I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan


... it is immediately obvious Chris is being totally open about his interest in Toyah. He was obsessed. He comes to terms with this easily enough as he grows up, which is what makes it all very touching, but without these admissions the book wouldn't have the power it has, or ever needed to have been written.

You'll enjoy this even if you never enjoyed Toyah because this should touch nerves and set off sparks in your own memory about who it is that had this effect for you. The way he found out about her, the treasuring of the records, the devouring of what scant info passed before him, the notion of feeling special for having made the discovery ... I loved the details of the gig memories, including the identical punk twins who were deaf. I saw them signing to each other at a few gigs. (Italian, weren't they?) I had no idea they were Toyah fans, but it makes sense. They had style. They're all in an alley outside a gig, excitement in the air...

This is a brilliant, and constantly enjoyable book ... To have that era brought to life, with details from within a group of the most dedicated followers is more than merely interesting and is precisely what the subject actually requires.

Mick Mercer, November 2011 - read full review here.

... a very unusual musical memoire. Even though it has a lot to say about Toyah herself, mainly in the early 80s, it is not a rock star 'biography' ... It is about a teenager growing up in the 80s....

If you are, or were, a Toyah fan, this book will obviously have a special appeal for you. But you don't have to be fixated on Toyah to enjoy it. In many respects [the] book is a description of a common experience: the vague yearning dissatisfaction of a teenager looking for something, just something to take him (or her) beyond the mundane – and finding that 'something' crystalized in a rock star. For 80s enthusiasts, the book has the added appeal of recalling so many of the defining elements of that decade in the UK...

Huw Collingbourne, 80s Empire, January 2012 - read full review here.

... boasts an endearing openness and captures the naive awe of youth ... an absorbing picture of the period. His obvious love of his subject matter makes it almost impossible to read his gathered thoughts, at times a bit wordy, without raising a smile.

Limb's recollections also have the bittersweet sting of nostalgia revisited through the eyes of one much older - a sentiment with which anyone old enough to remember the heydays of punk will empathise.

Liam Rudden, Edinburgh Evening News, 9 February 2012 - read full review here.


I'd like to thank Bob for raiding his diaries for some of the exact details I wouldn't otherwise have been able to recall unaided. I'd like to thank Tes for encouragement, comments and suggestions.

I'd also like to thank Craig at the Official Toyah Willcox Web Site and David at the Dreamscape fan site for their feedback and promotion of this work and also to the other Toyah fans and inhabitants of Twitter and Facebook for making appreciative noises throughout.

Finally and most importantly I'd like to thank Toyah herself, without whom this would not only be impossible but also pretty pointless.

The opinions expressed in this memoir are those of my younger, more naive self. They do not necessarily coincide with my current opinions and are in no way representative of the views of Toyah or any members of her entourage past, present, future or in a parallel universe.

Thanks to the following photographers:

Gerard Mcnamara
Mick Mercer
Jay Myrdal
Barry Plummer
Pete Riches
Dean Stockings

© 2011 Chris Limb