THEY SAID IT


➤ Constantly being updated: landmark quotes from a decade of change

All text except where attributed is drawn from one-to-one reportage

Time magazine, 1980, Philip Sallon

Time magazine, Sept 8, 1980: “a blitz against sameness”

A FEW TASTERS TO BE GETTING ON WITH …

Philip Sallon, London nightlife promoter and host of the Mud club (pictured left in green) “Peter Stringfellow offered me £150 to DESTROY THE PALACE by coming to front the new Hippodrome. I said that’s cloakroom money at the Mud. It’ll cost you £1,500.” (Nov 1983)

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Peter Stringfellow, mainstream nightclub owner “I am about to deliver the FINAL CHOP to every other club in London. When the Hippodrome opens, the subculture comes of age.” (Oct 1983)

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Kasper de Graaf, editor of New Sounds New Styles “Every corner of Britain has produced MORE TRENDS in the past four years than the whole of the past decade.” (Dec 1982)

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John Maybury, film-maker “London is geared to the previous generation – people from the Sixties – and our generation realises we’re BEING DENIED opportunities.” (Oct 1980)

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Steve Strange co-founder of the Blitz Tuesday club-night “The Blitz was like a BURST OF ENERGY at a time when the London scene seemed so stagnant.” (Record Mirror, Dec 1983)

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Princess Julia, deejay and ex-Blitz Kid “Then one day we all went down to the sale at Charles Fox the costumiers and from there everything went THEATRICAL FANTASTICAL. I think it was the first time a sale has ever influenced the world’s fashions.” (The Times, 2010)

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Chris Sullivan, Blitz regular and later Wag club host “ONE LOOK LASTS A DAY.’’ (1980)

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Dick Whittingham, deejay at the Rumrunner, Birmingham “I’ve been trying to break the funk here for ages but nobody’s into it. The customers aren’t into it and the owners aren’t into anyone taking over their own night. I’m just buying the funk for THE DAY WHEN I have more freedom.” (Apr 1983)

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Social commentator Peter York, when asked why the 80s were such a creative decade “Because all sorts of RATTY CHANCERS were let loose — in all sorts of liberating ways.” (BBC Newsnight, June 2011)

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Spandau Ballet, Tony Hadley, Steve Norman, Los Angeles, 1983. Pictured by © Shapersofthe80s

Bad boys abroad: Spandau’s Hadley and Norman consider local skating restrictions in LA in 1983. Pictured by © Shapersofthe80s

Steve Norman, Spandau saxophonist, on pop stardom “I love it. I love the fame, I love being photographed, I love the DIRTY FAN MAIL.” (May 1981)

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Perry Haines, student journalist at St Martin’s “The music is APPLAUSE for the audience.” (May 1980)

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Robert Elms, commentator “At the Scene in 1963 or the Wag in 1983, it was the people, the faces, who were the real attraction and their PITCH-PERFECT ATTIRE the star of the show.” (The Way We Wore, Picador 2005)

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Isaac Mizrahi, US fashion designer’s verdict on Shapers’ whistlestop Saturday-night tour of London clubland which concludes at the Wag “It’s all so POINTED.” (July 1983)

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Stephen Linard, Blitz Club god “It wasn’t till the press began coming to the Blitz in 1980 and CALLING EVERYONE WEIRD that we were made to feel weird. Till then, we’d thought we were just being ourselves.” (1983)

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Vince Clarke, co-founder of Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Erasure “Synthesisers seemed EASIER TO PLAY” ! (Motherboard.tv, March 2010)

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Midge Ure, vocalist with Ultravox “Walking into the Blitz was like stepping out of time – you never knew what period it was set in. It was a total mish-mash of styles, FULL OF BLURRED GENDERS and make-up for girls and boys.” (R4 documentary, April 2010)

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Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran vocalist “Rio was the album that made us the BIGGEST BAND IN THE WORLD. It made us big in America.” (ABC News, Dec 2010)

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Boy George on sudden celebrity “It’s never been such a big deal to me. I’m just A NORMAL PERSON who gets a lot more attention than other people. I’ve always been a big-mouth, I’ve always been obnoxious.” (The Tube, Japan 1984)

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David Bowie on John Lennon “He once famously described glam-rock as just ROCK AND ROLL WITH LIPSTICK ON. He was wrong of course, but it was very funny.” (Berklee College of Music, May 1999)

