- - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Before the band Berlin exploded on MTV with a slew of highly stylish videos including “No More Words,” “The Metro,” “Sex (I’m A…)” and the Academy Award-winning No. 1 single, “Take My Breath Away,” charismatic lead singer Terri Nunn had to make a choice: acting or music? 

As a teenager Miss Nunn already had a slew of TV credits to her name, and she had even auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars.” But then Berlin songwriter and bassist John Crawford and keyboardist David Diamond asked Miss Nunn to audition in 1979, but to her, the timing seemed wrong. But she returned to the band in 1980, this time fully committed. 

When the original lineup dissolved in 1987, Miss Nunn soldiered on in a solo career, which she maintained until 2016, which sees Miss Nunn coming full circle and touring with her version of Berlin, while at the same time working on a new album with the original lineup.

The reuniting trio spoke exclusively to The Washington Times about getting the band back together.

Question: Terri, how did you come to join Berlin?

Terri Nunn: John started the band in 1977 with Toni Childs. She went solo in 1979, and that was when I auditioned. Previously I had been doing television.

I wanted to try the music thing, but I was scared. The casting director for this new show “Dallas” brought me in to audition. The producers were there and said, “Do you want to do this part?” I really wanted to do music, so I turned down the role that then went to Charlene Tilton. My agent said, “Are you out of your [expletive] mind?! It’s a huge project and it’s going to be a hit!”

He was so mad, he dropped me. Then I had nothing, and nothing to lose. After that I met John.

Q: What is the strangest gift a fan as ever given you?

TN: Once I got a Terri Nunn voodoo doll. With pins! For when I wanted to stick myself.

Q: How did the reunion between you three come about?

TN: It started at the end of last year. John was going through a divorce. While going through that, he started writing like a madman. At the same time, David Diamond’s partner left David. Then Derek, my creative partner for my last album, called me and said, “I’m going back to the church. I can no longer write with you. Berlin is about sex.”

I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then David was just there.

David Diamond: I live near Reno. I saw the band was coming through, so I contacted Terri and said, “I want to come and see you. Can I bring six friends along?” Terri said, “Sure. If you come up onstage and play a song, I’ll get your six friends in.” We did that and had a great time. We did it a few more times.

Then we got John to come down and hang out. We started thinking about new stuff.

Q: What is it like to reconnect after all these years?

DD: For me, personally, it is absolutely exactly the same. It feels just like it did when we started working on “Pleasure Victim.” The only difference is we’re a lot more mature than we were 35 years ago. We have a greater respect for one another as human beings. Which helps.

Q: Any trepidation making music again?

John Crawford: There was a lot of fear.

DD: Huge fear. We had a lot of heart-to-heart conversations about whether or not we knew how to do it again. I’ve told John and Terri this a number of times: I’m not good without them. I hear the structure of a song John comes up with, and my brain starts firing with ideas. I hear Terri’s voice on the finished track in my brain before we even record.

TN: I love being inspired by new music. The most exciting thing I do is collaboration, working with exciting people. A chance to join forces and see what happens is brilliant. That’s what keeps me going.

Q: How far along in the process are you guys?

TN: We have six songs done. We can’t even keep up with John. He’s written 30 more.

JC: When it comes to songwriting, I go really fast. As a joke David texted me at 11:30 one morning and asked me to write a song based on a title he came up with. I texted him at 4pm that same day and said, “It’s done.”

Q: What do the songs sound like?

JC: They sound just like Berlin. All that comes out of us is us. We’re not capable of being anything else.

DD: We are not actually making it sound like Berlin. It just happens to sound like us because it is us. It’s the songwriting structure, the sounds.

Q: When will the album will be out?

TN: We’re shooting for late spring [of 2017] because we are willing to tour together.

JC: I certainly would love to.

DD: The important thing to realize is there is a Berlin now that is touring. John and I are contributing some songwriting, and we hope to create something great. At that point in time, if it make sense for the two of us to join the Berlin already in progress, we will tour.

Q: Terri, looking back, are you relieved you didn’t get the part in “Star Wars”?

TN: So Relieved. None of this (Berlin) would have ever happened. In those days actors didn’t cross over. You were one or the other. My mom was the only one who said, “You gotta try this music thing. You’ll regret it if you don’t.”

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