Tag Archives: Mud Club

➤ 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  ➢ Sorry, girls, but Spandau’s Steve Norman has a secret love — see that ring on his finger? (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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➤ Shock horror, popstar Jarvis takes public transport

Incognito on the Northern Line: Philip Sallon, Jarvis Cocker and mystery man. Photo by Tony Vickers

Incognito on the Northern Line: Philip Sallon and popstar Jarvis with mystery man

Bazaar Exclusive

❚ WHO ARE THE TWO DASHING MEN in the life of Philip Sallon, the well-known 80s Mud club host, Dollis Hill socialite and Grade 1 listed National Treasure who doubles as a Different Person Depending On Day of Week? My exclusive sources papped the celebrity eccentric earlier today, dressed as Pinocchio, the Italian woodcarver’s apprentice who was created as a wooden puppet but dreamed of becoming a real boy. Ironic or what?

Despite being a household name on five continents, Pinocchio Sallon does normal things like popping into his local Aldi for cheese slices and hunting down two-for-one bargains. He queues for the bus and commutes into town on the Northern Line, like any other Londoner. The big surprise is to see him travelling in the company of Jarvis, the bearded geek and singer with Britpop group Plop. But a question mark hangs over the identity of the third man, a handsome silver fox of striking aspect and expensively veneered teeth, who Jarvis has clearly taken a shine to.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear tomorrow’s Bazaar column in the Currant Bun speculating on the name of Jarvis’s new squeeze.

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2011 ➤ Pay now — so We Can Be Heroes goes ahead!

1980: Clare Thom, Philip Sallon and George O’Dowd on a coach trip to Margate. Photograph by Graham Smith/grsmith@mac.com.jpg from his book We Can Be Heroes

WE CAN BE HEROES
must be funded by November 12 17 [update]

❚ NOBODY IS BETTER QUALIFIED to chronicle the whirlwind six years between punk and the death of the New Romantics than Graham Smith through his eye-witness photography, and the writer Chris Sullivan, one of the core movers-and-shapers of his generation. UK music and style evolved out of all recognition in a mighty resurgence of youth subcultures that directly triggered a rejuvenation of mainstream media for the rest of the decade. Shapersofthe80s was on hand as an observer. But these two wags were in the thick of the action — major players in a spontaneous youthful collaboration to regenerate the UK’s ailing music and style scenes as 1980 dawned. With contributions by a galaxy of stars, who include Gary Kemp and Boy George, this will become the definitive story of one of the great explosions of creativity in British youth culture.

The authors aim to get their large-format 320-page coffee-table photobook We Can Be Heroes to you in time for Christmas. Their “crowd-funding” venture requires them to raise the cash first by asking YOU to buy your copy in advance, before 6pm GMT on November 12 17. Your reward is to see your name printed as a Supporter in the limited first edition. The clock is ticking.

View Graham’s video today at Unbound Publishing, a new company under the patronage of Faber, the most prestigious publisher in Britain. Here you can purchase your book and enjoy other perks such as an invitation to the launch party. Join the clubbers at Facebook who are submitting their own photos and tales of merriment.

➢ Twitter directly with the publisher, Unbound

READ WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN SAID
ABOUT WE CAN BE HEROES

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➢ Unbound aims for 40 books in year one … Supported by Faber, the platform was created by QI writers John Mitchinson and John Pollard, and Crap Towns author Dan Kieran — The Bookseller

➢ Funded by the people — Channel 4 News video on “crowdfunding”, the process that decides when and how Graham’s book gets published

➢ Why creative clubbing ended with the 80s — the credentials that equipped Smithy, Sullivan and Elms (and a few other crazies) to start changing the world

➢ Boy George says the 70s were the best time ever to be a teenager — and Tweets that “it’s a brilliant book about the New Romantics! Really!” He has also written a foreword in We Can Be Heroes. (So have Gary Kemp, Steve Strange and Robert Elms)

