British singer and Malibu father of seven Nick Richards used to resent being referred to as a one-hit wonder with his rock band, Boys Don’t Cry. But now that ’80s groups are cool again, he doesn’t mind at all because he’s busy touring, along with other notable British bands, and enjoying a resurgence.
Richards will be singing his hit, “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” as part of an ’80s revival gig with the band ABC and Annabella Lwin (lead singer of Bow Wow Wow) at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on Saturday, Sept. 19.
“It’s a Brit night with ABC headlining,” said Richards. “My band opens with six songs then Annabella takes the microphone from me and Boys Don’t Cry becomes Bow Wow Wow. People are in for a night of great music. Nostalgia is so huge right now. A lot of people in their 50s and 60s are bringing their kids and saying, ‘This is what we used to dance to.’ The Canyon Club is a terrific venue with a great stage. It’s going to be such good fun.”
Richards used to own and run Maison Rouge, a successful recording studio in London. Big British groups like Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and Wham! recorded there.
“Billboard Magazine phoned me in 1986 to say 40 percent of the hits in the Top 100 that week were recorded at my studio,” Richards shared. His own band would cut their tracks during down time at the studio, usually on a Sunday night.
Richards and his wife, Debbie, lived on Kanan Road from 1995-99 with their first three children. They also had a home in Beverly Hills. After their youngest, Anjel, died in a swimming pool accident at their Beverly Hills house, they moved back to England. But they couldn’t settle there; they returned to Malibu in 2007 and have remained here ever since. The couple went on to have four more children and have been married for 29 years.
“My father took one look at Debbie when he first met her and said, ‘She’s so tiny, she’ll never give you any children.’ She’s given birth to seven,” Richards said. “We’ve been through some heartbreak, the worst being the loss of our daughter, but we survived it and stuck together. I love my wife more now than ever.”
The Richards love living in Malibu.
“Other than the beauty of it, it’s a safe place to live,” Richards said. “Of course, some terrible car crashes happen on PCH, but it’s an extraordinary environment to bring up teenagers.”
All but one of the Richards’ kids will be at the Canyon Club on Sept. 19 to support their dad.
“My last big gig was in front of 4,000 people at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas,” Richards shared. “It’s a luxury for me to be playing just up the road.”
For tickets to see ABC, Boys Don’t Cry and Annabella Lwin at the Canyon Club, visit canyonclub.net.