Johnny Hates Jazz reveal the real reason they split up and what got them back together

Virgin Radio

2 Apr 2024, 14:11

Clark Datchler, Steve Denyer and Mike Nocito at Virgin Radio Studios

Credit: Virgin Radio

Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito of Johnny Hates Jazz have revealed what really happened when the band originally broke up in 1992. 

The synth-pop stars had major success with their 1987 smash hit Shattered Dreams, which was a number five hit in the UK. They followed that up with I Don’t Want to Be a Hero and Turn Back the Clock with Kim Wilde. 

Despite climbing the charts together, Johnny Hates Jazz, then made up of Nocito, Datchler, Calvin Hayes and Phil Thornalley, broke up in 1992, and during the latest My 80s Playlist on Virgin Radio 80s Plus, Clark and Mike went into the details of what happened. 

Clark told host Steve Denyer: “It was a very inopportune moment. We just had a number to hit in the US and the world was our oyster. But I think I was very affected by some of the criticism we received in the UK.

“In the rest of the world, we didn’t have that criticism. In the UK, 99 percent of the time, we had a very positive reaction, but there were some quarters of the music journalism world that were very unkind to us. I took that very personally.”

He continued: “It was unnecessary, I was young and I thought I was prepared for all that kind of thing, but actually it affected me much more. I was unhappy with the way our record label were selling us.”

Clark then decided to “jump ship” because he thought Johnny Hates Jazz and everything he loved about it would be “hard to salvage” but has since described that decision as “stupid.”

“As much as I celebrate my life since then, and I certainly do in my experience - the good, the bad and everything in between - what you’ve got to do at that time, especially if you're in a band, is you got to pull together and find a way through it because everyone's experiencing a similar thing from their own perspective.”

Speaking about the potential reasons behind the often frosty relationship between JHJ and the press at the time, Mike added: “We were a little bit different than all the other bands. We were not clique-y. We were kind of separate from them, so we didn't like it when we were we had to….now we were a boy band. We were never a boy band. 

“When we were associated and put into that bracket by some of these journalists, it was kind of like, well, no, that's not us.”

You can listen to Virgin Radio 80 Plus HERE. You can also listen on DAB+ in London and Central Scotland and on smart speakers across the UK, as well as via the Virgin Radio UK app