What DIVA Means To Me by Steve Gayler


Eurythmics were part of my life as a young boy, my father introduced me to In The Garden when I was 11 years old, and something about the music struck me as being different about the music from Dave and Annie than the other fodder being served on the radio.  My Dad was and still is a Motown man at heart, but has always admired Annie’s voice.


In 1991, through an interesting sequence of events, I was asked to write an article for Record Collector magazine, bringing their previous article 8 years before up to date.  The issue was published in January 1992, a few months before DIVA was to be released.


A few things happened while I was researching the feature, firstly I was actually living away from home at university in Liverpool, I was living in one of the roughest places, and constantly had the threat of being burgled or mugged hanging over me.  I survived, unlike the poor kid who was murdered outside my front door. 


I sought comfort in my music, although I was in the middle of the Indie music scene from Manchester and Liverpool, and loved every second of it, Eurythmics music still gave me that sense that everything was going to be OK.  The music helped me when student life wasn’t quite taking the right turns and the passing of my Grandpa while I was awy from home were all events that I can pinpooint to a piece of Eurythmics music that helped.  I still find huge comfort in the words in Angel when thinking of anyone who has left this world. No Fear No Hate No Pain (ha, but yeah, plenty of broken hearts though!)


As part of my research into the feature for Record Collector, I was given the rare opportunity of gaining access to the complete RCA archives at their head office in Putney, a few members of the press team there who were working with Dave Stewart And The Spiritual Cowboys, were incredibly kind and generous to me.  I spent 3 days there researching, reading and absorbing all the press articles and archives they had. Then on the last day, one of the team said, Steve, we’ve got something to play to you.


That track was Why?  I sat in the office absolutely numb, I had never imagined being able to hear a track before other fans, I felt so privileged, and yet sad that it seemed that Annie no longer needed Dave.  I listen to Why today and relive that moment where all the rumours that D&A were no longer speaking or getting on became real in my head and the reality hit.


Roll on a few months, and a few days before the album was released, a package arrived at my house, it was the LP, the CD, the VHS and a promo tape of DIVA, and a sweet note from RCA thanking me for the feature in Record Collector, and they in fact had updated their own records based on what I had written.  The note also said, Annie wasn’t sure how people were going to receive the album and she was quite nervous about it. 


The next few hours were spent listening and listening and listening again.  My first play was on vinyl, it just had to be, there was no way of fast forwarding or skipping a track.  I was immediately consumed by the whole album.  I felt special, i thought Annie was singing to me (How many of us feel like that, go on be honest).  Her words seemed to so appropriate, the music so classy, and nothing how I really imagined it was going to be like.  I then felt sad again, thinking of what this really meant for Eurythmics in the  future, i couldnt contemplate that was the end, so never dwelled on that thought ever again, and to this date, I never will believe that its not possible Dave and Annie will one day record together again.


DIVA today is still very much part of my life and istening pleasure, I can go a few months without listening to it, then I have to listen to it every day, its part of my soul, its woven into me, just like so many other D&A tracks, but no single album can I relate to in the same way as I can with DIVA.


Perhaps the other track that had the most impact on me was Precious, but only 10 years ago when my first daughter was born.  I was fairly sure that I wasn’t ready to have children, something my wife new long before we were married, but things change, priorities change, and felt that life wasn’t really going anywhere.


Without going into the details, we had some terrible times trying to have a baby but on 6th November 2002, our beautiful baby girl Elizabeth was born.


These words meant so much to me at the time, and still do today:


precious little angel
tell me how can it be true
that such a gift from heaven
has been sent for me and you
precious little angel
don’t you worry don’t you cry
when this bad old world has crumbled
i’ll be standing at your side
i was lost until you came


DIVA has touched so many people in so many different ways, and the stories people have shared over the last 30 days have been incredibly touching, moving and emotional.


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for taking part, for the kind words that have been sent to me about the website, and the archives we are building.


And to sign off this 20 year celebration, I thought we’d finish the same way DIVA does.


Keep Young & Beautiful.


Steve G