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Bananarama / Really Saying Something: New memoir by Sara and Keren

Two-thirds of Bananarama tell the story of the group

Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward tell the story of Bananaramma in Really Saying Something, a new memoir due out in October. A limited number of signed copies are available.

The book tells the story of how the two best friends arrived at the YWCA in London in the early 1980s, with their sights set on careers in journalism and the media. But with a vibrant social scene (!) and a chance meeting with former Sex Pistol Paul Cook, things changed. Working from Malcolm McLaren’s old office, they started rehearsing and singing backing vocals for Paul’s new band, before teaming up with Sara’s college friend Siobhan, and forming their own group.

The rest, as they say, is (pop) history as the girls become one of the most successful female bands of all time.

The publishers say that Really Saying Something is the story of “two friends who continue to pursue their dreams their way – and have a great time doing it.”

The book is being published by Penguin imprint Cornerstone and will be out on 29 October 2020. Signed copies available via Waterstones in the UK.

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Dallin, Sara

Really Saying Something

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51 responses to Bananarama / Really Saying Something: New memoir by Sara and Keren

  1. Jeremy says:

    When’s Shakespear’s Sister’s ‘Really Saying Something Different’ coming out?

  2. Ron says:

    Awesome! Ordered my copy!

  3. HS says:

    Thanks, I ordered the signed copy.

  4. madman says:

    Even though I’m really excited about this, I’ll wait for the reviews to come in first. As much as I love Bananarama, I’m not interested in a bio that glosses over the bad times or skips things that they find embarassing. Hopefully this isn’t one of those.

  5. Mark says:

    The whole ‘girls were difficult to work with’ thing stemmed from the fact they didn’t take cr*p from anyone, were fiercely independent and strong minded and shared songwriting duties even with PWL stuff. But what is equally great about them is that they can look at their back catalogue and be very critical about what they did do and mistakes made along the way. Just been playing their WOW album. Its a period piece with the backing track music but I still stand by the fact that ‘I Heard A Rumour’ is a top notch class song.

    • Chris Squires says:

      That’s a universal issue for the ladies though. I am no feminist, not by a long stretch but I do understand why they get hacked off. Bloke “A” does something and he is standing up for his rights or making a point or letting people know where he stands. Woman “B” does exactly the same thing and she is being “difficult” or a “Diva”. So three girls just saying “No” to unwanted ideas is seen as difficult.

      Going right back to 1977 when the discussions over what to release as Kate Bush’s first single took place you can see in the interviews with Bob Mercer that he wasn’t going to let a girl tell him what to do. He acquiesced, but there was an element that they almost wanted Wuthering Heights to fail so the pushy girl (megalomaniac in Kate’s own words) would be put back in her box and the men who knew better would be back in charge. It might be harsh on Bob today, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an element of that back in the day.

      Still, it’s a girls world now, or so I am lead to believe. Could be wrong. If it is so, all of these wonderful artists are owed a debt of gratitude.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        It’s interesting, I think Tori Amos had the same thing. I haven’t read her book yet (got my signed copy!) but if you read my interview with Chris Hughes he was a ‘backroom boy’ brought in to try and help out with some of Little Earthquakes (via Ian Stanley). Chris is a lovely guy and would genuinely try his best to help shape and structure a song (as he did with Tears For Fears) but from Tori’s point of view it was like ‘I don’t need all these men to tell me how my music should sound’ and I’m not sure she was overly thrilled…

  6. Denny says:

    Ordered the signed copy!!! Cannot wait. I hope we get all the dirt and not just rehashed stories of yore. I want to know everything!! Sex, drugs, and Robert DeNiro!! Haha..

    I do miss Siobhan terribly, but I’m still super stoked.

    Denny

  7. Nico says:

    Technically, it’s one-half, not two thirds as Bananarama is: KEREN, SARA, JACQUIE & SIOBHAN. Order the book! It’s gonna be a great read!

  8. Harry Maxted says:

    Many thanks, ordered.
    Praise be! Waterstones (and SDE) will ship to Australia.

