It’s Super Bowl Sunday in the United States, but in the UK it’s another super “Sunday Lunch” with Robert Fripp and Toyah. This time around, the King Crimson guitarist and his singer wife have a little fun with the Jimi Hendrix Experience classic “Purple Haze”, incorporating rock’s most famous misheard lyric into their performance.
As she did last week for “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Toyah straps on a guitar for the Hendrix song. While Fripp is considered one of rock’s most innovative guitarists, Toyah is no Jimi Hendrix … or Robert Fripp, for that matter. But this is not an exercise in guitar histrionics, it’s an amusing take on an iconic rock song.
Compared to their recent “Sunday Lunch” covers, their take on “Purple Haze” is rather subdued, both in physicality and Toyah’s attire. Where it gets quirky is in the lyrics, as Toyah replaces the Hendrix line “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” with the often misheard “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” — all while leaning over to give Fripp a peck on the forehead.
The rock couple have gone viral over the past month or so with their “Sunday Lunch” lockdown series. Their cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is closing in on 5 million YouTube views, with most of the comments centered on Toyah’s revealing choice of attire rather than the fact that she was riding an exercise bike the whole time.
Their “Sunday Lunch” series first gained wide attention over Halloween weekend with a particularly odd rendition of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” that saw Toyah singing and dancing behind bars. That one even caught the attention of legendary Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who told us, “I think they’ve gone mad, actually. I think this lockdown has drove them mental.”
The YouTube performances have also thrust Toyah back into the spotlight. The singer had a string of hits in the UK as a new wave artist in the early ’80s, and is now earning a whole new legion of fans. In a new interview with The Guardian, the 62-year-old performer addressed the Metallica clip, saying, “We did the exercise bike in a rehearsal, and my top was completely see-through, which was a surprise.” She has a new album, titled Posh Pop, coming out in July.
Watch Robert and Toyah performing Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” below.