matter of days - riddled with agression and twisted fuck-you's - and once they had convinced Dave Stewart that they had actually made it together (Toni: "He said, who's this then? You and Alan?") the EP came out on Anxious.
"It was the best thing either of us had ever done," says Dean, "and we were shocked and surprised by it."
"Blindfold" got rave reviews (something neither of them were used to) and Curve got properly underway. They weren't a band - althought three other musicians were drafted in for gigs - but everyone in the media sensed a strange relationship between Toni and Dean. It was assumed that, if they weren't sleeping together at the moment, they must at least have in the past. Back then they spoke with unself-conscious candour about the years when they loathed each otherm and the phrase "brother and sister relationship" was used to describe their odd, intense chemistry.
"Our lives are relevant to what we are now," Toni insists.
"Everything that we've been through is relevant. It all had to happen, all of it."
Now it's 1993 and time for 'Cuckoo', the second Curve alvum. A much heavier, much more kaleidoscopic trip than 'Doppelganger', it's another product of the basement - one of the hardest things to credit is that every single musical noise on it, aside from a little guitar, is made by Dean. He is "completely happy" to let Toni handle Curve's profile now. His own pleasure comes in the studio.
"She's very good at it," he says. "When it comes to business and achivements and going forward she's brilliant at it. She has a great understanding of what she's doing as she gets older."
In photos they'll get close, really close. Toni insists on it.
"I don't want to be frightened of his body and I don't want him to
be frightened of mine. I don't want him to be frightened to put his hand on
me. Because I realise it's not anything to do with sex."
"We are both very attracted to each other, but not in a sex way." muses Dean.
Would you never try it out of curiosity?
"Never," he says flatly. "she would say exactly the same thing. It'd be sacrilege. Not on. It would just be such a damaging and insesitive thing to do. However great or bad it was, it's a crossing over of that line. It'd be totally incestuous and it would just rip us apart. We just can't...we'd never..."
What does your wife think of you and Toni?
"Well, she knows Toni like I do. There's all sorts of feelings. Feelings of jealousy and of her wanting to be in her shoes. Initially, definitely. But as she's seen the way it's developed and how I am and how we are together, she knows it's a partnership, a loving business partnership."
"Dean forges powerful relationships with women," says Toni. "He likes women. He likes talking to them. His respect for them is very high, and I think it's because he was brought up by a woman - he had no father. He's a big, soft, loving human being. He's got loads of soft spots, loads of places to stick knives in and squidge them around, which I don't do. I adore him, love him to death. Love every bone in his body."
"She's a very multi-faceted person, you know," says Dean. "She's got a lot of different charms and a lot of different Dobermans as well. She's very complex. As time goes on I think people will see that more and more."
"He's totally protective of me," says Toni. "Now the bond's so strong that I think if anyone ever came near me he'd kill them. It makes me feel incredibly secure. When I split up with Alan, Dean was, yeah, he was the person I told first."
"I'm always stunned by her beauty," says Dean. "It's fascinating. It's like a brilliant painting."
"I want to know every side of him. He's a friend. I would sacrifice Curve for Dean."
"Did she say that? God, that's...moving."
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