➢ A slideshow of Graham’s Blitz-era gems at Guardian online

➢ Thirty years of punk and post-punk photo imagery — by Disneyrollergirl, one of The Times’ 40 bloggers who count

➢ Huffington Post: All about 1980s club kids — former Blitz Kid and Times fashion editor Iain R Webb writes about Bowie’s impact on the Blitz scene

➢ A legacy that has inspired each decade since the 80s — Princesss Julia, international deejay and fabulous Blitz Club coat-check girl, writes for i-D about stripping away the posers’ facade

➢ Update Nov 6: priceless storytelling about 80s mayhem with Elms and Sullivan on video

➢ Promo video for Blue Jean (1984) starring David Bowie as Screamin’ Lord Byron before a London clubland audience … Below is the alternate version of Blue Jean for MTV, starring Bowie and the Aliens, shot live before an audience in Soho’s Wag club, which was hosted for 19 years by Chris Sullivan

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➤ Did London’s £15m security cameras really fail to record attack on Boy George’s best friend?

Philip Sallon, nightclubbing, homophobic attacks,

Birthday party 2010: clubworld entrepreneur Philip Sallon seen last November at Home House, courtesy pandemonia99.blogspot.com

❚ LAST WEEKEND BANG ON PICCADILLY CIRCUS one of London nightclubbing’s most familiar superstars — a leading club promoter and party planner for the past 30 years — was beaten senseless at about 3.30am. Police say two people kicked him in the head repeatedly and ran off. They fractured his skull. So far, however, neither the Metropolitan Police nor Westminster City Council have reported any surveillance video footage of the incident. On Piccadilly Circus.  The most famous, most brilliantly lit traffic roundabout in our 24-hour capital city.

Philip Sallon, club promoter, party planner

Sallon as few of us have ever seen him, pictured last year by Nigel Howard

Tuesday’s Evening Standard carried the headline: Boy George appeals to catch attackers of ‘oldest and closest friend’. The report said: “Philip Sallon, 59, a flamboyant figure on the West End club scene, is recovering in hospital after the assault near Piccadilly Circus in the early hours of Saturday. Mr Sallon, from St John’s Wood, who founded the Mud Club in the Eighties, was stamped on and kicked in the head and suffered broken bones in his face.”

The fact that Sallon is an overtly gay man has raised suspicions that the attack was motivated by homophobia.

Pop star George O’Dowd told the Standard: “I am very upset. He is my oldest and closest friend. He is a colourful character but certainly not aggressive. He is not someone who would have got into a fight. He is a bit like me and just goes out on his own.”

➢ Meet at the Eros statue on Piccadilly Friday night/Saturday morning April 15–16, from midnight to 03:30 to distribute witness appeal flyers, to talk to potential witnesses and to show your support. Alice Shaw, Tamara Adair, Benjamin Till have organised the Facebook group Supporting Philip Sallon.
➢ April 8 update: Guardian Online reports a change to the precise location where Sallon was attacked. “The victim was found outside Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibition,” police told The Guardian. This is housed in the triangular building once known as the London Pavilion, directly across Shaftesbury Avenue from Gap, which was mentioned in early reports.

April 16 update — Only about 30 of the 127 Facebookers who said they would attend this morning’s rally had arrived when Sallon sympathisers carrying posters bearing the victim’s photo departed from the Eros steps just after midnight to seek witnesses in nearby streets. One of the three Westminster policemen accompanying them was vague about where Sallon had been found on April 2. He seemed to think Sallon had staggered north to Regent Street before collapsing, whereas the Standard had police reporting he was found outside Gap and The Guardian outside Ripley’s, which has five security cameras on various parts of its Piccadilly facades. Among many building works in progress around the Circus, five more CCTV cameras can be seen within line of sight of Eros himself, which makes it all the more surprising that no footage of the attack has come to light.

George appealed for witnesses to come forward: “The police are dealing with it but apparently there is no CCTV footage.”

