Tag Archives: George Michael

➤ Toasting the Blitz Kid dynamos who have driven the success of Shapers of the 80s

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Blitz Kids as stars of David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes video in 1980: from the left, Steve Strange, Darla Jane Gilroy, Elise and Judi Frankland. When they got back to London after filming, they all went clubbing. Video © 1983 Jones Music / EMI Records Ltd

❚ SHAPERS OF THE 80S TELLS THE DEFINITIVE STORY of a subcultural revolution in British music and style 30 years ago. Its detonator was a youthful blast of impossible trendiness and its stars didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did. This site gathers together the eye-witness journalism and photography of one observer who knew a good time when he saw one and was published in the coolest titles of the day.

Now in its fifth year, this site has attracted a total of 722,500 views since its launch, according to year-ending WordPress stats. The figures also identify the 20 most widely read items out of more than 600 posted here. Most of these pieces were first published back in the day, but seven of the Top 20 items reflect the continuing interest expressed through the recent 80s revival. In many ways, London is again displaying all the symptoms of being the world’s most swinging city, as it was in the 60s and the 80s, when there were a galaxy of reasons to hit the town every single night of the week.

THE 20 MOST VIEWED POSTS AT SHAPERS OF THE 80S

1  ➢ The Blitz Kids — 50 crucial nightclubbers who
set the style for a decade

2  ➢ The key men in Boy George’s life, but why has TV changed some of the names? (2010)

3  ➢ Golden rules for keeping Studio 54 ahead of the pack (1981)

4  ➢ 69 Dean Street and the making of UK club culture – birth of the once-weekly party night (1983)

5  ➢ Exclusive photos of Steve Norman’s wedding (2011)

The Face, magazine, May 1980, launch, Jerry Dammers, David Bowie, The Cult With No Name, New Romantics

The difference seven months made: In May 1980 The Face launched with Jerry Dammers of the Specials on its cover. By November the new direction was Bowie plus a feature on The Cult With No Name, as the New Romantics were first known

6  ➢ The Face and other power brokers of the fourth estate — a new media language for a new decade (1980)

7  ➢ First Blitz invasion of the US — Spandau Ballet and the Axiom fashion collective take Manhattan by storm (1981)

Blitz club, London 1979, Wilf, Stephen Linard, 2010, Worried About the Boy, Boy George, Daniel Wallace,Douglas Booth

Left, real Blitz Kids – right, the TV version… George’s boyfriend Wilf and fashion student Stephen Linard in 1979 (picture, Andy Rosen)… Daniel Wallace as a Linard lookalike and Douglas Booth as Boy George in Worried About the Boy, 2010 (BBC)

8  ➢ How real did 1980 feel? Ex-Blitz Kids give verdicts on the 2010 TV drama about Boy George’s teen years, Worried About the Boy

9  ➢ Hockney’s new vision of the world — Britain’s favourite artist reveals his insights into cubism (1983)

10  ➢ Paradise Point: live leaders of a new Brit pop blitz (2010)

i-D 1980

Seminal spread in i-D issue one: the straight-up style of photography is established with, at left, one then unknown New Romantic and, right, one punkette. Photographed on the King’s Road by Steve Johnston

11  ➢ ‘i-D counts more than fashion’ — launch of the
street-style bible in 1980

12  ➢ 19 gay kisses in pop videos that made it past the censor

13  ➢ Who’s who in the New London Weekend — key clubs that set the capital swinging (1983)

14  ➢ Aside from the freaks, George, who else came to your 50th birthday party? (2011)

© Shapersofthe80s

Londres est arrivée au Palace, 1982: classic set, nouveaux styles. Pictures © by Shapersofthe80s

15  ➢ Steve Strange takes fashion to the French — six British designers rock Le Palace in Paris (1982)

16  ➢ Posing with a purpose at the Camden Palace — power play among the new non-working class (1983)

17  ➢ Who are the New Romantics? — A mainstream deejay’s guide published by Disco International (1981)

Spandau Ballet, 1980

Houseband of the Blitz club: at the London megaclub Heaven Spandau Ballet play their tenth live date on 29 Dec 1980. From left, Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp, Gary Kemp, plus John Keeble on drums. © Shapersofthe80s

18  ➢ They said it — landmark quotes about the decade of change by the people who made it happen

