The Secret History Of Kate Bush (& The Strange Art Of Pop) is a book written by Fred Vermorel, published by Omnibus Press on 12 December 1983.
After writing the book Kate Bush: Princess of Suburbia in which a tabloid-style work of fantasy was presented, Vermorel decided to use genealogy, background research and obsessive stalking in order to compile this second book.
Vermorel himself called it “an absurdist experiment to see how far the rock bio could be stretched without snapping. I adopted the persona of a mad professor so obsessed that he traces Kate Bush’s genealogy back to the Vikings. And I also stalked the woman, as a phenomenological acting out of that uneasy and twisted boundary between fascination and obsession. Oddly (or perhaps not), the book became the bestselling bio of that singer. But what most struck me was how straight were the readings people made of this text. I still find discussions on the Internet debating whether “I” was “really” obsessed with Kate Bush, as well as allegations I not only had an affair with her, but that while researching her life I ran over her cat.”
While selling a lot of copies – mostly because there weren’t any other books devoted to the subject of Kate Bush at the time – the book has the dubious honour of being universally loathed by Kate Bush fans.
The book was received in many different ways by the press, as the reviews showed:
A disturbing and oddly revealing book… a trifle hard to take seriously. It builds into an extremely powerful book, perhaps the best biography to emerge in years.Chris Watts, Soundmaker, 12 March 1983
This book pretends to take Kate Bush very seriously. There is a mannered mocking quality to the writing that makes his admiration unconvincing, and somehow makes it all faintly insulting.Kate Zesersen, NME, 9 April 1983
The Kate Bush Book is a hoot… beyond the obvious motive of a besotted fan’s homage, or a need for cash, I cannot understand all this beating around the Bush…Jon Harlow, South Wales Argus, 5 May 1983
- PDFM, ‘5 Years Ago’. Homeground 30, Spring 1988