Q&A: The Spice Girls - Rolling Stone
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Q&A: The Spice Girls

The British fivesome on the heels of their number-one hit ‘Wannabe’

The Spice Girls

The pop rock singing group, The Spice Girls, pose for a group portrait during a studio session in New York City, February 1st, 1997.

Ann Summa/Liaison/Getty

Once upon a time, there were five little girls. All held jobs in England, where they were each assigned very hazardous duties. But a manager took them away from all that. Now they work for themselves. Their name is the Spice Girls. Otherwise known as Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell, the British fivesome scored a No. 1 hit in more than 30 countries with its single “Wannabe,” which boasts the immortal line, “I really really really wanna zigga zig ah!” Well put!

What’s the best Spice Girls rumor? I read that you like to streak in hotel lobbies.
Emma: Three of us have, me included. We’ve never done it in a lobby. It’s just been a good laugh. Run around. Feel a bit free.
Mel B.: That I had three in a bed. I didn’t!
Geri: That Geri’s got small boobs. Ha.
Victoria: As far as we’re concerned, any press is good press.

What do you always bring with you on tour?
Emma: Hair bands for my pigtails.
Mel C.: Trainers for me little jog in the morning to keep me fit.
Victoria: My hair straighteners.
Geri: My skipping rope, so I can train and tie people up. My electric toothbrush. That’s got a dual purpose as well.

For those lonely nights?
Geri: Exactly. And you don’t have to say you love it in the morning.

What’s the biggest difference between Brits and Americans?
Emma: Americans are glad when people do well. In England, as soon as they bring you up, they bring you back down. It’s quite upsettin’.
Mel C: Americans are more open and friendly. They say, “Have a nice day!” and it’s like, “D’you really care?”
Mel B.: Americans can be very false with their feelings.

What special talent do each of you possess that your fellow Spice Girls do not?
Emma: I’ve got a really high voice.
Victoria: Wearing short skirts while dancing to a manic routine without showing your knickers or looking indecent is a talent, as far as I’m concerned.
Mel B.: I’m a drummer. And I write spiritual poetry.
Geri: I can go on and on, and talk about absolutely anything to anyone.

What’s the best thing about fame?
Emma: We do actually get into clubs for nothing. That’s quite a good thing.
Victoria: I get a reduction on Gucci in London. I’m pleased with that.
Geri: That you can make a difference in the world. You know when people blame society? We are society. I heard that on one of those talk shows, and I thought, “That’s really profound.”

What’s the worst song in the world?
Victoria: “Love Shack,” by the B-52s. Without a doubt. I’d say it to their face.
Mel B.: “Ooh Aah … Just a Little Bit,” by Gina G. I hate that fucking song. 
Geri: Sometimes the worst ones are the best. They’re so bad, they’re good.

What comes to mind when I mention the video shoot for “Wannabe”?
Emma: We recorded it about 10 to 15 times, so I think we all lost quite a bit of weight that day.
Mel C.: How cold it was [laughs]. It was really cold and we had them little tops on! [Slyly] Can’t you tell?

I’m assuming you mean the breast situation. Much has been made of the state of your coldness, actually.
Mel C.: The video got banned in parts of Southeast Asia because of the … because it was cold [laughs].

What has been the highlight of your career as a Spice Girl thus far?
Emma: I’ve always wanted to come to America ever since I was a baby. We landed in L.A. – I literally stared out the car window the whole way to our hotel.
Victoria: If you can make somebody else smile and forget about their worries for a minute or whatever.

What do you like least in a man?
Emma: I hate a macho sort who doesn’t cry. They have to be a bit sensitive, don’t they?
Mel C : Laziness.
Victoria: Bad shoes. People think they can put a nice suit on and wear a grotty pair of shoes and it’s Ok.
Mel B.: Pretending to be something you’re not.
Geri: A massive ego infuriates me. It really does.

What’s the worst pickup line you’ve ever gotten?
Emma: “Do you come here often?” Awful.
Victoria: I was at a pub, and somebody said, “I like your clothes. They’d look good on my bedroom floor.” You can tell what kind of pubs I hang out in.
Mel B.: One guy said to me, “You’re really, really beautiful. Can I take you out?” Oh, right.
Geri: “I want you to meet my mother.” And that was in a disco. I thought, “Oh, my God”.

What’s the strangest thing a fan has given you?
Emma: The other day in Spain, a boob tube was thrown on the stage.

Someone threw a TV?
Emma: It’s a top that goes across your boobies.

We call them tube tops.
Emma: It was all dirty. They also throw smelly socks. Maybe they want you to put them on.
Mel C.: You know what’s strange? When they give you presents, they’re not new. If you get a teddy bear, it’s smelly.
Mel B.: I get a lot of peace signs. That’s what I write on my autograph. You know, the circle and then the three dashes in it?
Geri: I actually gave a fan a pair of my hot pants. And I get trashy jewelry. But I’m quite trashy meself. Victoria: D’you know what? I don’t get many presents. It’s really unfair. All the other girls have a country that they’re the favorites in. Emma’s a favorite in Japan, Mel C. is in Spain, Mel B. is in France. Me, I don’t seem to be a favorite anywhere. Maybe America might quite like me. I keep my fingers crossed. 

In This Article: Coverwall, Spice Girls


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