Paul Young: ‘I could be talked into backpacking in Vietnam or Thailand’

I love going to the US because so much of the music I listen to comes from there

Even though it’s quite developed, in many ways it’s still a young country, so it’s got that slightly wild feel about it. When I was touring there a few years ago, my first few shows were dotted along the California coast. I hadn’t been there for 15 years, so instead of being on the tour bus, we hired a car and stayed in really cheap motels, getting a true taste of America again.

Strangely enough, I’ve never done a concert in Greece, and I’ve never been there on holiday, but a friend of mine asked if I wanted to sail the Greek islands with him

I said: “Just tell me when – I’m in!” I’ve sailed on the British coast, and when the winds are going and the yacht’s tipping sideways at some rakish angle, it’s pretty scary.

I’ve also never been to Vietnam or Thailand, but I could definitely be talked into backpacking there

I used to be an exuberant performer, which led to several accidents, including falling off the stage in Australia. I knocked my ribs out of position and my organs were starting to shift. I had to have a chiropractor on tour with me who would push my ribs into position every time I came off stage. He was a swami and he tried to get me to take herbal painkillers. After three days, I went back on the ones I’d been prescribed that could stun an elephant.

My last big UK tour was with Cher

When she works, she really works, so I didn’t see her until the last day. It’s nice to play the big British venues, and at this point in my life, whether I’m playing a little club with my band, Los Pacaminos, or a place such as the O2, I’m fairly adaptable.

Interview by Shelley Rubenstein

Paul Young headlines the Essential 80s tour beginning in Sept 2022, which also features T’Pau and Hue and Cry. Tickets available from Paul will also be on tour with Go West in May 2022, and his new album will be released early next year

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