Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Eight From The Eighties Wasteland - Pts. 5 to 8


Part two of my list of bits and bobs that seemed to have dropped off of the eighties radar

Yes the Nine O'Clock News

Not the Nine O'Clock News was must see TV at the time. It's the comedic link between Python and the Young Ones, so why is it so consistently overlooked and underplayed - why don't we ever see any repeats? It's easily forgotten that scenes, sketches and songs were discussed and dissected in Senior Schools and Common Rooms all over the UK following the previous evening's show and that the records books and tapes all sold by the shedload (including Rowan Atkinson's 'Live in Belfast' album)- I saw a DVD of NTNOCN recently and could remember almost every line (including the exact intonation) and piece of incidental music having not seen any episodes for at least twenty years.

Eighties - Greyties
Those rotten grey sort of shapeless combat troos worn by Howard Jones or anyone over thirty with squashy white trainers and a pastel polo or checked shirt (a moustache was optional) - see also the opening titles of 'Who Dares Wins', Channel Four's criminally forgotten reply to the NTNOCN.

Dressing Up Can Be Fun
Boxing - JoBoxers, weren't the only Popstars that sparred with boxing clothing and imagery as a stylish icon - Spandau Ballet, Wham and even Bowie had a pop.

Jazz Club - Blue Rondo, Modern Romance, Animal Nightlife, Sade, Carmel all riffed on the theme of Jazz moods.

Kings Of The Wild Frontier - Davey Crocket tassle jackets and check shirts were must wears for one month in early 1983 - see also Theatre of Hate, Aztec Camera.

Splatter
Horror, Splatter and Slasher films became cultural currency in the early eighties, with teens and twenty somethings trying to out trump each other's video nasty badges of honour. Titles like 'Basket Case', 'Evil Dead', 'Last House On The Left', 'My Bloody Valentine', 'Cannibal Holocaust', 'Nightmares in a Damaged Brain' were all documented in full blooded detail in Fangoria - see also 'Thriller' and....

The Rolling Stones 'Too much Blood'

19 comments:

Simon said...

It's strange how some things disappear from view; much like those 70s revivals where everything was disco and Abba and bright colours, everybody forgot the grey, the powercuts and the dustmen striking. Besides which, my 70s were Marvel comics. I just need to see the old logos and boom...nostalgia.

Anyway 80s: JoBoxers! I've been listening to The Alarm from that year too. It seems like people have picked the electro pop thing, Stock/Aitken/Waterman, Wham! and Live Aid as indicative of the decade. But there were so many odd little cul-de-sacs that came and went. Remember the vaguely rockabilly revival and bands like the Shillelagh Sisters?

Although I was a Mod mid 80s - which is a complete little sidestreet all of it's own, the 80s mod scene - a lot of my friends were Goths and/or Robert Smith lookalikes. That big hair sticking up all over the place. The other side of the coin were my school mates who were Casuals, listening to jazz funk. You never see that on those list programmes!

And Pamela Stephenson....wasn't she lovely?

Matthew Rudd said...

"American Express?"

Oh my. That moment...

Nanker said...

The Rolling Stones 'Too much Blood'

A ha ha. I'd never seen that video. For more hilariously misguided social commentary from the 80s, there's always Mick Jagger's "Let's Work".

Planet Mondo said...

Simon there's a great piece about forgotten aspects of the seventieshere
and this book is a must read on the same subject - but as for the 80s your right there was also the 'Hard Times/ripped jeans' look around 82, busker rock ie - Pookiesnackenburger and Pink Peg Slacks and the mid 80s psychedelic revival.

And Pamela Stephenson was gorgeous have a peep at this

Nanker - did you ever see Rolling Stones Video Rewind ? This vid appears in it. I've seen a few clips from Let's Work - ouch! But almost everyone went off the boil in the 80s - Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Macca, Robert Plant, Floyd..

Axe Victim said...

Oh my the 80's were awful. Not a good look either. I was watching a rockdoc on The Who and Pete Townsend looked hidious back then. All rolled up jacket sleeves and large earrings. Dear oh dear. But you mentioned Carmel. Now she was different. She seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Any news on her my dear Mondo?

Matthew Rudd said...

Carmel was the group rather than (just) the lady though - like Nena and Sade.

Axe Victim said...

Hey Matthew, that's interesting. I was under the impression that it was Carmel the person. I saw her once at Ronnie Scott's - they (she) recorded a live album from the same show - and they were wonderful. I don't know much more than that. My wife is the fan, but she doesn't know anything about her wherabouts these days. There doesn't seem to be much to find on Google etc. Any help would be most welcomed.

Simon said...

Axe Victim: Go here for stuff....

http://www.neoglobal.net/carmel/news.html

Carmel McCourt was the singer's name, but as Matthew said the band were called Carmel.

She had/has a fantastic voice!

Simon said...

Upon closer inspection it would appear that page hasn't been updated for a couple of years. There is however a link to the myspace page that is pretty up-to-date, including downloadable tunes...

Planet Mondo said...

There's some Carmel goodies (interviews, artwork ) here at the always excellent Stereo Society site.

BLTP said...

MY bro found a NTNOCN lp the other day and me and him could sing it all the way through. I "like trucking" and the rest.
I think what your post prove is that silly media stereotypes are always rubbish at capturing any time.
PS my warniess about JAZZ stems from your list of jazzlite-o-phile from 80's!

Axe Victim said...

Simon, thanks very much. My wife is over the moon. Cheers,
AV

Planet Mondo said...

BL - I used to have this LP featuring the classic Bouncing Song

AV I can't seem to find any Carmel clips - there must be some somewhere !!

Piley said...

dayglow socks, hi-lites, casuals, crude tv graphics - remember when TOTPs found that buttons that split the picture into a million little squares and then whipped about the screen? awful times, and a lot of shite music too...

FeedbackReport said...

I think the problem with NTNOCN is that as fantastic as it was, in profile terms it was simply a starting block and all of the cast went on to become much for famous for other work (even Pam for a couple of years), so it's more logical and convenient for Blackadder repeats or Alas Smith & Jones compilations to be flung out. That said, I'd love to see Rowan's pre-NTNOCN show A Bundle Of Bungles. Not to mention hear the NTNOCN radio show...

Planet Mondo said...

Piley - you're right, and everyone seemed to wear jumpers all year round, cheesy TV graphics that dated in six weeks.

FR - I'd also love to see a repeat of Rowan's 'Canned Laughter', I remember seeing it on ITV one Christmas several months before NTNOCN started.
*nips off to youtube to look for 'Canned Laugter'clips *

Kenski said...

Even deeper into the wasteland... I *had* that NOT thingy! My parents were also given a shedload of the original NOW magazines, starting at Issue #1 up until the end of its short run. One of the fathers of the kids who went to school with my sister was editor or something so we got them for free. They went, unread, into the attic. A few years down the line a complete set of the mags went up for auction and raised LOADSAMONEY, so we went scurrying into the loft to dig them out... only to find that we had a load missing somehow. For once, it seems, my Mum had actually thrown something out :-(

Planet Mondo said...

Kenski - I also had the follow up books Not The Royal Wedding and The Not 1981(I think)almanac/yearbook.

I don't remember NOW magazine though, will have to Google it

Kenski said...

NOW! (note exclamation point) is difficult to track down on Google. Found the following link though images: www.magforum.com/covers/now!_1980dec12_66_110.jpg

Nasty draconian work filters won't let me see the original page, thought!