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Melissa Caplan, designer whose clothes were worn by Toyah and Spandau and Strange “Pop stars offer a great showcase. It’s a COARSE WAY to get publicity but success is a matter of luck, prostitution and talent.” (April 1982)

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Martin Degville, Brummie clubwear designer “The Rum Runner changed the clothes rules regularly. There was NEVER THE SAME UNITY in Birmingham as in London.” (1983)

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Christos Tolera, former Blitz Kid and artist “The one thing that struck me about the Blitz was the contrast between the club and THE OUTSIDE WORLD. For me, as a 16-year-old, it was my introduction to the possibility that working-class people could really do something different.” (The Times 2010)

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John Maybury, ex-Blitz Kid and film-maker, on the Blitz “It was NEVER COOL to snog in clubs till the soulboys got their own with the Beat Route.” (1983)

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Perry Haines, Simon Lebon, Duran

Inspiration 1981: stylist Perry Haines and Duran’s Simon Lebon

Duran Duran, the tell-tale lyric for Planet Earth (1981), from a serving suggestion by Perry Haines
Only came outside to watch the nightfall with the rain /
I heard you making patterns rhyme /
Like some NEW ROMANTIC looking for the TV sound /
You’ll see I’m right some other time

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Chris Sullivan, co-author of the anthology, Punk “Coming from south Wales you felt like YOU’D CRACKED IT if you became a plumber or electrician. That’s why the 1980s were such a creative period. Punk told you not to take orders from the man, though I hate that phrase.” (The Independent, 2010)

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Steve Strange, Blitz club host and King of the Posers “It was heavy back then and if you walked down the street dressed like we did, you would almost certainly get BEATEN UP.” (The Times, 2010)

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Nick Rhodes on the first incarnation of Duran Duran in 1979 “We came on at midnight in front of this punk crowd and here we were, this little art-school group. Stephen Duffy went up to the microphone and announced IN HIS MOST EFFETE VOICE, ‘This little song is a tribute to F Scott Fitzgerald, for those of you who’ve heard of him.’ I thought we were going to die!” (Goldmine magazine 1998)

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Stephen Jones, milliner “New Romantics were posers. That’s what we were about. We INVENTED the term.” (Quite recently on TV)

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Andy Polaris, Blitz Kid, later singer with Animal Nightlife “The Blitz was a progression from the stagnating punk scene, but a lot of people got the WRONG END OF THE PAN STIK. It was the media trying to mass market so-called individuality and ending up with a herd of sheep in wolf’s clothing.” (Record Mirror December, 1983)

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Derek Ridgers, London photographer “Bowie Night at Billy’s is often glossed over in the whole story but that was really WHERE IT ALL BEGAN. And the sort of feted media characters that Boy George, Marilyn, Steve Strange and Martin Degville eventually became were mostly just overdressed yet rather shy teenagers during their time at Billy’s.” (Derek Ridgers’ blog 2010)

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Fiona Dealey, St Martin’s fashion graduate and Beat Route till girl “When anyone has written about the Blitz it has been by THE SAME FEW BLOKES giving the same old soundbites with never a mention of what the women were up to. The Blitz was our youth club and I feel they hijacked it.” (We Can Be Heroes, book 2011)

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Bass player John Taylor “Before Malcolm McLaren being a musician in England meant you had to read music, and clock up years of dues and motorway miles, hours of practice and play interminable solos wherever possible. Malcolm’s attitude CHANGED EVERYTHING.” (Tribute on Duran Duran’s website, April 2010)

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Boy George “It was true that Bowie swept into the Blitz scene and SOAKED UP ALL THE IDEAS, but he was the reason that most of us were dressing up in the first place.” (Take It Like a Man, 1995)

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Dylan Jones, former i-D editor, today editor of GQ UK “It is impossible to stress too highly how ACHINGLY FASHIONABLE Spandau Ballet were in the winter of 1979 and the summer of 1980.” (Spandau Ballet a biography, 2009)

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Eve Ferret, Mick Hurd, Richard Jones, Blitz wine bar

Theme party at the Blitz wine bar before Steve Strange opened his club-night: Mick Hurd and Richard Jones play Thunderbirds puppets, alongside Eve Ferret. Picture © Mick Hurd

