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After signing with RCA Records, McLaren enlivened his promotion of the band with a series of publicity stunts, amid outrageous talk of paedophiliac pop. Annabella had her head shaven into a Mohican style and began appearing in tribal clothes; further controversy ensued when she was photographed semi-nude on an album-sleeve pastiche of Manet’s Le Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe. A deserved UK Top 10 hit followed with ‘Go Wild In The Country’, a frenzied, almost animalistic display of sensuous exuberance. An average cover version of the Strangeloves / Brian Poole And The Tremeloes’ hit ‘I Want Candy’ also clipped the Top 10, but by then McLaren was losing control of his concept. A second lead singer was briefly recruited in the form of Lieutenant Lush, who threatened to steal the limelight from McLaren’s creation and was subsequently ousted, only to reappear in Culture Club as Boy George.
By 1983, amid uncertainty and disillusionment, Bow Wow Wow folded. The backing musicians briefly soldiered on as the Chiefs Of Relief, while Annabella took a sabbatical, reappearing in 1985 for an unsuccessful solo career. Matthew Ashman died in 1995 following complications after suffering from diabetes. At the time of his death he was working with Agent Provocateur. Lwin and Gorman reunited in 1997, touring America with new members Dave Calhoun (guitar) and Eshan K (drums) and releasing a new album. Another tour was announced in 2004, with No Doubt drummer Adrian Young and Common Sense guitarist Phil Gough joining Lwin and Gorman.