  9. Adolfo says:

    any chance that they’ll record an audio version of the book?

    just imagine:

    karen: sarah, we’re supposed to talk about the brit awards performance now….. (sips drink)

    sarah: (sips drink) ehhh…….if they want to know about it they should buy the bloody book we wrote!!! now pass the bottle……

    :-)

  10. Wayne Nevin says:

    Thanks Paul, just ordered a signed copy! Used PayPal and it worked fine.

  11. James says:

    Absolutely cannot wait for this

  12. Mad Hütter says:

    Am I wrong when I say that it was Terry Hall’s FB3 who paved the way for the Girls massively? I mean “It ain’t what you do” put Bananarama in the Spotlight, and in return FB3 were part of “Really Saying Something”. I wonder what would have happened without this help.

    • Michael says:

      Terry Hall saw Bananarama in The Face magazine after their first single Aie Mwana was released. The single was successful enough to attract London Records to sign them. He also co wrote Our Lips Are Sealed for GoGos which also helped them. Considering Bananarama’s 10 uk top 10 hits, they also wrote other hits for other acts & Siobian Fahey was also able to create another successful act. I hope they are candid & detailed in the book.

    • Wayne says:

      It was indeed. Think FB3 helped them massively in the beginning. Without that, who knows. They had already released a single l believe but it had pretty much bombed.

    • Ern says:

      You are correct there. It was their first big hit in 1982 but they had released a single the year before, “Aie a Mwana”, that reached No 92.

      I think they would have eventually reached the success they obtained anyway through the usual multiple media outlets that was common back then because of their fun personalities. I don’t remember there being many other girl groups around that time hitting the charts other than The Belle Stars, so they would have received the exposure that brought them to pop fans attention anyway.

      Pop was fun back then. Looking forward to the book.

      • SimonP says:

        Anyone know the story of there being Really Sayin’ Somethin’ and Really Saying Something as separate releases on Discogs? Are these a flop and then hit reissue or were they concurrent releases with only the apostrophes (and B side) differentiating them?

        The one with no apostrophes seems to be regarded as the hit single…

  13. richard says:

    Another one to add to my lovely wife’s xmas list.

    Ordered she’ll love it.

  14. Jeremy Rance says:

    This is amazing news for long time devoted fans . Sounds brilliant at 368 pages in hardback . Hoping for tons of juicy gossip , the truth behind rumours and some personal pics.
    My only disappointment is that personal appearance book signings probably can’t take place even by October sadly
    Great news though . They always surprise fans and listen to what fans want

  15. Wayne says:

    Ordered via Waterstones. Loved them in the early days. Not so keen when they got tied up with Pete Waterman and his crew. Will be a good read no doubt.

    • Jamez says:

      Their time with SAW should make for some interesting reading! And hope we also get some hilarious French & Saunders stories.

      • Wayne says:

        Lost some credibility when they got in with SAW though. They were cool until then.

        • Mark says:

          Are “cred” and “cool” still things? I thought props had given up on those 80s fixations and just bought good tunes. These days – for the record, I thought the stuff SAW was fabulous – it was almost like they were selling out to wind up people who thought in that way.

          • Wayne says:

            They did sell out, as you say. Lost their real fans then. Just ended up with a load of 14 year old boys and girls. The whole SAW project in general didnt produce one talented artist.

  16. Stephen says:

    Ordered if the story is as good as those they told on tour, it will be a brilliant read.

    40th anniversary next year!!!!

  17. Ray Oakley says:

    Thanks Paul, signed edition duly ordered from Waterstones!

  18. Kauwgompie says:

    I’m holding off till I’ve read a review (hint, hint). I’m always up for reading a good biography but there are good ones and not so good ones. The Bruce Springsteen one was excellent. The Keith Richards one was pretty good (not amazing but good) and the John Taylor and Andy Taylor ones were plain bad. Boring stuff, afraid to anger others, basically you are waiting for the juicy stuff that never comes. I never read the Andrew Ridgeley book because all reviews said it was pretty much like that, boring, predictable stuff, nothing much new. The insights of what life was like when they were at the top of their fame is nice but at the end of the day you quickly find out they are all regular people like you and I. I heard from someone who worked with Bananarama that they were difficult to deal with (in the 80’s). That would hopefully mean some interesting stories. They have been around long enough to write a deep and meaningful history of Bananarama, themselves and the music scene at the time so I have high hopes. Interesting that this is written by 2 people. I wonder if they talk as one person in the book or as two different women with two different opinions and recollections.