Steve Strange, host at Billy’s “Everyone made an effort to look as different as possible, drawing inspiration for their looks from the UNLIKELIEST of places. One night David Claridge and Daniel James turned up as characters from Thunderbirds.” (Quoted in his autobiography, Blitzed, Orion 2002 — Mick Hurd’s photo here suggests Steve was having another one of his fuzzy memory moments)

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Rosetta Brooks, tutor at St Martin’s School of Art and editor of ZG magazine, on the Blitz Kids “They take the idea of youth culture to the POINT OF PARODY.” (Oct 1980)

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Ian Schrager, co-founder of Studio 54, New York “I hate the idea of THE VELVET ROPE. Steve Rubell and I invented that. And I’m surprised, quite frankly, that in 30 years no one’s come up with something better. This may come as a shock to you, but when we did it, we thought it was an incredibly democratic process. It had to do with exercising the same discretion people exercise when they invite people into their home. It really wasn’t elitist.” (New York magazine, 2007)

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Stephen Linard, Blitz Kid and fashion designer “For us lot at St Martin’s getting Spandau away was just like an ART-SCHOOL PROJECT.” (1983)

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Chris Sullivan, Wag Club host for 19 years “Rusty & Steve invented RENTING clubs.” (1983)

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Anon, recalling Le Beat Route on Fridays in 1981 “They started running out of drink at 11.30 and the owner was flipping out because everyone was drinking Pernod as YOU CAN’T WATER IT DOWN without it turning that nasty shade of yellow. Ha!” (2010)

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Duran Duran, Planet Earth, video, Russell Mulcahy

Director says “Shirt off!” Duran’s Roger Taylor in the 1981 video for Planet Earth

Roger Taylor on being the first person we see in Duran’s first video, Planet Earth “I think [director] Russell Mulcahy had a bit of a crush on me: ‘OK, GET YOUR SHIRT OFF, you’re the first one, lie back’.” (Quietus interview, 2011)

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Duran’s Nick Rhodes on Birmingham in the late 70s “Allegedly this was the UK’s second city, but you couldn’t help but wonder at the GAPING DISPARITY WITH THE CAPITAL. If this was the second city, what might life be like in the thirteenth?” (Only After Dark, 2006)

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Ted Polhemus, commentator “They are a tribe WITHOUT A NAME.” (Tatler 1979)

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Seven Webster, clubber at The Padded Cell “So many people here have stepped straight OUT OF THEIR NAPPIES into bondage gear.” (Mar 1983)

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Steve Strange, co-host at The Blitz “There was always rivalry between George and me because we were all very competitive. We all clambered for the pole position to be the most OUTLANDISH, GIRLISH AND OUTRAGEOUS. We gave him a job in the cloakroom, but eventually we had to sack him because he was caught stealing.” (The Times 2010)

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Izzy LaFontaine ,Edward Norton ,Spandau Ballet, Gentry, pop music

Izzy LaFontaine: aka Edward Norton

Izzy LaFontaine of Gentry, who didn’t make it into Spandau Ballet “I was the bass player between Richard Miller and MARTIN KEMP.” (Modern Family, ABC TV, s1 e8, 2009)

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Peter Stringfellow, mainstream London club-owner “Osama bin Laden came to Stringfellows in the early 1980s. He was just one of the young Arabs who was welcome in London and WELCOME IN MY CLUB. He liked it and congratulated me on it.” (Independent, 2006)

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Stephen Linard, fashion designer and Blitz god “Everybody was coming up to their 21st birthday. It was the party that LASTED FOUR YEARS.” (1983)

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Jeffrey Hinton, Blitz Kid and club deejay “People think this was a premeditated scene but it was not. It was childlike, thrown together. We didn’t do it for the money, WE WERE INNOCENT … It’s all so marketed today.” (We Can Be Heroes, book 2011)

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Peter Godwin, Metro, pop

Peter Godwin, singer with Metro

Peter Godwin, vocalist with Metro, on the Blitz club  “The influence of the 300 or so people who used to congregate there every Tuesday has spread ALL OVER THE WORLD from the cover of Rolling Stone to the catwalks of Tokyo.” (Record Mirror, Dec 1983)

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A national newspaper’s female fashion editor remarking on the two male fashionistas who used to do a similar job to hers “There is something slightly suspect about men who want to be women’s fashion editors. You just know that once they’ve called in the clothes, they can’t wait to get into the fashion cupboard to TRY THEM ON.” (1988)