19  ➢ Rich List puts George Michael top of the popstars from the un-lucrative 80s (2010)

20  ➢ Comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ — an enduring star who made 2010 her own

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1983 ➤ A True romance aboard Spandau’s triumphal Thames riverboat

Spandau Ballet,1983, tour, Gary Kemp

Spandau over Bournemouth, 1 April 1983: Gary Kemp teases the screamers at the Good Friday show in the Pavilion Theatre. © Shapersofthe80s

❚ YES IT’S 30 YEARS SINCE Spandau Ballet scored their only No 1 chart hit single with True, coinciding with their epic “Spandau Over Britain Tour”. By May 3, True the album reached No 1, while the single remained at No 1 as well. The band’s official website is celebrating with a month of recollections from 1983 and asking UK fans to offer their own memories. Naturally Shapersofthe80s was there on the waterfront and has a few inside stories of its own.

The month-long tour ended in triumph at London’s Royal Festival Hall 30 years ago today, on Friday April 29, because True hit the top spot in the UK singles chart and the night before Spandau topped the bill on Top of the Pops – only two weeks after its release. After the London gig there followed a right old knees-up for friends and family aboard a Thames riverboat. As it cast off Shapersofthe80s was onboard and snapped a True romance as Steve “Spiny” Norman took to the dance floor with bass-player Martin Kemp, while Steve’s mum Sheila tried to muscle in. Here are our snaps, never seen before.

CLICK ANY PIC TO LAUNCH CAROUSEL:

The band’s third album True, produced by Tony Swain and Steve Jolley, had preceded the tour and was to yield several chart hits across the world, Gold among them. The tour moved on to Europe in the summer and to North America in the autumn, when Shapersofthe80s will have some wild eye-witness scenes to report – laters…

➢ May 1 update: all five members of Spandau Ballet have agreed to an individual ‘TRUE’ Twitter Q&A session with fans, according to the official Spandau website – Q&A sessions start at 8pm (BST) on the official Spandau Twitter account, not their personal accounts, as follows: Gary May 3, Martin May 6, John May 7, Steve May 9, Tony tbc.

➢ 30th anniversary interview with Gary Kemp
at UK Official Charts website

The Observer OMM Oct 4, 2009

The Observer OMM Oct 4, 2009

HOW IT ALL BEGAN FOR
THE ANGEL BOYS

➢ Read the story of Spandau Ballet,
the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics
in my feature at The Observer

➢ Photographer Neil Matthews, another friend of Spandau from their earliest days, has been celebrating with an exhibition of his popstar photos titled My 80s Through the Lens, at The Great British Restaurant, 14 North Audley Street, London W1K 6WE. All images can be viewed online and are for sale in limited editions printed on smart archival paper. As well as Spandau, his subjects include Bananarama, Blue Rondo, Bauhaus, Haysi Fantayzee, Malcolm McLaren, The Jam, Nick Heyward, Bow Wow Wow and more.

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2012 ➤ Welcome JLS to the pop millionaires club

Rich List, JLS, Marvin Humes, JB Gill, Oritsé Williams, Aston Merrygold

£5m apiece: JLS’s Marvin Humes, JB Gill, Oritsé Williams, Aston Merrygold

❚ NO REALLY POPTASTIC SURPRISES in the annual Sunday Times Rich List for the UK and Ireland, published today. Adele, inevitably, tops the Richest Young Musicians after the past year’s runaway success that more than tripled her estimated wealth from £6m to £20m ($33m). There are only five newcomers each worth £5m ($8m) in the top 20 millionaires aged 30 and under. One is Jessie J, 24, the former Brit School student who has sold close to 1m copies of her album Who You Are and is currently mentoring on the television show The Voice UK. The others are all four members of JLS (short for Jack the Lad Swing), the UK’s coolest boy band, who came to fame on The X Factor and released their third album, Jukebox, last November.

♫ View video: JLS performing their January release,
Do You Feel What I Feel?

The under-30s millionaire list is nowhere in the same stratosphere as the main Sunday Times Music Millionaires Top 50. These are the grandees from the headier days of British rock who have had a lifetime in which to amass royalties — ex-Beatles, Stones and assorted moguls. Among pop performers, the 70s are still represented by David Bowie (today valued at £100m, $163m); the Swinging 80s only by George Michael (up this year to £100m); the 90s by Robbie Williams (£100m), as a new entry the joint husband-and-wife wealth of Coldplay’s Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow (£72m), plus Take That’s Gary Barlow (£50m).