    • John McCann'. says:

      Bob Dylan chronicles that should be your next read mate!but take the sun,pie chapter with a pinch of salt!,

  19. Mike says:

    Cheers Paul. Ordered a signed copy

  20. John 79 says:

    Thanks for the heads up Paul, ordered the signed edition,
    Keep up the good work with your site,I’d be lost without it !

  21. Oswaldo Garcia says:

    The Paypal option doesnt work…

  22. Paul says:

    Love ’em. I have seen Bananarama a couple of times when it was just Sara and Keren, and again on the tour where Siobhan rejoined and they always put on a fun show. I met all three of them on that tour and they were all lovely. I have ordered a signed copy as it’s the same price as an unsigned one and is nice to have. I’m looking forward to reading their stories especially at the beginning before they became famous. I love a good rags to riches autobiography.

    • Ursula Dickerson says:

      Some folk always dig or make a joke about them, but look at the hits they wrote, the back catalogue they have, how they still perform for their diehard fans, still sell a lot of concert tickets and don’t relish in the spotlight or seek publicity – how often do you see them on reality shows or red carpets posing!! – if anything this will be a great insight and a lot of laughs about the trouble they got into.

  23. Russ T says:

    Britain’s greatest ever girlband – who invented ‘girl power’ without even thinking about it or mentioning it. Or even getting a shred of credit for it, either.
    And they’re still fabulous, as In Stereo proved last year – this promises to be a brilliant, juicy read, can’t wait.

    • Ursula Dickerson says:

      Great album – hope the book gives a good insight to all their albums and of course the Jacqui years stories – always wondered why she was there for one album, then gone!

    • RJS says:

      Girl Power was a slogan used by young female feminists in the 90s. Nothing to do with Bananarama.

      • Russ T says:

        EVERYTHING to do with Bananarama. Attacking and conquering the music industry, alone, without a male Svengali buying them airtime and hits, with a DIY thoroughly punk attitude in the 80s was absolutely about feminism. In the 80s, not that 90s. When females in music simply didn’t do that.
        Girl Power is an empty, meaningless 90s slogan probably created by a man. As I said, bona fide, gutsy girl power in music was just about invented by Bananarama. Certainly not by the 90s band who claim it as their own.

        • John says:

          Spot on Russ.

        • Hugh Hall says:

          I can’t help feeling you’re over egging the pudding a little. Yes Bananarama have released some great songs but don’t forget those who paved the way for them, The Slits. Debbie Harry. Siouxsie Sioux. Donna Summer. Diana Ross. And don’t forget that The Spice Girls were a global phenomenon who inspired girls in a way that Bananarama never did. The Spice Girls blatantly told girls they have the power to be whatever they want to be.

          • Jason says:

            Hugh, Spice Girls didn’t sell records on the back of saying Girl Power!! WTH – They made good music that appealed to the masses at the right time – Under 10’s and particularly the Gay audience loved them – me included – none of us were hollering Girl Power!! Its all about the right sound and look – Bananarama had it in the 80’s and can still make great pop music today!

        • lee bowler says:

          Nonsense, if you actually bothered to read any of the spice girls interviews they often gave credit to bananarama, Madonna etc, those that went before them to pave the way. Yes they had big mouths but hearts in the right places to say what mattered. Never assume a woman/women have a male puppet master, it’s so derogatory, And if you’re referring to Simon fuller, the girls had plenty of attitude before signing with 19 management and often told him to f#ck off

  24. Robert says:

    Cheers for the heads-up, Paul – instant order, and signed too!

  25. Kevin Henry says:

    Saw them last July in the Music in the Gardens in Sheffield last July on a warm Friday evening and they were realy good. It was hit after hit after hit. They came across really well. Think I’ll buy this on my Kindle.

  26. Dan says:

    They’re still gorgeous after all these years

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