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Perry Haines, guiding spirit at the launch of i-D magazine “People are waiting for something to run with. They’re AT THE STARTING BLOCKS.” (Oct 1980)

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Marco Pirroni, guitarist and co-writer with Adam and the Ants “Adam is GLAM-PUNK. Americans don’t understand he was never a New Romantic.” (Oct 1983)

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Chris Sullivan, founder of Blue Rondo à la Turk “We started our own bands because the music we wanted to hear DID NOT EXIST.” (1983)

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Martin Degville, Brummie designer with stall in Kensington Market “The Blitz was already going when the Rum Runner started its Bowie nights. There were long queues because it was SO SELECT, while rest of week it was a funky soul venue.” (1983)

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Jeremy Healy, Blitz Kid and later half of Haysi Fantayzee “We must laugh DESPITE OURSELVES.” (1980, all the time)

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Spandau’s Gary Kemp on switching producers before recording the album True in 1983 “The reason we picked Swain and Jolley was because they had a POP SENSIBILITY. They were white boys who understood black music.” (Interview with rhino.com, 2014)

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Singer Big Tone Hadley – who else could say this of Freddie Mercury?! “He was a top, top BLOKE.” (Grapevinelive interview, March 2014)

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Radio deejay Peter Powell on Spandau as New Romantics “They were glamorous WITHOUT BEING GLAM.” (Pop Years, 2002)

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Boy George O’Dowd, 1982Boy George O’Dowd: in the week Culture Club’s debut single hit No 1, before he had come out as gay, retorting to an aggessive lumberjack clone who said he ought to be defending poofs publicly “I’m not exactly the most normal person in the world, right, but to me a poof is a mincing queen and I’m definitely NOT A POOF. If people choose to flaunt their sexual identity that’s their own look-out.” (Talking to Shapersofthe80s in Oct 1982, reported later in The Face)

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Doorman at Camden Palace, 1982, to wearer of Doc Martens “You’re not coming in, you’re wearing boots.” — Clubber, pointing to lad in front: “But you just let him in and he’s wearing boots.” — Doorman: “Yeah, but his were BOOTS.” (He was wearing Johnson’s)

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Rusty Egan, deejay at Hell “People who come here were all punks then. Now they go mad for soul. It’s LIKE PUNK NEVER HAPPENED.” (Oct 1980)

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Jimmy the Hoover vocalist Derek Dunbar on Malcolm McLaren “MASTERMIND of our generation!” (Facebook, 2011)

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Chris Sullivan, ex-Blitz Kid, singer, deejay and Wag club founder “The Blitz was a haven for the individual, a mad, barking CELEBRATION OF BRITISH RECALCITRANCE.” (The Times, 2010)

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John Taylor, Duran bassist and Bond movie fan “We get criticised for our exotic video locations. Does Cubby Broccoli get criticised for doing THE SAME THING in James Bond movies?” (Rolling Stone 1984)

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Klaus Nomi (above), artist and cultural line stepper “I approach everything as an absolute outsider. It is the only way I can BREAK SO MANY RULES.” (New York City, 1981)

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Malcolm McLaren, situationist and former Sex Pistols manager “If Guy Debord was alive today, he’d be INTO SKATEBOARDING!” (imomus.com interview 2002)

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Adam Ant, glam-punk singer “New Romantic is Spandau and all that lot. All that kind of council flat and art school [stuff]. I never set foot in the f*cking Blitz – I WOULD HAVE BOMBED IT.” (Clink Music Magazine, 2011)

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Seven Webster, clubber at the Numanoid Padded Cell: “I just hate staying in. I’ll go to ice-cream and jelly parties, ANYTHING.” (Face Nightlife review, 1983)

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Mick Collins, manager of Billy’s/Gossip’s club, Soho “I think we were the first club to do one-nighters on every night of the week. The club was AT ITS BEST IN THE 80s.” (2010)

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Caroline Baker, i-D’s original fashion editor
“i-D counts more than fashion. ORIGINATE, don’t imitate.” (Oct 1980)

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Steve Dagger, manager of Spandau Ballet “The latest thing is romance, pushed OVER THE TOP. Chris Sullivan makes even the SS look normal.” (Mar 1980)

