Long before she hit paydirt by marrying renowned tree whisperer and Three Degrees fan, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles had a couple of other strings to her bow.
Her long-standing role as Audrey Roberts, the glamorous hairdresser in ITV's Coronation Street, is well documented, but her brief dalliance with hard rock has been hushed up by an embarrassed Royal Family.
|In Character As Corrie's Coiffeuse|
The year was 1981, a difficult time for the Duchess-in-waiting as she watched the man she loved marry another woman for no other reason than her face looked better on the souvenir tea towels and shortbread tins that otherwise sane individuals would buy by the truckload that year. Oh, okay, one other reason: she was already married to some bloke. People do crazy things for love, but how many have gone so far off the rails that they have formed a melodic hard rock supergroup with John Oates of Hall & Oates fame and Manowar's Scott Columbus (R.I.P.) in a desperate attempt to blot out the pain of a broken heart. How many? One: Camilla Parker Knoll. Clearly we can see from the album cover photo that Camilla, second right, is not a happy bunny.
Even in her disturbed state the future Mrs Wales had the presence of mind to disguise her appearance. The record-buying public and her fellow band members alike were blissfully unaware that the burly rocker was in fact a woman. The clues are there: the copious bingo wings, the studded choker hiding the non-existent adam's apple and the poorly strapped down puppies. Tracked down by husband Andrew to a seedy rehearsal space in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an emotional and confused Camilla returned to the U.K. and attempted to rebuild her life. Who knows what dizzying heights her band, USA, might have scaled if Camilla had remained 'unfound' because, contained on their sole LP, are ten fair to middling stabs at melodic rock, a couple of examples of which you can hear below. I suspect Camilla had a hand in writing Can't Get You Out Of My Mind.
It's been far too long since the Face Fungus-Ometer made an appearance and, quite frankly, I miss it. Don't expect a high score for USA in the facial hair department despite Scott and John's efforts, because, let's face it, they're at a disadvantage having a woman in the band.
A respectable five! A big thumbs up though to Scott and John for their 'tache and superhero leotard combination. Pure class!