Tag Archives: 1980s

➤ Blue Rondo’s fat has been a long time a-chewing but May is now the month

Blue Rondo à la Turk,Chris Sullivan,remix, ,British, Latin-funk,1980s, dance music,

Me and Mr Sanchez: 1981’s debut chart hit for Blue Rondo à la Turk with cover art by former Wag club host Chris Sullivan

❚ PROMISES! PROMISES! All-round clubbing maestro Chris Sullivan has been faffing away for a year since he got his hands on the original master-tapes of his stand-out Latin-funk dance-band of 1982, Blue Rondo à la Turk. Going public on Facebook today, he dares to promise a re-release of their first album Chewing The Fat this spring (having originally mooted it for last spring), meanwhile posting online a punchy fresh mix of their debut chart single, Me and Mr Sanchez.

Sullivan said: “This is a remix we’ve done for our forthcoming bonus remix CD to accompany the first ever CD release of Blue Rondo’s first album Chewing The Fat on May 5.” Then comes the killer punch: “We’re looking to license it to a TV company for the World Cup… any ideas? It’s a no brainer and the original was used in Brazil by Globo TV for the 1982 World Cup but this is a better mix.”

A year ago he was downloading the whole Rondo catalogue fresh off the original tapes, saying: “First time anyone will have heard them digitally – other than disc dubs, of course. Looking back and listening to the tunes (especially the Heavens are Crying mix) what astonishes me is the f***-you-we’ll-do-our-thing approach.”

Since then Sullivan has released a handful of mixes from the putative new album, including an earlier mix of Mr Sanchez about which he acknowledged that the dean of swing, ex-Rondo guitarist Mark Reilly, “did the lion’s share”.

➢ Blue Rondo breathe fresh life into Mr Sanchez

➢ A brighter Bluer Rondo for the 20-tweens

➢ Sullivan and his hinterland 1982–2012

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➤ Essential pop-cultural landmarks reported here at Shapers of the 80s

Andrew Ridgeley,George Michael, Wham Rap, video, Face magazine, Club Culture,

Click pic to open the Wham Rap! video in another window … “Man or mouse” Andrew Ridgeley establishes his clubbing credentials – along with sidekick George Michael – in the opening shots of the Wham! video by reading this very Face cover story on Club Culture that you’re about to read!

THE MOST READ FEATURE ARTICLE AMONG 720,000 VIEWS SINCE THE LAUNCH OF SHAPERS OF THE 80s

➢ 1983, The Making of UK Club Culture — Definitive Face cover story by yours truly seen here in the Wham Rap! video. This account of how London nightlife had become an international magnet was first published as “an upstairs‑downstairs tale of two key nightspots” in The Face No 34 in February 1983. Photography © by Derek Ridgers. Reprinted in The Faber Book of Pop, 1995; and in Night Fever, Boxtree, 1997

69 Dean Street, Soho, club culture, The Face magazine, London, 1980s, clubbing, nightlife,Billys, Gargoyle,Red Studio,Blitz Kids

From The Face, February 1983

THE ORIGINAL HISTORY OF THE BLITZ KIDS

The Observer Music Magazine. Pictures © by Derek Ridgers

The Observer Music Magazine, Oct 4, 2009. Pictures © by Derek Ridgers

➢ Spandau Ballet, the Blitz Kids and the birth of the New Romantics — The much-plundered story originally researched by Shapers of the 80s tells who did what to make stars out of a club houseband, change the rhythm of the UK charts — and ultimately rejuvenate the British media. The obsessive fashionistas behind one small club in London in 1980 went on to dominate the international landscape of pop and fashion, while putting more British acts into the US Billboard charts than the 1960s ever achieved.

EARLY 80s REPORTS REVISITED

➢ How three wizards met at the same crossroad in time — an inside 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, Shapersofthe80s 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

Romance blossoms: Drummer Jon Moss gives George O’Dowd a peck at Planets club in July 1981 way before their band Culture Club existed. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ Three key men in Boy George’s life – In 2010 the BBC turned the pop star’s teens ’n’ twenties into a 90-minute drama of foot-stamping, chair-throwing, cry-baby tantrums over his self-confessed “dysfunctional romances”, all of which he had documented in his eye-wateringly frank 1995 autobiography, Take It Like a Man. Shapers of the 80s summarises George O’Dowd’s stormy lovelife.