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Andy Wickett, erstwhile singer with Duran Duran “When Simon Le Bon joined the group, their manager used to pay me £10 to give him SINGING LESSONS” (Sunday Mercury, May 2009)

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Martin Kemp, Spandau Ballet bass player “We were the first through that door in 1980 and when you are first you end up being TRODDEN ON by the flood that comes through afterwards. We suffered a little bit from that.” (TV interview, 1988)

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Martin Degville, Brummie clubwear designer “Birmingham always had MORE POSEY NEW ROMANTICS because punk didn’t take hold the same way as London.” (1983)

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Boy George, reacting to details from his frank autobiography being recycled ahead of the BBC drama Worried About the Boy “I’d like to TAKE BACK most of what I’ve said in the past 30 years, is that OK? Clean slate!” (Twitter, May 2010)

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Lee Sheldrick, 1980

Stephen Linard, St Martin’s student and Warren Street squatter, on getting ready for The Blitz “The competition pushed you on, especially Lee Sheldrick. At Warren Street you might change what you were going to wear EIGHT TIMES on a Tuesday to try to outdo everyone else.” (1984)

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In the 80s, milliner Stephen Jones made the same beret for Steve Strange of Visage and the Princess of Wales “Steve Strange wore it in the video for Mind of a Toy… the Princess of Wales wore it to, I think, LAUNCH A SHIP.” (Showstudio.com 2010)

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John Keeble on life before he became Spandau’s demented drummer “I was a cashier at Barclays Bank, Euston. I’ve still got my account there JUST TO RUB IT IN.” (Nov 1983, in LA during the True tour)

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Malcolm McLaren, talking to Sounds, the music weekly “There’s nothing worse than reading your paper. IT’S ALL GREY. No colour shines out in anything. And that’s very suggestive of the way everybody has what Thatcher wants them to have. You’ve got to get gold.” (Sounds, July 1980)

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Simon Le Bon, Duran vocalist “Don’t wait for somebody else to change your life, don’t sit there COMPLAINING Why isn’t my life better?, do it yourself. That was very much part of 80s thinking.” (Quietus interview, 2011)

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Perry Haines, student journalist, on the other cool shop in the King’s Road “Acme Attractions lost out in THE BATTLE FOR PUNK.” (1983)

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Paul Stewart “The great thing was I worked in Kensington Market – it was like a DAYTIME NIGHTCLUB.” (Facebook 2009)

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Jim Fouratt, American promoter “Gays set the trends and any club NEEDS THEM to make things happen.” (May 1981)

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Duran, Roger Taylor,1981, New Romantics

Duran’s drummer: Roger Taylor in 1981. From Birmingham.

Steve Dagger, pop manager “… there was this bloke from Birmingham who looked like DURAN DURAN’s drummer. Of course everyone in Birmingham looks like Duran Duran’s drummer…” (Dec 1983)

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John Taylor of Duran Duran “Malcolm McLaren’s attitude CHANGED EVERYTHING. Without him, no punk rock revolution, no Anarchy In The UK, no Never Mind The Bollocks. No Sex Pistols. No Clash. No Duran Duran.” (duranduran.com, April 2010)

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Gennaro, model in Axiom’s New York show “I’ve done that pirate look four times over the years: old hippy clothes are so easy. But these SNAP CLOTHES, I dig.” (May 1981)

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Martin Degville, self-taught Brummie tailor “They’re only FAD CLOTHES. People don’t want an immaculate finish.” (Oct 1980)

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Cultural historian Michael Bracewell describing Peter York, the writer who in Harpers & Queen in 1976 identified “a mysterious aesthetic conspiracy” of high-style Londoners he dubbed Them “Peter York is the MEPHISTOPHELES of subcultural anthropology.” (Lecture on Roxy Music at Tate Britain, Dec 2012)

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Boy George on 80s club-host and lifelong friend, Philip Sallon “Philip has always defied classification. Like a lot of other people, I was really just following his lead. He’s the Dr Frankenstein. I’M THE MONSTER.” (Style Surfing, Thames & Hudson 1996)

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Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet “We consider ourselves as being the MOST MODERN DRESSERS and thinkers in London.” (On 20th-Century Box, 1980)

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John Nicholson, psychologist, on the Blitz generation “I’m surprised it’s taken so long for them to GET ANGRY about us running everything.” (Oct 1980)

