Psychedelic Furs: John Hughes got the wrong end of the stick with Pretty In Pink

·3-min read

Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler has said that John Hughes got “the wrong end of the stick” when he named one of his films after their song Pretty In Pink.

The new wave singer, 64, said the 1986 cult classic had been a “double-edged sword” as it had introduced them to a new audience but alienated some early fans.

The film starred Molly Ringwald and Harry Dean Stanton and is often referred to as one of the “Brat Pack” films alongside The Breakfast Club.

Butler said the song Pretty In Pink was actually about a wayward girl and that its title referred to her nakedness, while Hughes had taken it to literally mean a pink dress.

However, Butler was more complimentary of director Luca Guadagnino’s use of their song Love My Way in his recent film Call Me By Your Name, starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

He told the PA news agency: “I thought that was great. It could have almost been a long-form video for that song in terms of paralleling the meaning of it.

“Other things like Pretty In Pink, John Hughes – God rest his soul – kind of got the wrong end of the stick with that song.

“He made it to be literally about a girl that was wearing a pink dress and it wasn’t about that at all. It was about a rather unfortunate girl.

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer
Call Me By Your Name stars Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“Me saying pretty in pink meant somebody who is naked. It was a metaphor and he got the wrong end of the stick.

“Given that, the movie did us a lot of good. It was a double-edged sword because it increased our audience but a lot of people that were the darker set of our fans thought: ‘It’s a ‘Brat Pack’ movie scene now and we are not really into that.’”

Butler also revealed that Hughes offered him the starring role in a film about the Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani after discovering his love of art.

He added: “I did hang out with John Hughes and he was showing me some clips from another movie he had done, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

“He was talking about this part when they were walking around the Chicago art museum and I was calling out the paintings as he passed them.

“And he said ‘Wow, have you ever wanted to be in a movie?’ and I said ‘Not particularly’ and he said ‘I’m thinking about doing a film about Modigliani and you would be good in that role’.

“I thought, ‘Well that’s very strange’ and I didn’t think much more about it and nothing ever more was said about it.”

The Psychedelic Furs, who formed in 1977, have released their first album in 29 years, Made Of Rain, and are due to tour the UK in April and May 2021.

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