Tag Archives: 2011

➤ Ten killer videos to celebrate Duran’s live return to unfinished business in the UK

Elegant French production of The Man Who… directed by Jethro Massey, with Faith Anne Gosselin, Sorrel & Massimiliano, Mocchia Di Coggiola

❚ TOMORROW DURAN DURAN RESUME their live British dates on the world tour which had been halted in May by Simon Le Bon’s vocal problems. The All You Need Is Now tour kicks off again in Brighton, and moves on to Europe in the New Year. After a painstaking year-long journey, the Brummie band has regained its status as magnificent international popsters and to celebrate, Shapersofthe80s has selected ten videos which demonstrate the energy Duran’s music has brought to the 20-tweens.

♫ CLICK HERE to view our selection of music videos by independent artists who bring eye-popping interpretations to Duran’s music

All You Need Is Now, UK tour,Girl Panic, pop video, Duran Duran,Naomi Campbell,Duran’s tongue-in-chic new video for Girl Panic! sees Naomi Campbell assuming the role of vocalist (above) in red Austin Powers suit, while the 80s supergroup re-establishes its signature sound for the 20-tweens. Directed by Jonas Åkerlund and photographed by Erik Sohlström [videograb © Jonas Åkerlund/Harper’s Bazaar UK]

❏ iPAD, TABLET & MOBILE USERS PLEASE NOTE — You may see only a tiny selection of items from this wide-ranging website about the 1980s, not chosen by the author. To access fuller background features and site index either click on “Standard view” or visit Shapersofthe80s.com on a desktop computer. ➢ Click here to visit a different random item every time you click

2012 ➤ Boy George reunites with Culture Club for New Year’s Eve — and a new album

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy Geoge, Mikey Craig,New Years Eve,Sydney Resolution,concert,video,interview

Culture Club on Sunrise this week: Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy Geoge and Mikey Craig

➢ Click the pic to view video interview with Culture Club on Sunrise, the breakfast show at Sydney’s Seven Television station

❚ HERE’S A PICTURE MANY SAID would never be taken: all four members of 80s supergroup Culture Club reunited. And a live concert imminent. In 1983 the New Romantic band with its gender-bending singer and unique reggae-based rhythms were prominent among the 18 new-wave bands who mounted the Second British Invasion of the US charts. In 1984 the band won the Grammy Award as Best New Artist and along with Princess Diana, Boy George became an international fashion emblem for the new Swinging London.

This week Boy George’s official website announces that the four original members of Culture Club have reunited for the first time since 2002 for a one-off concert in Australia on Jan 1. Before an audience of 30,000 at Sydney’s Glebe Island, overlooking the harbour, the band will play after the New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on a bill with The Pet Shop Boys, Jamiroquai and other Australian acts.

More surprising is that the photo shows Roy, Jon, George and Mikey in a London recording studio where George said “we’re in the middle of writing for a new album” with their original producer Steve Levine. This first pic of the reunited Culture Club is grabbed from Sydney’s Seven Television in an interview on Tuesday when George said they’d include a couple of new songs in the “hit-packed” Sydney show. When Jon was asked why a reunion has taken so long, an agonisingly long silence followed until he managed to answer “I don’t know!” This did raise the laugh we see above, then he added “I think we have a ten-year cycle. It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other.” Not a flicker of a smile from anyone. The six-minute exchange contained so many sidelong glances between the four and generally awkward body language that you might wonder whether they would survive the flight to Australia together.


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

Culture Club’s initial five-year career was blown apart after clocking ten Top 40 hits in the US, which included Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. By 1986, however, George’s addiction to drugs was making tabloid headlines and his secret four-year romance with Jon was growing ever more explosive. A sanitised TV dramatisation titled Worried About The Boy provided an extremely one-sided version of events when aired last year. From 1998 a band reunion over four years yielded two chart hits and a platinum compilation album in the UK.

➢ NY Eve concert tickets are priced from $198 at Sydney Resolution

➢ Update: Boy George’s first live concert in ages, scheduled for Dec 8 in London, has been cancelled without explanation


➤ No panic at Duran HQ — when you want glamour, glitz and shiny just outsource your video

❚ SPONSORSHIP, EH? Why fork out your own money to make a pop video when you’re a penniless 80s retro band and you can persuade an international luxury brand to pay for it? In return for a few words of gratitude of course. So before we get to see the real thing, here is the 12th tease trailer, yes 12th, posted today, for Duran Duran’s next video. The first eleven can be viewed on DD’s YouTube channel.