➢ Ex-Blitz Kids give their verdicts on the TV drama Worried About the Boy – During and after its broadcast in 2010, this authoritative mixture of opinions on the Boy George story reshaped the accepted clichés about the Blitz Kids.

Chris Sullivan, club-host, deejay, Wag club, Blue Rondo, pop music,We Can Be Heroes, youth culture,

At home in Kentish Town Chris Sullivan chooses the right zootsuit for today’s mood: his wardrobe is legendary, his taste impeccable, and his influence immeasurable. Shapersofthe80s shot this for his first Evening Standard interview in June 1981

➢ 1976–1984, How creative clubbing started and ended with the 80s – “We were all kids,” says Chris Sullivan who would eventually host the Wag, the coolest club in town, for 19 years. “We went out and had a go. Empowerment is what’s important about this story.”

Photocall: Spandau Ballet, Richard Burgess and assorted Blitz Kid designers gather for the press conference before their fashion-and-music shows in New York. Yes that is Sade towards the far right. Photograph © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ 1981, First Blitz invasion of the US – 21 Blitz Kids take Manhattan by storm with a fresh fashion show and the live new sound of London. Eye-witness words and pix by Shapers of the 80s

ROMANTIC REVIVAL OF THE NOUGHTIES

Sade  1983

Wow! Then and now: Sade backstage in August 1983 while still seeking a recording contract and, right, as shot to launch her 2010 album. Vintage picture © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ 2010, Shapers of the 80s finds comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ – Having wowed the 80s clubbing scene, in 2011 Sade’s band won a Grammy award for Best R&B Performance By A Group.

➢ 2009, Onstage, Spandau Ballet’s Hadley and Kemp finally get huggy in a mighty Reformation – Shapers of the 80s follows the reunion of the band who wrote the new rules for pop in the Swinging 80s.

WE ARE ALL BOWIE’S CHILDREN NOW

David Bowie, Starman, 1972, Top of the Pops, tipping point, BBC

The moment the earth tilted July 6, 1972: During Starman on Top of the Pops, David Bowie drapes his arm around the shoulder of Mick Ronson. Video © BBC

➢ 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

➢ Where to draw a line between glitter and glam – defining what separates the naff blokes in Bacofoil from starmen with pretensions

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➤ Dress UP while Sullivan selects sounds from the 80s at the V&A’s Friday Late

Claire Wilcox ,Chris Sullivan,Club to Catwalk, fashion , 1980s,V&A,exhibition,,London

At the V&A’s opening party for the Club to Catwalk exhibition, Chris Sullivan and its curator Claire Wilcox © Photographed by Shapersofthe80s

❚ EX-ST MARTIN’S AND WAG CLUB HOST Chris Sullivan says: “I’ll be deejay at the V&A again for next Friday’s free event. I’ll be doing a typical 80s club set from Kraftwerk to house with hip hop, rockabilly and mutant disco, to seminal electro and rare groove. It’s an evening of all sorts of shenanigans to do with the Club to Catwalk exhibition.”

The monthly Friday Late on October 25 at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is inspired by the current exhibition Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, which celebrates the creativity and theatricality of the capital’s dynamic fashion and club scenes. Assistant curator Kate Bethune is running a busy programme of free events, including art and design workshops, art installations, expert talks, performances and deejay sets throughout the gallery.

Club to Catwalk, exhibition, London, Fashion,1980s, V&ADIY fashionistas will discover how to make their own Scarlett Dress (named after Scarlett Cannon, 80s Cha-Cha club hostess and now “key identity” for the exhibition, seen at left) by downloading the dress pattern from the V&A’s website. An example of the toile is being displayed in the Sackler Centre on Friday evening.

Kate reports: “Our free Friday Lates tend to attract upwards of 4,000 visitors and our Club to Catwalk exhibition, London Fashion in the 1980s, continues to prove extremely popular and is averaging 5,000 visitors a week.”

