◼ IN 1985 THE LONDON MUSICIAN Paul Hardcastle stunned Europe with his hynotic anti-war hit, 19, which spent weeks at No 1 in the charts. It was effectively a rap sampled from the voiceover to the Emmy-nominated documentary Vietnam Requiem, which made the shock claim that “In World War Two the average age of the combat soldier was 26. In Vietnam he was 19.” This year, Hardcastle was watching a documentary about British soldiers serving in Afghanistan when he heard an officer say: “I looked at my men. The average age was 19 — my God, I’m taking boys to war.” For the 25th anniversary of his hit Hardcastle updated and wrote a new version of 19 called Boys To War which was released yesterday in the UK.
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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
“See David Johnson’s fabulously detailed website Shapers of the 80s to which I am hugely indebted” – Political historian Dominic Sandbrook, in his book Who Dares Wins, 2019
“The (velvet) goldmine that is Shapers of the 80s” – Verdict of Chris O’Leary, respected author and blogger who analyses Bowie song by song at Pushing Ahead of the Dame
“The rather brilliant Shapers of the 80s website” – Dylan Jones in his Sweet Dreams paperback, 2021
A UNIQUE HISTORY➢ WELCOME to the Swinging 80s
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❏ Header artwork by Kat Starchild shows Blitz Kids Darla Jane Gilroy, Elise Brazier, Judi Frankland and Steve Strange, with David Bowie at centre in his 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes
VINCENT ON AIR 2022
TOLD FOR THE FIRST TIME
◆ Who was who in Spandau’s break-out year of 1980? The Invisible Hand of Shapersofthe80s draws a selective timeline for The unprecedented rise and rise of Spandau Ballet –– Turn to our inside page
- 1984 ➤ How SAW pumped up the volume during the Swinging Eighties
- 2023 ➤ Bowie anniversaries: One fan’s teenage love remains undimmed
- ➤ Hottest Shapers during 2022
- 2022 ➤ Reunion with Martin Creed, the artist who might yet make me rich
- ➤ Captured in 1983: the Westwood-McLaren showdown
- 2022 ➤ Farewell Terry Hall, chronicler of social unrest in the Eighties
- 2022 ➤ Snatch your own Rondo moment at Sullivan’s solo show
- ➤ Rusty Egan: next stop, St Leonards-on-Sea?
- 2022 ➤ Martin Kemp on a life full of love but lacking two vital apologies
- 2022 ➤ Rock god Frampton comes home to make his final farewells
- 2022 ➤ After the op, Judi Frankland gets her boxing gloves on
- 2022 ➤ Steve Norman relives Spandau’s Glory days
SEARCH our 800 posts or ZOOM DOWN TO THE ARCHIVE INDEX
UNTOLD BLITZ STORIES
✱ If you thought there was no more to know about the birth of Blitz culture in 1980 then get your hands on a sensational book by an obsessive music fan called David Barrat. It is gripping, original and epic – a spooky tale of coincidence and parallel lives as mind-tingling as a Sherlock Holmes yarn. Titled both New Romantics Who Never Were and The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet! Sample this initial taster here at Shapers of the 80s
CHEWING THE FAT
LANDMARK FAREWELLS. . . HIT THE INDEX TAB UP TOP FOR EVERYTHING ELSE
✱ “I’m not a rock star” Bowie often said – No, David, you were a messiah – Obituaries and key videos on the godlike one
Archive — Many publication dates are arbitrary, so click and take pot luck!