This one is the “making of” version, and do not view it unless you’re braced for a hair-raising and shameless suck-up to their wonderful sponsor by all four members of the film-it-grab-it-and-run Rio gang. They are seen on location at London’s Savoy Hotel (B&B from £455 per night) shooting the archetypal DD lush-life single, Girl Panic! (Musically, the stand-out track on the album, more’s the pity.)

The Birmingham-born and high-school educated former nightclub disc jockey turned keyboardist Nick Rhodes whispers seductively from behind a cut-crystal glass curtain: “We teamed up with Swarovski who have provided some fantastic elements, crystals, for us in the video. You really do need to try to work with people who fit the aesthetic of what you’re trying to do, and with Swarovski, er, I think they, er, [he did pause, twice, let’s hope for ironic effect, though we cannot be sure] they represent quality, glamour and glitz and shiny things.” Yes, Nick did say shiny things. And yes again, dear reader, the key word there was aesthetic, with its very scholarly diphthong. As we discover, “Hey, this is only rock’n’roll” — the final words of the real video — is nearer the OTT mark.

Models ARE Duran Duran (No, not really, it’s just make-believe) ... Cindy Crawford, Helen Christensen, Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova and Yasmin Le Bon play Duran Duran for a photoshoot in the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK

Guitarist John Taylor adds his tuppenceworth of product plug for the Austrian gemstones-to-home-decor-to-optics-to-luminous-road-markings brand, yes, road markings, whose energy-intensive glass grinding processes take advantage of hydroelectricity in the local mountains: “That connection has brought a beauty to the look of the video that we wouldn’t have had without them.” And yes, everything from guitar straps to hand mikes were vajazzled with Austrian glitzy bits — 700 on the singer’s microphone alone, we are told.

Off-screen Rhodes spoke about the project from New York, where the band have just completed a six-week US tour: “Harpers UK had approached us about collaborating with the magazine on something really special when the new album came out. I’d had this crazy idea for a video for the song Girl Panic! that looked fantastic on paper — to recreate a day-in-the-life of the band, with five of the world’s greatest supermodels playing all of us. The magazine loved the idea of doing a cover shoot within the video itself.” (Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana play Harper’s guest fashion editors for the day, during a photoshoot scene which will form a 22-page cover story for the December issue. Yes, 22!)

Giving their services free are the supermodels: Naomi Campbell IS lead singer Simon Le Bon, Cindy Crawford IS bassist John Taylor, blonde Eva Herzigova IS blond keyboardist Nick Rhodes, Helena Christensen IS drummer Roger Taylor, while Yasmin Le Bon does a droll turn as “the anonymous guitarist”. (Only joking about the free bit.) Directed by Jonas (Telephone) Åkerlund, Girl Panic! will have its world premiere at the Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2011 at Claridge’s Hotel on Monday, and is released next day online at Vevo.

Wags at YouTube commented today: “It could be a Duran Duran commercial brought to us by Swarovski” … or “This Swarvoski commercial is brought to you by Duran Duran.”

❏ Wikipedia footnote: “Swarovski is also product-placed in the 2011 J-Lo promo video for the single On The Floor.” Eat your heart out, J-Lo.

➢ The Daily Mail gets the exclusive modelly pix from the Harper’s Bazaar shoot… while Grazia magazine declares the video a “Grand Fashion Moment”

➢ Previews of the December issue at Harper’s Bazaar

Duran Duran, Girl Panic, Naomi Campbell, video

“Naomi Campbell IS Simon Le Bon”... Videograb © Jonas Akerlund/Harper’s Bazaar UK


➤ Meet Smith & Sullivan, the wags behind the story of the heroic 80s

Wag telling tales: Sullivan in full flow at an earlier photography show by Smith, right. Photograph by Shapersofthe80s

Update Nov 22:

➢ Although the first edition of We Can be Heroes has sold out, a special cloth-bound edition is now on sale for £35, plus a Deluxe edition for £350, at the Unbound Publishing website

❚ HERE’S AN IRRESISTIBLE PARTY INVITATION. As their fund-raising barometer hits 60% of target, the authors of We Can Be Heroes, a ribald account of Britain in the 80s, announce another soirée
 to raise public awareness. Their nightlife peers changed the face of the UK club scene which created dozens of new bands, artists and designers. Born with the mutant party-animal gene, Graham Smith & Chris Sullivan are taking over Robert Pereno’s new Society Club in Soho for two reasons: to show off Graham’s stylish clubland photos, which will be selling there until Christmas; but chiefly to win over buyers who are dithering over investing £30 in their huge coffee-table book that is garnished with tall stories from Sullivan as well as 100 other club-world collaborators.

