So I went to see Steve Fargnoli in his office just off the Kings Road, to ask if he had any suggestions. I know it might seem a bit close for comfort seeking direction from Prince’s actual manager, but Steve was wise, knowledgable, great fun guy, generous in every way.  We hung out a lot socially at that time, he was Italian /American and had that great joy of life which that particular combination of backgrounds brings to the table. Sadly he passed away some years later and I still miss him.  Anyway on this particular day in his office, he handed me a cassette he had been sent and said maybe these guys would be suitable for the new project.  He was considering managing them but couldn’t make up his mind.

When I got home I played the cassette to Penelope.  She was just as obsessed with music as I am, had shown an unerring instinct for spotting the next big thing and I already trusted her instinct.  We both thought the music on the tape was amazing.  Life was about to take another completely new turn.

Neither of us had heard of this little 2 piece band from Manchester called “Creed” but could tell immediately that they were also huge fans of Prince. The singer sang in a sweet, high falsetto voice and the grooves were funky and brilliant.  I could see why Steve couldn’t decide on managing them, but for me, they had exactly the sound I was looking for. There were just the two of them and they did everything, writing, playing and producing their music.  I was impressed enough to contact them.  Danny and William. They came down to London to see me at the Mews and I really liked them immediately. They were warm and genuine and we had the same humor and it just felt right.

The alchemy was coming together.

Penelope and I went for a long weekend to Paris to visit an American friend who was living there. We hung out in the fading October sunshine, walking in Saint Germain, eating in chic restaurants and generally basking in the joy of our new found love in that romantic city.

One evening we were sitting eating in an obscure, ancient looking brasserie and found ourselves next to the German actor Helmut Berger. This was a man of such staggering beauty back in the day, an actor whose looks had seduced men and women of all ages and mesmerised audiences in the film The Damned. He was much older now and the looks were fading, but there was that imperceptible something about him that made heads turn even when not sure why. As Berger sat there that evening with his equally beautiful and elegant companion, talking animatedly, eating with great pleasure and laughing with real joy, they seemed to represent all that I envisaged with this new band.  Decadence, sensuality and a joy of life worth living.  It didn’t matter if it wasn’t about youth, as long as it reflected idealism, enthusiasm and huge positivity.  And lyrically, I had so much more to say than when I was in my 20’s. There was so much more now to write about, a whole life time of experience wrapped around the spark that makes it Rock and Roll.

Penelope and I talked long into the night about this theme, long after Berger had paid his bill and left. It was an inspirational evening and was to be the start of a lyrical collaboration between Penelope -- already a writer -- and myself.

The following day we sat outside a cafe in the fashionably elegant Rue St Honore putting together an outline for the first song called “What do you know?”.  It seemed very appropriate that we should be writing the first song for the band on that particular street, surrounded by a throng of stylish beauty as we bounced ideas off each other.  I ponder now, thinking about that day and the way the lyrics just fell into place, is it always like this when the writer finds the muse?  Magenta was undoubtedly the muse for Sputnik. For this band, this part of the journey, it would be Penelope. This was not a position she particularly desired, but as Magenta had found, there was no escaping my intensity and fanaticism.  If you were with me and it was right, that was the way it was. It’s just who I am and I can do it no other way.