I want to shine a Love Light on Lene Lovich, a singer of musical mystique.
I was first captivated by her hit song “Lucky Number” released in 1978. Those days I loved any artist and any song released by the upstart Stiff Records, a UK groundbreaking label. Their slogan was “If it ain’t STIFF, it ain’t worth a F**k.” The label also harboured awesome artists like Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Devo, Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric, Madness, the Pogues, the Damned and scores of others.
In fact, the legendary guitarist Slash adorned a Stiff Records T-shirt (with that naughty slogan) during a concert which I was honoured to capture. Two framed displays sit proudly in two Hard Rock Cafes in Singapore – Orchard Road and Changi Airport outlets. Slash even graciously signed one to the now-defunct Hard Rock Cafe Sentosa outlet (above image). It’s now proudly adorning the prominent pillar of Hard Rock Orchard Road.
Back to Lene Lovich – in the closing strains of 2023, I received the delightful Lene Lovich’s Toy Box – The Stiff Years CD box set. Imagine my utter amazement, there are six versions of Lucky Number, including an Instrumental version. Wow!
Don’t get me wrong, ALL of Lene Lovich’s songs are awesome. The world-class spunky musicality and crisp production.
When her Stateless album first came out, there was a directive on the cover on how to pronounce her name – (Lay-na Luvitch) and her album title – (Stay-t-less). All in parenthesis. Brilliant!
So here’s the awesomeness- being from Stiff Records I assume she’s British.
Having an exotic name like Lene Lovich, I presume she’s from an exotic European country. Czechoslovakia, anyone?
Born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan, USA, to an English mother and American father of Serbian descent.
Lene moved to England when she was 13 years old. While attending art school, during sculpture class, she first braided her hair to keep it away from the clay. That braid became her iconic fashion superpower.
There are 3 Musicians that seriously intrigued me as a rock photographer and as a hard-core music fan – Debbie Harry (Blondie), Keith Flint (Prodigy) and (you guessed it) Lene Lovich. I had the honour of meeting two of them.
Debbie Harry of Blondie (above image). We are still emailing each other occasionally to this day.
Keith Flint of Prodigy (above image). Easily one of the most electric rock stars I photographed on stage. R.I.P. Keith.
Splendid album cover, awesome songs that perfectly summarised Lene’s music journey.
What a great carefully thought through compilation! It’s been playing in my CD player, blasting happily into the new year.
These are my Lene Lovich CD stash. I’m sure I have her Flex CD somewhere in my 8,000 CD collection.
You Really Rock, Lili-Marlene Premilovich! Good Health To You and Long May You Reign – pronounced (Rain)!