EMF appeared on the BBC show Juke Box Jury (where panellists judged the hit potential of record releases) in 1990 as the mystery guests after ‘Unbelievable’ was reviewed. But who was the only panellist to vote that the song was a “miss” rather than a “hit”?
“Oh man! I think Robert Smith said it’d be a hit, but let’s see what they’re like on their third single. Then he voted it a miss. Which led to all sorts of trouble with him!”
“I only know this because what happened after it has consumed me for a lifetime. Derry [Brownson, EMF keyboardist] called him a fat c-word in the press, Then we did the BRIT Awards [in 1991] and Robert angrily came up to me and said: ‘What’s this about you calling me a fat c-word?!’ And it got really nasty. He had all of The Cure lined up behind him and I was there on my own. I was mortified because I’m the biggest Robert Smith fan ever – all I ever wanted to be growing up was him, and then he’s coming up and accusing me of dissing him. I’ve often wanted to write him an apology letter and say it wasn’t me. I wanted to tell him it was Derry – who in the meantime at the BRITs was having a fight with The Beautiful South on the dodgems! Can I apologise to Robert Smith now?”
Go for it…
“Robert Smith, if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry. It was a despicable thing to say and out of order. Pop stars shouldn’t talk to each other like that – especially to a god like you.”
What was the ruckus with The Beautiful South about then?
“I don’t know! For some reason, Derry and DJ Milf were kicking off with The Beautiful South, who had a reputation. They sing lovely pop songs, but they were quite handy northern lads! [Laughs