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The same trio as last year head the Young Entertainers Rich List, led by Daniel Radcliffe, aged 22, who starred in eight Harry Potter films and has increased his wealth by £6m in a year to £54m ($88m), helped by the success of his latest movie, the gothic thriller The Woman in Black. At No 2, Twilight star Robert Pattinson has added £8m in a year to his fortune and is now worth £40m. Keira Knightley is the third top-earning movie star, still worth £30m.

➢ 2010, Rich List puts George Michael top of the popstars from the un-lucrative 80s

➢ 2011, Soprano Jenkins tops pop’s young Rich List

Daniel Ek, Spotify ,Rich List, social media

Daniel Ek: Swedish entrepreneur who launched Spotify’s streaming service in 2008

➢ Britain’s top ten richest people in the world of social media are worth a combined £15.8bn — The Daily Telegraph reports that, sprinting fast behind the billionaires, is the 29-year-old co-founder of Spotify, the legal online music streaming service. London-based Arsenal supporter Daniel Ek is the highest new entry on the Music Millionaires Rich List as well as No 8 in the…

top ten Social Media Millionaires

1 Alisher Usmanov, Facebook: £12.3bn
2 Michael Moritz, LinkedIn: £1.08bn
3 Niklas Zennstrom, Skype: £600m
4 U2 (Bono), Facebook, Yelp: £514m
5 Andrey Andreev, Badoo: £500m
6 Michael and Xochi Birch, Bebo, TweetDeck: £270m
7 Vikrant Bhargava, SocialGO: £230m
8 Daniel Ek, Spotify: £190m
9 Tihan Presbie, Miniclip: £155m
10 Joanna Shields, Bebo, Facebook: £50m

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➤ OMG! George and Fadi trigger what the Telegraph calls a “marmalade-dropper” over breakfast

George Michael,Fadi Fawaz,holidays,Twitter
❚ THIS TIME THE DAILY MAIL got there first, shock, outrage! Pop singer George Michael’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz posted a picture yesterday via Twitter of the pair cuddled up on a sunshine holiday, with the caption, “Isn’t he the cutest?” Minutes later George responded with a second snap saying “Yes he is :)”

The star then tweeted to say: “Oh and by the way everyone, if u are wondering why Fadi is the one sending you the pics lately, it’s cos I jumped in the decking pool with my iPhone in my shorts pocket yesterday.”

If we scroll further back in the boyz’ Twitter accounts we’d have seen several holiday snaps in recent days. With one pin-up of his favourite chunk of beefcake, who is a leading hair and beauty stylist in London, 48-year-old George tweeted the comment: “Sun, sand, and a bit of this doesn’t hurt either.” Earlier, George posts another pic of the carefree couple, saying: “This is an oldie from Venice, we clearly have no idea the paps were there, I look way too happy.”

George Michael,Fadi Fawaz,holidays,Twitter

George replies with a second snap: hunky boyfie to the fore

The boyz are yachting and jet-skiing at an undisclosed location George reveals is in the “southern hemisphere” and is a “bit classier than Club Trop, and the drinks are far from free”. It is, he adds, his first real holiday in many years, and “I might remind the media that my ‘new man’ is in fact the same man they photographed me with at Nobu… in 2008!”

The Mail report reminds us that the 80s superstar is continuing his recovery after narrowly escaping death only weeks ago during a serious bout of pneumonia. George’s tweets confirm this: “Even my tracheotomy scar is healing nicely in the sun — was looking a bit Bride of Chucky for a while.”

He also announced: “People, I’m excited… just finishing a ballad that I think is going to make you think my eighties self has been re-born, which I suppose it has in a way.” As for resuming the tour that was cancelled because of his illness, he told one fan: “Realistically I can’t see my vocal cords being being ready till the summer.”

