Remember I’m Too Sexy? This was from a few months ago.
Simon Bates played I’m Too Sexy on Radio 1. Gary Crowley at Capital Radio said, “I don’t know if this is good or crap,” but suddenly, we were besieged with requests for interviews. A tastemaker DJ from Miami heard the song on holiday in Europe and took it back and played it. Our promotion budget for the whole of America was $25,000, but the song just sold itself. When we had the US No 1, Madonna announced that she wanted to go to bed with me. I never met her, but she’s got great taste.
Everyone thought we were a couple of sad gym queens who’d been put together and got lucky, but we were proper musicians who’d been on the circuit since 1977 under different names. As the Actors, we toured with Suicide, supported Joy Division at the Factory and played a punk club in Leeds where someone urinated on my clothes. Fred played guitar for Bob Dylan in the Hearts of Fire film in the 80s, while I worked with Mick Jagger and was in three videos with David Bowie.
I came up with the “I’m a model, you know what I mean” stuff because I was dating a model. It was the start of the supermodel era, things were very hedonistic and I was thinking of big hair and dressing to impress.
Every label turned us down. Our booking agent sacked us when he heard it. Island Records went to the trouble of sending a fax telling us they hated it and no one would play it. One of the DJ responses was: “Don’t waste money on this shit.” Then we played it to a radio plugger, Guy Holmes. He quickly turned it off, but he had some girls in the car at the time and after he switched it off they started singing, ‘I’m a model …” He thought, “Wait a minute, if they can remember that …”
In America, “I’m too sexy for school” became the most commonly used excuse for truancy. A politician in the House of Representatives actually said, “I can’t comment on this, I’m too sexy.” In Texas, there was a fight in a bar because some girls played the video for eight hours, and when a guy tried to turn it off, they attacked him
Best video (2006 version, Vevo): https://www.vevo.com/watch/right-said-fred/im-too-sexy/GBBRL9290469
Same version on youtube, poorer quality: