❚ HERE’S A NEW SLIDESHOW compiled by Ian Whittington, the original deejay at the Dirtbox — London’s itinerant underground warehouse party run by Phil X and Rob Y, which started life in March 1982 over an Earl’s Court chemists shop. By 1983 it was one of the four key club-nights that defined The New London Weekend in The Face magazine. In among the soulboys, soulgirls and rockabillies, look out for a young Sade, her musicians Stuart and Paul (then in the band Pride), Boy George and George Michael … Ian says the Nina S soundtrack was played at the Dirtboxes in London Bridge, King’s Cross, Stockwell Green, Titanic, Wandsworth and Bournemouth.
MORE INTERESTING THAN MOST PEOPLE’S FANTASIES — THE SWINGING EIGHTIES 1978-1984They didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did.
“I’d find people at the Blitz who were possible only in my imagination. But they were real” — Stephen Jones, hatmaker, 1983. (Illustration courtesy Iain R Webb, 1983)
“The truth about those Blitz club people was more interesting than most people’s fantasies” — Steve Dagger, pop group manager, 1983
An “invaluable website” — historian Dominic Sandbrook, 2012
“ YOU DID CREATE THE STAGE ON WHICH WE ALL APPEARED ” – KIM BOWENHeader picture of four Blitz Kids is led second left by the Blitz Club host Steve Strange, who died suddenly in February 2015. Scroll down for links to tributes and our coverage of his funeral.
From L–R: Darla Jane Gilroy, Steve, David Bowie, Judi Frankland and Elise Brazier as they appear in Bowie’s 1980 music video for Ashes to Ashes © 1983 Jones Music under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd
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- ➤ Spicy new survey from Derek Ridgers celebrates the wild hours between dusk and sunrise
- 2015 ➤ Weird and wonderful new Bowie – his Blackstar man is set to blow our minds
- ➤ 75 Ballet gigs later, Gary Kemp tackles serious theatre but denounces its obsession with class
- 1980s ➤ The Ridgers lens lays bare the pursuit of love
- ➤ “Just a Friday night at a rock show,” by a survivor
- 2015 ➤ Another three days inside the head of Shia LaBeouf
- 1982 ➤ Discovered: Lost footage of PX and Steve Strange in drag
- ➤ Princess Julia relives the day when 1980 went Boom!
- 2015 ➤ All in one room – more Blitz Kids than you could shake a New Romantic frill at
- 2015 ➤ Hot revelations from the Flexipop book party
- 2015 ➤ Brace positions! Flexipop aims to drag us all back in time
- 2015 ➤ Pitch now to make a video for Duran’s slinky come-back party single
NEWS — OLD FACES, NEW MIXES FOR THE 20-TEENS✱ “Ho-ho-ho! Shake up the happiness!” Tone’s solo Christmas Album has 16 festive classics with that suave Hadley flavour for release on 27 November. Pre-order now from £8.99 through the retailer of your choice... Book tickets for Tony’s concerts next October with the Southbank Sinfonia in Birmingham, Southend and RAH London from Gigs and Tours .............................................................................. ✱ People ask 80s style icon Princess Julia how does it compare: now and then? For three Mondays in November at 7pm – PLUS one extra performance at 8pm on the 30th! – An Audience With Princess Julia answers this mystery and lays bare other facets of what makes one of nightlife’s leading Blitz Kids tick. At The Glory, London E2 8AS. Tickets via Ticketweb .............................................................................. ✱ Nov 25 sees a charity preview of a new film about the mysterious Freddie Buretti, the Hackney boy who sewed for Ziggy. As an intimate friend of Bowie, he was responsible for some of the more sexually ambivalent stage outfits. In the picture above we see him collecting an armful of awards in 1973 for David .............................................................................. ✱ As a moustachioed Justin Bieber, 21, releases his first adult pop record, can the teen idol can have his Dre moment? Bieber talks about growing up as an icon in the winter issue of i-D No 340 . . . Plus Adele, at 27 “the most important British singer of right now” ✱ Kicking off i-D’s October mixtape is Queen Badu’s version of Hotline Bling and Chance The Rapper’s Angels. There’s new rap from Goldlink, Rejji Snow, Jakarta Records, Glass Animals featuring Joe Bada$$, plus 22 more tracks .............................................................................. ✱ Dazed November Playlist – Keith Ape goes psycho, Kelela gets down and Grimes