Mandy Smith – I Just Can’t Wait
They said I'd be used
Lost and confused
They'll never see you the way that I do
And I'll go along with all that you want me to.
I just can't wait to see you
Life can reserve unexpected things and unthinkable crossroads. Things can happen sooner or later, and some people seem more prone than others to these twists and turns of fate. And sometimes someone’s whole life can be conditioned by a particular episode or factor. Among the many factors that can influence us positively or negatively, there are certainly beauty and sensuality, especially when they seem to defy the laws of time. Today it is quite common to see women whose beauty and body fitness really seem to never fade away, but in the 80s it was quite strange to see the opposite, that is a young girl with the beauty and sensuality of an adult woman.
This was probably the factor that conditioned the life of Mandy Smith, a London girl from the Tottenham area who in 1984 at the age of thirteen went to an audition with her older sister. And on that occasion she met, and impressed, none other than Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones bassist, who was thirty-four years older. Wyman stated that he could not believe that this beautiful, tall, blue-eyed and very sensual woman was actually a girl of only thirteen.
In short, Wyman, who certainly had not lacked encounters and experiences during his career, fell madly in love with her, and the two got together. There was a small detail: Mandy was a minor, because in England the Age of Consent was sixteen, and so the two had to wait almost three years before making their relationship official.
In any case, Bill was obviously the gateway to the world of music for Mandy, who was able to win the artistic esteem of another very famous character, Pete Burns, the brilliant and transgressive frontman of Dead or Alive. Pete introduced Mandy to the producers who had created the success of Dead or Alive and You Spin Me Round, namely Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and especially Pete Waterman, who began working to launch Mandy Smith into the music business.
And here we are in the month of January 1987: Mandy has turned sixteen a few months earlier, and has made her story with Wyman official. It’s a delicate moment for Pete Waterman: he has just created his own production company, PWL (Pete Waterman Limited), where Stock and Aitken also work, and therefore he is looking for the first records to launch on his own. And the choice falls precisely on Mandy Smith, for whom the three producers have created a cover of a song from the 60s with the title Terry.
At the last minute, however, they changed their minds and decided to launch a song, entitled I Just Can’t Wait, whose lyrics seem to allude to the personal stories of Mandy and Bill, even if the three producers have always denied. Mandy’s voice, in her first experience as a singer, is supported by Irish singer Suzanne Rhatigan. And so on January 19, 1987 the song came out, and Mandy Smith’s singing career began.
I Just Can’t Wait wasn’t successful in Great Britain at first: Mandy Smith was a discussed character, she wasn’t much loved even by teenagers, and the song didn’t enter the charts. In the following months, however, Stock, Aitken and Waterman prepare a much more danceable version to be exported to the discos of the Balearic Islands where the English boys will go to spend their holidays and get high, a bit like in the lyrics of Club Tropicana by Wham! This version will be incredibly successful, and when the boys come back from vacation, Mandy Smith and I Just Can’t Wait will also be a huge hit.
From here, fate will prepare other crossroads: Stock, Aitken and Waterman will write other songs for Mandy, including Positive Reaction, but will also launch other artists. For example, after I Just Can’t Wait the second song they released under the PWL label was Kylie Minogue’s I Should Be So Lucky, at the end of that same year.
In 1988 an entire album titled Mandy will be released, where however it is necessary to leverage covers and collaborations. In fact, on the album, Mandy will sing a dance cover of Duel by Propaganda and later also of Don’t You Want Me by the Human League. Among the collaborators on the album, we find an unusual name, Dick Spatsley, who is none other than the great Rick Astley, perhaps the greatest artist produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman.
However, things are not going very well for Mandy, who has been suffering from anorexia for some time. In 1989 she will marry Bill Wyman, but their happy days will last very little, and two years later all will end in a divorce.
A few years later, however, fate will cross their paths again, because Bill Wyman’s first son will even marry Mandy Smith’s mother, in an entanglement of relationships that is difficult to classify. Had Mandy and Bill still been married, Bill Wyman would have been both son-in-law and father-in-law to Mandy Smith’s mom at the same time! Even Mandy would have been simultaneously either a daughter and a mother-in-law to her own mum! I would say that perhaps this means too many crossings for a girl of just over twenty!
Mandy Smith on Wikipedia