Come along next Friday to meet them over a drink and to hear the garrulous Welshman Sullivan “in conversation with eminent journalist Michael Holden” — in other words, talking hind legs off donkeys. Orders for the book can be placed only online at Unbound Publishing (where Graham has an explanatory video) so they won’t be prising your wallet open on the spot. Inevitably, a further high point of the evening will be a free-entry after-party where Sullivan will be deejaying classic club tunes from 1976-84 half a mile away at The Aviary Bar.

We Can Be Heroes, Graham Smith, Chris Sullivan, Unbound Publishing,photography,As of today there are only 16 days left to buy your prestige 
limited first-edition of We Can Be Heroes (there won’t be a second edition unless they reach 100% on the first) and you get your name printed in it. You’ll be within the same hard covers as starry contributors such as Robert Elms, Boy George, Gary Kemp and Steve Strange. The clock is ticking because of the new “crowd-sourcing” technique to raise funds. This is being pioneered in books by Unbound, a new offshoot of Faber, whose authors include Python Terry Jones, cultural taste-maker Jonathan Meades, and creator of TV’s This Life series, Amy Jenkins.

One of the reasons fund-raising has been a slow burn for S&S is that, uniquely on the Unbound list, We Can Be Heroes is the only photo-book, requiring quality paper and classy printing. Sullivan says: “Ours needed six times as many pledges as the other text-only titles.”

Smith says: “Dig out your espadrilles and book yourself a baby sitter now!”

➢ Exhibition and talk, Friday Nov 4 … 7–10pm at The Society Club, 12 Ingestre Place, W1F OJF … and afterwards 10–3am at The Aviary Bar, 17 Little Portland Street, W1W 
8BW … Graham Smith’s photos remain in exhibition and on sale here until Christmas

➢ Skimmable list of media coverage of We Can Be Heroes so far

We Can Be Heroes, Graham Smith, Chris Sullivan, Robert Pereno, Society Club , Soho ,books,Unbound Publishing,photography, exhibition,afterparty, Aviary Bar, Robert Elms, Boy George, Gary Kemp ,Steve Strange, Blitz Kids,Wag club,

Smith & Sullivan’s invitation to a party: click to enlarge


➤ Tut-tut, Your Maj, that Aussie tram ride was a missed music video opportunity

Bedroom Philosopher, Awkwardstra,  Songs From The 86 Tram,Northcote (So Hungover), The Queen,

The Bedroom Philosopher’s new band: all aboard the 86 tram to hear their record deal announced by cell-phone

➢ CLICK ON THE PIC to run the music video Northcote, by the Bedroom Philosopher, shot on board the 86 tram

❚ MELBOURNE’S DEEPLY GEEKY Bedroom Philosopher, noted for his ode to absurdity, I’m So Post Modern, famously rode the No 86 tram last year in the video (above) for his cross-over hit single Northcote (So Hungover). Why? Melbourne boasts the world’s largest tramway system (249 km) and within that, Route 86 is not only the busiest but universally regarded as THE hippest in the universe. Because it connects RMIT University campus to Waterfront City, it carries All Human Life.

The Bedroom Philosopher has graduated from broadcasting with JJJ’s Morning Show to the crucial role blogging as one of Australia’s spokesmen for confused youth. His third studio album, Songs From The 86 Tram, recorded with his dynamic backing band The Awkwardstra, was nominated for an ARIA award. The album drew on the multi-award winning show of the same name (Directors Choice, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2009), which showcased the BP’s “astonishing range as an impersonator of suburban characters with depth and empathy, all backed with lively, genre-hopping soundtracks – think Chris Lilley meets Beck” (his own words).

Bedroom Philosopher, Songs From The 86 Tram,Royal visit

Facebook earlier today

The video for its single Northcote is directed by Craig Melville (Chaser, John Safran) and featuring cameos by rock royalty Tim Rogers, Kram and Angie Hart. It has won more awards than we have time to count.

And yet the Lord Mayor still put Her Majesty QE2 on the wrong tram during her 16th state visit to Australia this week. The video below, specially commissioned by Shapersofthe80s, seeks to redress this diplomatic howler.



➢ View also the BP’s sub-Bowie Tram Inspector — live on the 86 tram

➢ View spycam video of a spontaneous Melbourne Tram Dance aboard the 86

➢ The BP sings I’m So Post Modern (live)