Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eight From The Eighties Wasteland - Pts. 1 to 4


Whenever Cinema, TV and Radio recreate or rewind to the eighties it’s usually always set dressed with the same instamatic imagery and compounded clichés. So for balance here’s a handful of everyday items that seem to have dropped right off of the eighties radar (well from the pre Live Aid era anyway, before it all went soft, soppy and 'Johnny Hates Jazz').

Armageddon Time
Being prepared for the overhanging dangle of nuclear death and destruction - everyone I knew, well everyone my age really, almost expected to be atomised in an atomic blast by 1987. - see also Threads, Mad Max, 'Two Tribes' 'World Destruction'

Skeen-‘eads
Skinheads were everywhere and ever ready to bash, boot, beat up anyone who wasn't another braces and bleached jeans wearing skin.

Eighties - Gayties
It was just so gay - Marc Almond, Bronski Beat, Boy George, Marilyn, Dead Or Alive, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Morrisey,Divine, HI-NRG(which later became the signature sound of Stock Aitken and Waterman) the clone look ‘tache, and films like ‘Kiss Of The Spider Woman’ and ‘My Beautiful Launderette’.

Middle Aged Teenagers

Girls in their teens going for the mature sophisticated smoker and A-Line look of Angie from Eastenders (who was only thirty six when 'stenders was first broadcast), while teenage boys would regularly dress in Golf Club casual clobber - see also the expectation to be married and mortgaged by twenty four at the very latest.


17 comments:

BLTP said...

The whole "threads" thing was double scary living down the road from where it was set. we watched at home then they showed it again at school and the wonder why we liked gloomy music? The cry of "baby coming " was heard all round our school yard.

Cocktails said...

You're right - things were very gay in the early 80s. Of course at the time I was completely oblivious to this and just thought that Boy George, Marc Almond etc. were gorgeous and that 'Smalltown Boy' had a nice tune.

And there weren't any skinheads where I grew up luckily - just people who wore ugg boots!

Planet Mondo said...

BL - I've never seen the whole of 'Threads', but the 'Protect And Survive' ambience was everywhere. If ever an old air raid/fire siren went off by mistake, I was convinced it was three minutes until game over.

Cocktails - back in the early eighties I was in the cocktail bar of Camden Palace at the same time as one of the campest crowds in living memory - George Michael, Limhal (Kajagoo), Leee John (Imgination) and Paul Gambaccini were luvvying it up upstairs, while Marc Almond and Steve Strange were downstairs.

Being from sunny Southend we had Skinhead invasions almost every Bank holiday for seasonal seafront punch ups and kick offs - not pleasant.

Cocktails said...

Such illustrious company, PM, begs the question - what was your hair like?! Sculpted blonde installation? streaked mullet? perm?!

planet mondo said...

Well I suppose it was an outsize mullet really - have a peep here...
then
and
now

planet mondo said...

PS I'm the cat in the hat

Cocktails said...

Well, that haircut isn't too bad for the time - I was expecting a lot worse to be honest! ;) I think its the hat that helps makes the 'this is the 80s' statement - hats were everywhere then I seem to recall...

What happened with the Ladykillers? And indeed whatever happened to Rayleighs Pink Toothbrush? A venue could never get away with a name like that these days...

Planet Mondo said...

Well we sort of fizzled out due to musical indifferences. The Keyboard player's now a Professor in Leicester, and the singer runs Blow Up Metro on Oxford St.

Would you believe the Toothbrush (pre Toothbrush it was called Crocs )is still going? - I was there last Sunday for the first time in years at a Crocs reunion night

Five-Centres said...

I watch Threads probably three times a year. I can't get enough of impending doom.

As for the gayness, it caused a stir then. Today, no one would blink an eye. To be gay to shock is soooooooo Eighties.

Five-Centres said...

Love that first pic. You're not how I imagined at all.

Planet Mondo said...

FC - I've really got see Threads (I'll bump it to the top of my Amazon rental list).

Well the mullet's gone and the rooster cut is in - I guess it's like radio presenters they never look how you imagine do they?I'm tempted to swap the ball chair pic for my myspace one. Perhaps I'll do it on the first anniversaryof blogging.

PS - I'm also on Facebook (you can find me through Roman Empress's F/Book page)

Piley said...

Mondo - a rare pic indeed, and one of the few from the 80s without a beercan on yer heed!

bernard n. shull said...

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Roman Empress said...

I'm only 2 years away from being Angie's age. I am a woman at last.

planet mondo said...

P what like
this
and this

RE - Geographically you're a 'stender already - just the need the Brian May 'bubble perm' now - and remember "Ageing is inevitable. Maturing is optional."

Axe Victim said...

I've tried to blank the eighties from my mind. But I simply love Disco!

Planet Mondo said...

AV watch out for 'Let's go Disco' post on the other side soonish