➢ Back to the 80s at the V&A, October 25, 18:30–22:00

Christos Tolera,Axiom, Chris Sullivan, zootsuits, fashion, 1980s, V&A,

Clubbing style 1981: Sullivan’s zootsuits currently pictured in the V&A’s Club to Catwalk 80s fashion exhibition, here strutting the Axiom collective’s runway at Club for Heroes back in the day. Modelled by Solomon Mansoor and Christos Tolera, photographed by © Shapersothe80s

DJCHRISSULLIVAN’SOWNTHINGMIX LATEST

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30 years ago ➤ The day Vivienne and Malcolm realised the end was nigh

End of the world: The last public appearance together by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, Oct 17, 1983. As they take the applause for their Paris show, a bitter battle for control of the Worlds End label is raging behind the scenes. Picture © by Shapersofthe80s

End of the world 30 years ago: The last public appearance together by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, Oct 17, 1983. As they take the applause for their Paris show, a bitter battle for control of the Worlds End label is raging behind the scenes. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ My Evening Standard exclusive breaks the news
of a parting of the ways – read it inside Shapersofthe80s

First published in the Evening Standard, Nov 4, 1983

First published in the Evening Standard, Nov 4, 1983

Vivienne Westwood, fashion, retail

Guess who’s still in business today: Vivienne Westwood as triumphant tribal queen in a new portrait posted only this week at Facebook

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➤ Webb lays bare the subversive story of British fashion in the 80s

Scarlett Cannon ,Iain R Webb, books,As Seen In Blitz, Fashion, 1980s,Style,Blitz Kids

80s club host Scarlett Cannon wears Hermes on the cover of Iain R Webb’s new book: “One of the things I love most about this photograph is that David just drew around Scarlett and darkened the background with a pencil to make her stand out more.” (Photograph by David Hiscock. Make-up, William Faulkner)

❚ FINALLY A BOOK ABOUT THE 80s without George O’Dowd’s face on the cover! Here comes the other version of the Swinging London of 30 years ago, created by the fashionistas, rather than the music entrepreneurs, and the face of Cha-Cha club host Scarlett on the cover defines another version of events exactly. It comes just in time to chime with the V&A’s second landmark exhibition this year. From July 10, following the Bowie extravaganza, comes Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, which includes a display of denim jackets commissioned in 1986 by Blitz magazine from key London-based designers. Who better to sort the Who’s from the Who Nots than one of the seminal clubland Blitz Kids, Iain R Webb.

During those fertile years in the re-energising of the capital’s youth culture through nightlife, when he shared a flat with fellow St Martin’s design students Fiona Dealey and Stephen Jones, Webb says his peers were “cultured clubbers – our aim was to push the parameters and explore the ideals of glamour, imagery, sexuality and taste. We were determined to challenge the status quo and maybe even change the world, even if ‘just for one day’.”

Iain R Webb,Blitz Kid, fashion, journalism

Webb: from Blitz Club to The Times

Having studied fashion at St Martin’s, Webb says he “fell into writing” and went on to become fashion editor of Blitz magazine, the Evening Standard, Harpers & Queen, The Times and Elle.

This week his new book, As Seen In Blitz: Fashioning 80s Style, went off to the printers, to be published in April by ACC (272 pages, £27.30 pre-order price). With previously-unseen archive content and much oral history from key designers, it chronicles the fashion pages Webb created for Blitz magazine 1982–87, after the New Romantics fad had died the death. Webb’s subversive images gave free rein to the imagination and involved a global cast of designers including Comme Des Garcons, Jasper Conran, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Katharine Hamnett, Hermes, Pam Hogg, Marc Jacobs.

Blitz magazine,fashion,style,1980s, London, pop music

Blitz December 1986: Dead Trendy fashion special. Martine Houghton photographed by Gill Campbell. Make-up, Gregory Davis. Hair, Rick Haylor

Webb says: “The book has over 100 contributors – designers and photographers from the Bodymappers to Nick Knight, and loads of models, make-up and hair peoploids in between.”

At its launch in 1980, Blitz magazine posed little threat to the fondly remembered Face magazine, which majored on music and style. Blitz wandered a disparate social world of its own well to the west of the Soho trendsetters – but eventually, under the influence of Webb, photographer Knight and other cool arbiters of taste, it gradually clicked into the Swinging London groove that saw the UK capital become a crucial stopover for the world’s media and buyers during the biannual round of international fashion shows.

Webb himself went on to win the Fashion Journalist of The Year Award in 1995 and 1996. Today he consults for the Fashion Museum in Bath and is a visiting professor at Central Saint Martins, LCF and the RCA.

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