gives us uber-pop, plus bangers for the party season ✱ Dazed’s hyper-surreal autumn/winter issue will get your senses working overtime with intergalactic queen of pop Grimes, Mia Goth and Pearl .............................................................................. ✱ Zzzzz! Yes, Shia LaBeouf dozed off during the three days he watched #ALLMYMOVIES by LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner at the Angelika Film Center, 18 West Houston Street, NYC. The live stream ended on 12 Nov but you can watch it all again at NewHive .............................................................................. ✱ Toyah live acoustic dates in November, plus the film Quadrophenia as an immersive theatrical experience on 11 Feb 2016 .............................................................................. ✱ Powering on through the UK and Europe into the winter Peter Hook & The Light perform New Order and Joy Division live .............................................................................. ✱ Thur–Sat: FCK, #FRI251, Factory Saturdays at Factory251 – clubnights, cocktail masterclasses and live bands – EDM, house, garage, hiphop, nu disco, funk, soul and indie over three floors designed by Ben Kelly at Princess St, Manchester M1 7EN .............................................................................. ✱ Remake Remodel claims to be “The Nation’s Saving Grace of Alternative, Rock’n’Roll” — Ruby Lounge M4 1QB first Saturday of the month plus Mondays at Soup Kitchen M1 1DF
RIP – STEVE STRANGE
◆ On Mi-soul radio on 13 Feb 2015, the day after Steve Strange died, deejay Rusty Egan paid musical tribute to his sidekick in founding their legendary Blitz club-night back in 1979: “Music says everything I could ever want to say” ... Catch up at Mixcloud
30 YEARS SINCE HOCKNEY REVEALED HIS VISION
◆ The painter David Hockney proposed the “cubification” of cinema three decades ago in a landmark interview in 1983 with Shapers of the 80s when he revealed “Suddenly I see cubism differently, more clearly”. Read it inside, along with news of his recent experiments to subvert single-point perspective. [iPad self-portrait, detail © David Hockney]
JUDI’S EYE VIEW
Judi at the Sundown in 1981 for Spandau Ballet’s 11th date, pictured by Shapersofthe80s
On a visit to the Blitz Club, David Bowie found the host Steve Strange, of 1980s group Visage, wearing one of Judith Frankland’s creations, a black wedding dress, and asked if he could feature it in his video. Judi says now: “Steve and I became firm friends. The Blitz was the place to be seen. It wasn’t big and could only hold 200 people, but you could never be too outrageous and only the wildly dressed got in. Those who stood around never met anyone… I can’t remember going to *meet* men in the Blitz. In purple, black and white make-up you felt like death anyway.”
Shapers of the 80s “invaluable”
◆ Shapersofthe80s is declared an “invaluable website” by historian Dominic Sandbrook, author of the rich cultural analysis, Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974–1979. We report how Sandbrook gives generous credit to key influencers on youth culture who are the stars of this website. His unstuffy appreciation of high and low life energised the BBC2 series The Seventies aired in 2012
◆ Elsewhere at Shapers of the 80s, telly don Simon Schama succinctly expresses why we should document the “irreverent freedom” that is a special aspect of life in Britain
Sade in a nutshell ♫ ♫✱ After 2010’s Grammy Award winning Soldier Of Love LP, Sade went on to release The Ultimate Collection. The 29 tracks on two CDs included three new numbers, plus a version of Moon & The Sky featuring Jay-Z . . . In 2011 the band won a Grammy award for Best R&B Performance By A Group for the track Soldier Of Love ✱ 2010 — Shapersofthe80s finds comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ ✱ 1981 — Pix of Sade’s Demob designs during the first Blitz invasion of the US ✱ 1982 — Pix of Sade helping backstage during Steve Strange’s fashion show in Paris
GEORGE O’DOWD SINCE 1979➢ 1980, Three key men in Boy George’s life ➢ 2010, Ex-Blitz Kids give their verdicts on the TV drama Worried About the Boy (pictured) ➢ 1979 — Unbelievable! The voice of sweet reason in George’s TV debut ➢ 2010, Ex-jailbird George takes his first trancey steps on the path to sainthood ➢ June 14, 2011, Boy George celebrates the big Five-0 and tells the world, yes, finally he has “lots of regrets” ...