The scandalous irony is that half a mile away, Westminster Council celebrates the glory of its CCTV system with a plaque in Meard Street, Soho, on the wall of the former nightclub “Gossips formerly Billy’s”. This legendary cellar club is where Sallon and O’Dowd’s generation gave birth to the once-a-week clubnight that transformed British clubbing at the dawn of the 80s, and made London a dance destination for the young people of Europe. [Read The Making of UK Club Culture, from The Face, 1983]

The inscription on the plaque, which was unveiled only last year, pays tribute to the late Ian Wilder, a Westminster councillor: “In recognition of his pioneering work in proposing Westminster’s Wi-Fi system, this site can be seen throughout the world 24/7”. Opposite the plaque, a Wi-Fi enabled camera hangs from a lamp-post so that the world may view the reasonably tranquil pedestrian walkway that is Meard Street. Seemingly, Piccadilly Circus which teems with people and traffic most nights at 3am does not qualify for such 24/7 surveillance.

CCTV,Westminster Council, Meard Street, Soho, security, WiFi

Visible on camera 24/7: Westminster Council’s plaque in Meard Street

Councillor Wilder saw how wireless technology was being deployed during a visit to the United States. In 2004 he initiated the installation of a pilot wireless network and four wireless TV cameras in Soho, portable enough to be moved to potential troublespots and slung from lamp-posts without attracting attention. They cost a fifth as much as traditional fixed-line CCTV cameras.

Within two years, the Wireless City Project had become a network of 40 wireless cameras, and in Soho, eight remote monitoring stations, as well as mobile applications for food and licensing inspectors, housing estate officers, and parking attendants. These cameras were integrated into Westminster’s existing £15million monitoring system of wired CCTV cameras. The council has long believed that its street surveillance network is one of the most efficient in the world, capturing high-quality, scalable data that can provide viable evidence in the law courts.

A video report at Guardian Online shows us inside Westminster’s CCTV control centre, where a supervisor talks confidently about being able to identify “aggressive beggars, illegal street trading — we can see it all” while enjoying “full talkthrough with police on the ground”. And yet. No sign of two thugs beating Philip Sallon unconscious, apparently. He is still in hospital.

Meanwhile in today’s Evening Standard fashion editor Laura Craik cites the police statistic that homophobic incidents in London have increased by 28 per cent over the past four years — “and that only reflects the ones that were reported”.

❚ @BoyGeorge on Twitter “My friend was brutally attacked & hospitalized on Saturday in Piccadilly, someone called an ambulance? Was it you?” — If you witnessed Philip Sallon’s beating last Saturday at about 3.30am, contact Westminster Serious Violence Team on 0207 321 9315, ref 65 1803/11, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Philip Sallon, George O'Dowd, 1980

Philip Sallon with George O’Dowd, 1980: as mentor and guiding light, Sallon gave George his first break as a deejay at Planet’s nightspot and urged him to form a pop group. Photographed at one of Paul Sturridge’s houseparties in Harlesden

➢ Who’s who in the New London Weekend — The Face in 1983 picks Philip Sallon’s Mud Club as one of the four prime movers making London swing again

➢ View video of The Cruella Diaries — Philip Sallon in performance mode… “I’m wearing British ethnic at the moment”

➢ June 8 update: Wise-cracking Sallon shimmies back onto London’s party scene

Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Bromley Contingent, Philip Sallon, punks, Bill Grundy

Epic picture of the Bromley Contingent, 1976: Cricklewood-born style leader Philip Sallon wears plastic shorts, second right. The Bromley Contingent were the core Sex Pistols fans who popularised early punk looks. They included Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Simone Thomas and Simon “Boy” Barker who appeared on teatime TV when the Pistols were interviewed by Bill Grundy in December 1976. Between them they uttered a series of expletives live on-air, achieved lift-off for the punk movement and catapulted Grundy out of his job. (Photographed © by Ray Stevenson)

➢ 2012 update: Six rewrites punk history with an outlandish claim about the Not-Really-From-Bromley Contingent

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