At the height of 80s pop star Sheena Easton’s American success, newspapers reported on a drag tribute act planned for the clubs of her native Glasgow.
Fans of Drag Race might ask: was there a Family Resemblance?
The drag queen impersonating Sheena and singing her biggest hits was former husband Sandi Easton. Couldn’t have looked more like her if he’d been an identical twin!🤪
Sheena met Sandi after writing the singer and dancer a fan letter at 19. Sandi was a popular star on the Glasgow club scene. Sheena was a pretty girl with a good voice. But within months of their marriage, Sheena was the star.
She’d successfully auditioned for a BBC documentary film chronicling the rise of a relative unknown to pop music stardom. TV cameras followed her everywhere, and EMI records signed her to a contract.
Morning Train (Nine to Five)
Soon, Sheena was both TV and pop star with not one but two songs in the charts: Modern Girl and 9 to 5 (renamed Morning Train (Nine to Five) in the US to avoid confusion with the Dolly Parton song of the same name).
Sheena soon departed for the US and pop success. Her career included a James Bond theme song and a duet with Prince.
Sandi Easton and Glasgow were consigned to the past. Sandi said later that despite keeping his name, his ex-wife cut off all contact.
“With her being so materially successful, the pressures became enormous in our relationship.
“She would ask what I thought of her voice, and if I was technical and told her, she would say, `How dare you criticise me?’
“She had got her big opportunity and was all over the place with excitement. Maybe I just got in the way.
“I have no contact with Sheena now, and only had for a short time after we broke up. She then told me in a letter, `Don’t you dare contact me again’.”
Broke, unemployed, and an alcoholic, Sandi moved in with Mum and Dad.
The ultimate drag tribute show
Article from Jun 22, 1986 The Sunday People (London, London, England)
However, in the mid-80s, Sandi got his mojo back and planned a return to the stage – in drag! Originally, he planned to impersonate divas like Madonna and Barbra Streisand.
But then inspiration struck.
Cue music from Gypsy…
You gotta get a gimmick, if you wanna get ahead…
Sandi would impersonate his former wife — no Streisand or Madonna — but he’d never married either of them.
The wannabe drag star took makeup lessons at a local beauty salon, posed for publicity pics tarted up as his ex, and gave newspaper interviews about the planned shows.
Did the shows go ahead?
No one seems to know.
If so, no newspaper bothered to send a writer or photographer.
Sandi suffered from alcoholism and depression for the remainder of his life and lived with his parents in a ‘dingy, rented council house’ until their deaths. His own body lay undiscovered in the same house for three days in 1998.
Sheena Easton continues to perform gigs in Las Vegas, at US Pride festivals and at occasional concerts in venues around the world.
Sheena Easton – 9 to 5 (Morning Train)
Prince – U Got The Look
For Your Eyes Only – Sheena Easton
More 80s Hits & Memories:
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