➢ Read the full Daily Mail report plus comments

Dear Sir! Daily Mail readers are, as we know, unshockable. Comments beneath the romantic pictures posted online include:
❏ “Go get a room gm. Spare us please” — the Lady, who prefers dogs to SOME people
❏ “Old man with a toyboy. YUK!!” — Alan, Sussex
❏ “George has finally found the love of his life… A guy who looks like himself.” — Realist, Coventry
❏ “I have always thought that George Michael & Sir Elton John would have made a lovely, great couple. Both excellent musicians, in their own niche. Both lovers of children & animals. Good luck to them all.” — Pamela Hutton, Sydney, Australia.

AND NOW FOR SOME MUSIC: GEORGE’S LATEST SINGLE HE WAS PROUDLY TWEETING ABOUT

… AND BOYFIE FADI’S FAV SONG (BY FAMED
LEBANESE LEGEND)


❏ Fadi tweets “My fav song of Fairouz” — Music facts: Nouhad Wadi Haddad, also known as Fairuz/Fairouz which means “Turquoise”, is a 76-year-old Lebanese artist widely considered to be the most famous living singer in the Arab world.

LET’S NOT FORGET GEORGE’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE


❏ Dec 23: “This has been the worst month of my life.” George Michael gives an emotional and breathless press conference admitting his 
life has been hanging in the balance as he battled pneumonia in Austria. Unbelievable American newspaper headline immediately before his recovery: Radicals Condemned for Praying for George Michael to Die

❏ Dec 13: A couple of weeks earlier George had been bearing up by compiling a playlist of his all-time favourite Christmas songs, top of which was his own December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas), “Written with my best friend, David Austin”.

THAT VOICE, ONLY ONE MONTH BEFORE THAT


❏ Life goes on…

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➤ Record numbers visit Shapersofthe80s for the best Blitz Kid photos and eye-witness memories

Planets club in Piccadilly, 1981: George O’Dowd before he became Boy, his sidekick and future singer Marilyn, and fashion goddess Kim Bowen. Photographed by Shapersofthe80s

❚ 2011 WAS A BUMPER YEAR for Shapersofthe80s. Visits to this website have doubled year on year, to a total of 174,658 page views during 2011. Also during the past six months, views increased by 40% over the previous six months — driven substantially by our exclusive pictures of Steve Norman’s wedding, and by exploring the heritage which informs We Can Be Heroes, Graham Smith’s definitive new photobook about 80s clubbing.

Of all topic areas, inevitably Blitz Kids and New Romantics have attracted most visits — about 16,000 views in total. Nightclubbing in the 80s came third with 11,000. Discover why, inside at Why them? Why then?

Most popular popstars viewed here in 2011 …

Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, NYC,Axiom,fashion

Lexington Avenue 1981: A fashion shoot features Martin Kemp wearing Demob and Steve Norman wearing Pallium, along with local girls. Photographed © by David Spahn

1 — Spandau Ballet — Total page views include Tony Hadley’s international tour with John Keeble, Steve Norman’s wedding, Martin Kemp’s cinematic triumphs and Gary Kemp as cultural pundit, as each of the band members has been pursuing his own interests since their farewell performance in July 2010.

2 — Boy George whose rise and fall seems Greek in its tragedic possibilities.

3 — Duran Duran who have patiently rebuilt their credibility over the past year. (Of their total page views here, almost half came in one day, yesterday*)

4 — Paradise Point — Britain’s brightest new pop musicians who mysteriously vanished from the stage almost as soon as they had published one of the most seductive videos of the year [see below].

5 — Sade whose long-awaited world tour slaked her fans’ thirst and gave her a No 1 album on both sides of the Atlantic.

6 — George Michael — another 80s survivor whose vulnerability almost renders him indestructible.

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Steady attractions at Shapersofthe80s are the post about John Rutter’s royal wedding anthem, and historically important interviews with the painter David Hockney (1983) and with Beatle John Lennon (1966).

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* It is an astonishing statistical exception that yesterday proved our busiest day of the year thanks entirely to Duran Duran sharing on Facebook the link to our choice of the 10 most creative tribute videos celebrating their comeback. So, despite our having followed Duran’s world tour since their newest album was launched in 2010, almost as many fans visited in a single day as during the entire year to date.
❏ iPAD, TABLET & MOBILE USERS PLEASE NOTE — You may see only a tiny selection of items from this wide-ranging website about the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and site index either click on “Standard view” or visit Shapersofthe80s.com on a desktop computer. ➢ Click here to visit a different random item every time you click

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