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Ultravox vocalist Midge Ure on the Blitz “It meant a lot to me. It was the only club at that time where I could get in free. It MADE ME FEEL VERY MANLY, cos all the other boys wore frocks.” (Record Mirror, Dec 1983)

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Simon Le Bon, Duran vocalist “I had some pretty amazing sex-and-drugs combined occasions. Which, ultimately, were very rock’n’roll. Just thinking back to the Rum Runner, what a place that was for five guys… it was probably illegal. In fact, a lot of it was DEFINITELY ILLEGAL.” (Quietus interview, 2011)

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Judith Frankland , Mud club

Judi Frankland at the Mud club 1983 © Shapersofthe80s

Judi Frankland, Blitz Kid, fashion designer and star of the Ashes to Ashes video “If it wasn’t for Steve Strange the course of fashion and A LOT OF LIVES would have run a different course. He and Rusty do not get the recognition they deserve.” (2011)

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Rusty Egan, former Blitz deejay “La Roux are influenced by the best of the 80s and make fun pop. They OPENED THE DOOR to the music for this generation to discover via the internet.” (Glasswerk.co.uk, Feb 2010)

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Nick Egan, video director for Duran Duran and Oasis “We live in a world of SELF-PROMOTION.” (Facebook, Jan 2011)

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Tony Hadley, vocalist with Spandau Ballet “I think people have philosophised about the Blitz too much. Yes it was arty — but essentially it was a bunch of guys and girls HAVING A GOOD TIME. It was a much more innocent period.” (Daily Record video, July 2011)

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Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet songwriter “Most journalists reporting youth culture GET IT WRONG.’’ (1983)

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Michael Jackson in the communal dressing room, complete with parents after a Jacksons Destiny Tour gig at the Rainbow theatre in London (above) “Hi,” he squeaked exclusively to me in his Mickey Mouse voice. — “Hi,” I squeaked back, “I’m from the D**** ****, you know, the newspaper you’ve written three columns for.” — “Did I?” said he. “What did I say?” (Yours truly, Feb 23, 1979)

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Kim Bowen, ex-Blitz Kid and stylist “Malcolm McLaren left his diary at my house once. I nosed, obviously: ‘There are Fashion Victims everywhere, I’M A FASHION BEAST’. He was.” (e-mail, 2011)

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Gary Kemp on the Live Aid broadcast to a global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations in 1985 “British bands were the MOST POWERFUL BANDS IN THE WORLD at that point. Live Aid would not have happened if it hadn’t been for the success of British bands internationally.” (Interview with rhino.com, 2014)

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John Taylor, Duran Duran bassist “None of us had any idea we were going to become a pin-up band. Not all of us were shy but we were ENGLISH BOYS, you know — we weren’t like the Chippendales. Having said that, we got into it quite quickly!” (BBC Birmingham TV news, Dec 2011)

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Rusty Egan following BBC 6Music’s Back to the Phuture show
“After listening to Steve Strange mis-pronouncing artists, tracks, dates, and stories I think I NEED TO WRITE A BOOK, not him. Things were a little different.” (2010)

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Chris Sullivan, deejay and Wag club host “It wasn’t until the Blitz that George came into his own and flourished LIKE A PERSISTENT WEED that knew he was a rose.” (The Times, 2010)

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Duran Duran, Perry Haines, EMI, Milton, photoshoot

Duran Duran 1981: first EMI picture session, styled by Perry Haines and photographed by Andy Earl

Perry Haines, ex-Blitz Kid, producer and first editor of i-D “Duran Duran were destined to be MASS MARKET. I styled their first photo session in Milton Keynes in frilly Axiom shirts with bolero jackets and silk Antony Price suits. It was a street-level look with the cut and style of Antony.” (1982)

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Gary Kemp introducing his fellow band member at Philipshalle in Düsseldorf “The most soulful saxophone this side of YOUNG AMERICANS, Steve Norman.” (March 2010)

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Shapersofthe80s, in Le Kilt club, Soho “I started writing down a whole argument between Ollie O’Donnell and Chris Sullivan over which of them had designed/drawn/ordered the first zoot suit. It lasted an age — at least TWO CANS OF PILS.” (1981)

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Altered Images , Smash Hits, Clare Grogan

