There have been equally eyebrow-raising relationships since, though. Bowie passed away just over a year ago, leaving Lulu reeling.
While recording with Take That she enjoyed a very brief fling (she’s since called it a ‘little flirtation’) with Jason Orange. She cuts off that line of conversation, saying it’s ‘not what I want to talk about’. She didn’t know he was ill and they hadn’t been in touch for years.
‘Three years ago I did my first solo tour in about eight years.
‘I wasn’t supposed to have kids, and I’m the oldest of nine and had mothered all of them, so I wasn’t ever in a mode where I was looking to settle down and raise a family, so that definitely changes the gene pool you’re dipping into.’In the revealing interview, the Thelma And Louise star also spoke of her penchant for magic mushrooms and a psychedelic tea called Ayahuasca and said that if people smoked marijuana rather than drinking alcohol it would ‘make for a much more gentle world’.
Even today, she’s off to the osteopath after we chat, admitting that the legacy of that accident is persistent problems. But sometimes it’s your destiny too.’The young Lulu – born Marie Mc Donald Mc Laughlin Lawrie – was performing on stage at the age of 12, a ferocious and precocious talent.
‘It’s a recurring problem with my knee and lower back, but it also affects my neck and then my jaw,’ she says. By 15 she’d been signed to Decca Records and had moved away from home to live with her manager’s family in London.
‘If you’ve been jarred or bashed about it’s very hard for you to heal because the muscles have a memory and you will tend to lean in a certain way to stop any discomfort – which creates another discomfort.’It seems that although she’s still charging about on stage like Mick Jagger, this is only because of careful treatment. what’s the word, not irritable, more kind of restless,’ she says at one point. I think a lot of people do.’Interestingly, she feels her personality isn’t necessarily suited to being in the volatile music industry. ‘If you’re in the music industry you’re a gambler, and I never gamble. By 16 she was being asked, by Eric Clapton no less, what she was doing that evening. None of us had any idea what would happen.’ Would she sanction such a thing with her grandchildren? ’ Obviously the story of her early days in showbiz – hanging out with the Beatles, who saw her as a little sister, and taking career advice from Frank Sinatra – is the stuff of legend.
But obviously such a trauma as the crash didn’t help.
She talks about having post-traumatic stress disorder. She cites the early influence of her manager Marion Massey, who insisted Lulu stay with Marion’s mother when she moved to London.
‘Not as serious as our soldiers have, but I do have an anxious post-traumatic stress. Marion had been an opera singer before finding her way into the pop scene.
In between there was a jaw-dropping fling with David Bowie (who had unforgettable thighs, apparently) and a more recent ‘thing’ with Take That star Jason Orange, who’s 22 years her junior, when she recorded with the band. It comes as a shock, then, to discover that she spent her early life craving convention – even if it brought her only heartache.
‘I was programmed to think that the answer to life was a white picket fence and three children, you know, the happy-ever-after.