Soundtrack Of My Life: Geri Halliwell

An actual Spice Girl

The first music I remember hearing

Johann Strauss II – ‘The Blue Danube’

“My mother and father used to play it to me when I was a baby. My father was an older father and he also introduced me to jazz – like Benny Goodman, who played the clarinet. He was
very old-school. My mother had lots of Spanish music playing.”

The first song I fell in love with

Madonna – ‘Borderline’

“You can hear the angst. It’s a really melancholic melody. There’s a longing. I loved early Madonna.”

The first gig I went to

Wham! – Birmingham NEC

“All the other girls were screaming at George Michael and I stood on a chair looking at them all with contempt, thinking, ‘I’m not going to scream at him, I’m going to marry him instead!’ Then he sort of pointed in my direction and I thought, ‘Yep…’ I told him that story later and he laughed. He didn’t propose – we just became friends.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Phyllis Nelson – ‘Move Closer’

“It reminds me of this boy trying to kiss me when I was about 13. He sort of slobbered on me and I had to wipe my mouth afterwards. It was a first kiss at this party. I was quite naïve because I went to an all-girls school. I was horrified.”

The song that changed my life

Geri Halliwell – ‘Look At Me’

“I love the writing process. I would probably say I’m a better writer than I am a singer. ‘Look At Me’ – my solo song – you know, I wrote that album [‘Schizophonic’] and that was very life-changing. It was very gut-instinct writing – it wasn’t conscious, it wasn’t trying to people-please a radio station, it was more like, ‘This is how I feel’.”

The song that reminds me of home

Benny Benassi Feat. Gary Go – ‘Cinema ‘

“It reminds me of my husband. It was my ‘getting ready’ song. You know when you’re getting ready and excited to see someone? I wish I’d written it.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Geri Halliwell – ‘Beautiful Life’

“I don’t want people to feel happy or sad, I just want them to feel connected. I wrote this song called ‘Beautiful Life’ and it probably won’t make my new album because it got leaked, but I wrote that album from my heart. It does sound like it should be on a frozen food advert, but the actual lyrics say you can turn all your pain into good stuff.”

Geri’s 1990s: My Drive To Freedom is on BBC Two at 9pm on Saturday March 11