In 1982, a decade before MTV spanked Madonna for her S&M-themed "Erotica" clip by playing it only after midnight, the network just said no to "Sex (I'm a… )," the video that put the new wave band Berlin on the map. Yet, even though it isn't the group's bad-girl singer Terri Nunn but the Boy Toy who has gone down in rock history as the tube's most notorious pop tart, the divas aren't about to duke it out on Celebrity Deathmatch.
"My fortunes have gone up and down just like anybody's," Nunn tells TV Guide Online, "but I never felt like I wasn't given my due. I can't say that."
The former teen starlet, whose intense visage and two-tone hair kept Berlin filmettes such as "The Metro" and "No More Words" in heavy rotation throughout the Reagan era, doesn't merely talk about achieving perfect harmony with her successor, either: On the recent Virgin Voices tribute album, Nunn performs the Material Girl's "Live to Tell." And if there is any irony in her paying homage to the hottie who strutted down the trail that she herself blazed, she doesn't acknowledge it.
"It's back and forth," she insists. "Girls help each other out."
Maybe Nunn is onto something there. While in her latest incarnation Madonna has traded bustiers for nursing bras, her forerunner admirably has kept writing lyrics that spring as much from her crotch as her heart. (Case in point: A track from Berlin's new live disc, Sacred and Profane, is titled "Turn You On.") However, today she tweaks her image with a savvy that's the hallmark of you-know-who.
"One of the jokes [in the liner notes] on the first album was 'BJs by Terri Nunn,' " she recalls. "I never heard the end of it. So now I'm more careful about how I present myself."