How We Met: Siobhan Fahey & Marco Pirroni

‘He had to lie down with his head onmyknee, being stroked, before he could go on stage’


Marco Pirroni, 50, is a guitarist and songwriter who was a mainstay of Adam and the Ants in the 1980s. He has since worked with musicians including Sinéad O'Connor and is now a member of The Wolfmen. He lives alone in London.

Even though we were in the same music scene in the 1980s, we never properly met until later. I knew everyone Siobhan knew – her manager, people she worked with, even the other two girls in Bananarama – but our paths simply didn't cross.

It was the early 1990s when we finally did meet. We were both being managed by the same people and they suggested we get together to write some material for an American artist, so I went around to her house in Belsize Park to work on some songs. The music didn't really work, but we hit it off immediately.

We were both going through relationship issues and got to chatting on the phone a lot. It was like I'd finally found someone who was on my side. There are things I've told her that I wouldn't ever tell anybody else.

We're the same age, from the same punk-rock background and have a shared experience of becoming pop stars at a young age. I went from school to being a rock star where everything was done for me. But what are we supposed to be doing now? We talk about it a lot. Are we meant to get reabsorbed into real life? And what is real life anyway? Neither of us ever knew.

I've done guitar on a couple of tracks on her new album, but it feels a bit strange working with her now. I sometimes forget music is what we do. She is incredibly talented but also incredibly insecure about her talent, which I'm not. She gets all het up about things that don't matter. I just think, here's a microphone, sing into it.

She has a hippie element that I find slightly difficult. She had a strange period of seeing psychic healers and mediums. I say, "Why do you see these idiots?" but she buys into it all. She does other things I can't understand, too, such as travel on public transport. I haven't used public transport since 1980. I don't know why she does it.

She rarely pisses me off but sometimes she gets drunk and says stupid things. She's really into conspiracy theories. No matter what logic I come back with, it doesn't register, she'll go on and on about the people controlling the world or how some man in the pub told her the history of humanity, so it must be true. I'm like, "What are you talking about? Do shut up."

Siobhan Fahey, 51, was a founder member of 1980s girl group Bananarama. She left after seven years to form Shakespears Sister. She has two sons from her marriage to Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. She lives in east London

The funny thing with Marco is that we're from the same generation and have loads of mutual friends, yet we never bumped into each other. We didn't meet until I'd been dropped from my record label, was a single mum and wondering what to do next.

The moment we met I knew he was a kindred spirit. This is going to make him sick, but it's because he's Taurus and I'm Virgo. They are two signs that co-exist very happily. There's no strain or effort needed, just an innate compatibility.

He is a great friend to have during times of emotional trauma. He really rises to the occasion. He also makes me laugh. His humour is dark and twisted, which I love. He is sardonic but the gentlest person and a really great best friend for a girl.

We are both insomniacs, so we went through a phase where he'd ring some time after midnight and we'd talk till about three in the morning. When we met, both of us were in doomed relationships. Mine went first and his came tumbling down six months later; we went through heartbreak together, comforting each other. I keep pestering him to get a laptop so I can have him on Skype the whole time, but he's still got one of those clunky tower computers.

Although there are many similarities in our lives, we are very different. He lives in the West End and loves the exclusivity of his life, while I have just moved to the East End in search of somewhere a little more multicultural. Belsize Park had become so rarefied it was like a living death. He also wouldn't dream of riding a bicycle and he never gets public transport. I always think he's joking when he tells me things like that, but he's not. He's a very original person; hilarious without intending to be.

My new album was made between make-ups, break-ups, raising kids, DJing and moving house so it has taken longer than it was meant to. It was wonderful to be able to ask Marco to put down guitar on some of the tracks because he is a brilliant guitarist; the hooks just pour out of him.

It's a bit different when it comes to playing live. His partner in The Wolfmen prevailed upon him to do some gigs, so I went down to support him and saw him fall apart and become a gibbering wreck. He had to lie down with his head on my knee, being stroked, before he could go on stage. He gets very bad stage fright.

I don't trouble myself over what my boyfriends may think of Marco; there is always an area of me that belongs to my friendship with him. But saying that, the couple of guys I've been out with since I met Marco were Adam and the Ants fans. He's a pretty cool mate to have.

The Shakespears Sister album 'Songs from the Red Room' is out now on Palare Records. 'Jackie, is it My Birthday?' by The Wolfmen and Sinéad O'Connor is out now on Howl

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