➢ . . . then Shapersofthe80s reports from the fruit-cakiest party of summer 2011 ➢ 2011, Boy George released Ordinary Alien, The Kinky Roland Files, a CD import on the independent Decode label — his first solo album in more than a decade ➢ 2012, Boy George reunites with Culture Club for New Year’s Day — and a new album
SPANDAU 30 YEARS ON
◆ Tony Hadley at Facebook: “My wife and I are pleased to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful baby daughter born on February 6, 2012” ... But for Spandau, Tony dropped another bombshell that year on ITV’s Loose Women
◆ Shapers of the 80s tells the story of Spandau Ballet’s comeback tour after two decades apart — Videos, interviews, free downloads, links and background articles from the 2009–10 Reformation tour ... That’s all folks, possibly for ever, as it seemed at the time
◆ Story behind the making of Spandau’s Olympic Gold, remixed by deejay Paul Oakenfold and turned into a slick vid
DURAN DURAN THEN & NOW✱ 30 years ago the 80s supergroup’s debut single Planet Earth peaked at No 12 in the UK chart . . . Shapers of the 80s tells how Duran’s road to stardom began in the Studio 54 of Birmingham, UK, in 1980 ✱ Catch up on 2011: Highlights of Duran’s round-the-world adventure . . . and DD’s delayed return to the UK . . . Plus ten killer videos other people made as tributes to Duran’s return to creativity
ESSENTIAL LANDMARK READS➢ Spandau Ballet, the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics — a brisk history by yours truly of who did what to make stars out of a club houseband, change the rhythm of the UK charts — and ultimately transform the British media ➢ How three wizards met at the same crossroad in time — a brief scene-setter on the forces shaping the Swinging Eighties ➢ 1980, Strange days, strange nights, strange people: at The Blitz a decade dawns ➢ 1980, One week in the private worlds of the new young: London blazes with creativity ➢ 1980, Shapers of the 80s tells how Duran Duran’s road to stardom began in the Studio 54 of Birmingham, UK ➢ 1981, Birth of Duran’s Planet Earth ... when other people’s faith put the Brummies into the charts ➢ 1983, The Making of UK Club Culture — definitive Face cover story by yours truly seen here in the Wham Rap! video ➢ 1976–1984, How creative clubbing started and ended with the 80s ➢ 2010, Comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ ➢ 2009, Onstage, Spandau’s Hadley and Kemp finally get huggy: a mighty Reformation ➢ 40 years since “I picked on you-oo-oo”! July 6, 1972 saw the seminal pop moment — David Bowie’s first appearance on Top of the Pops as Ziggy Stardust, the day he created the next generation of popstar wannabes ➢ 35 years as master of hot cuts – How legendary funk deejay Robbie Vincent influenced the shape of British musical taste
ESSENTIAL 80s LISTENING♫ Blitz Club anthem, Visage’s Fade To Grey (Michael Gray remix, 1980/2009)
♫ Bowie’s verdict on the Blitz in 1980, Fashion
♫ The Human League’s too-too early Being Boiled, from 1978 ♫ Spandau’s To Cut a Long Story Short, 1980, recast acoustically for 2010 ♫ Ultravox’s first Top Ten hit Vienna, 1981 ♫ Depeche Mode’s New Life – Essex’s first and finest, 1981 ♫ Blue Rondo’s Klactoveesedstein live on the Oxford Road Show in 1982 ♫ Animal Nightlife’s Native Boy from 1983 ♫ Rusty Egan’s channel at YouTube ♫ Make your own music
JUST DON’T CALL US NEW ROMANTICS . . .✧ ... except of course everybody claims they were the first ✧ Blitz Club co-host and deejay Rusty Egan still causing waves ✧ Follow the adventures of an international deejay at The fabulous World of Princess Julia ✧ Judith “frankly” Frankland at The Swelle Life ✧ Boy George dates and official news ✧ The World of Animal Nightlife ✧ Gary Kemp at Twitter, not forgetting silver fox Martin Kemp and sax maestro Steve Norman ✧ Danilo Monzillo’s exhaustive Blitz Kids compendium ✧ The official line on Duran Duran ✧ New Romantics on video ✧ Landmark pop videos from the 80s and all crucial points before — on the Shapers of the 80s channel at YouTube
Archive — Many publication dates are arbitrary, so click and take pot luck!
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