Clare Grogan: birthday girl, 1981

Altered Images vocalist Clare Grogan on their No 2 chart hit from 1981, Happy Birthday “For 18 years I couldn’t bear it. Wherever I heard it – restaurants, Topshop – I’D RUN OUT SCREAMING! It represented a magical moment that turned sour when the band split up.” (Radio 4 documentary, Nov 2013)

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60s singer Sandie Shaw on her love-hate relationship with Puppet on a String, her winning Eurovision song, and reclaiming it after recording with The Smiths in 1984 “That was the only thing The Smiths DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT ME. That was the starting point for regaining my own self-respect.” (Radio 4 documentary, Nov 2013)

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Nicola Tyson, Billy’s regular and artist “The scene was word of mouth in those days — no Facebook or cell phones. You just had to be IN THE KNOW.” (Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club London 1978 exhibition of Nicola’s photographs at Sadie Coles HQ, 2013)

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Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet songwriter “Apparently, they play [Gold] last thing at night, use it TO CLEAR STUDENT UNION BARS.” (Also “chuffed” at London Olympics exposure for his 1983 hit — Huffington Post, 2012)

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Tony Hadley, Spandau Ballet’s singer, is asked to share a memory from Live Aid, 1985 “It would have to be standing on the side of the stage with deejay Janice Long and there were 80,000 people there, the sun was shining and the band Status Quo had just taken the stage and started rockin’. Janice and I looked at each other and said ‘THIS IS AMAZING’ and the hair on the back of our necks stood up. I can’t think of anything better.” (Interview with according2g.com, 2011)

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Morrissey, Smiths vocalist “None of Bowie’s $20,000-a-day US guitarists had a grain of Mick Ronson’s NATURAL STYLE” (Uncut interview, Jan 2013)

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Jon Moss ,Culture Club, Boy George

Boy George and Jon Moss in Culture Club 1982

Jon Moss on being Culture Club’s drummer “I’d go out with George, we’d hold hands, kissing in clubs, have our picture taken. I wasn’t bothered by it because for me it wasn’t a problem… WE WERE A COUPLE, like one of those showbiz couples. We had things we both needed from each other. George showed me things I’d never seen in my life – I’m talking about a way of being. It was the happiest time of my life, then.” (Young Guns Go For It, BBC TV, 1999)

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Dick Whittingham, deejay at the Rum Runner, Birmingham, on his fashionable winklepickers “I had to hide them, to take them out of the house in a bag, and then put them on, because my mother thought they were TROUBLE SHOES.” (BBC One Show interview, 2011)

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Jackie Alexander, Blitz Kid “I used to go to the Blitz. Boy George had super-sized JEDWARD HAIR back then!” (Facebook, 2011)

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Alix Sharkey, founder of 80s band Stimulin, later journalist, responding to a fab pic of an overdressed Pope Benedict sporting his ruby-red Judy Garland slippers “The first fashion story I ever wrote, in 1981, was for New Sounds New Styles. It was about the fashions of Pope John Paul I, and how the accessories changed ACCORDING TO THE CONTINENT. Plus ça change.” (Facebook, 2013)

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Peter Capaldi,Doctor Who,outfit, fashion,Crombie,TV,Rebel Time Lord

Peter Capaldi as the new Rebel Time Lord kitted in all-British post-Mod 1960s style for the Doctor Who of 2014: Loakes 12-hole boots, a three-button Crombie-style coat cut in navy Crombie cloth (but not made by the Scottish firm Crombie itself), chinos with a Sta-Prest cut likely to have been made by Paul Smith, plus white buttoned-up shirt and merino wool Cavendish cardie from John Smedley

Gary Kemp on Peter Capaldi, who supported Spandau Ballet on their first UK tour in 1982 “Check out the new Doctor Who outfit that he’s wearing. If that isn’t a Tony Hadley True jacket, I DON’T KNOW what I’m talking about!” (Interview with rhino.com, 2014)

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TO BE CONTINUED, BLAH BLAH BLAH …

All text © 1978-2014 Shapersofthe80s

❏ TAGS: Blitz Kids, New Romantics, 1980s, Clubbing, Culture, Fashion, London, Media, Pop music, Social trends, Youth culture, quotes

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One response to “THEY SAID IT

  1. Pingback: Dreamscape: The Latest Toyah Willcox News » Toyah Newsy Bits & Pieces!

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