◼ HERE ARE TWO RADIO 4 DRAMA TREATS this Saturday 23 Sept and next at 2.30pm – first an adaptation by former Evening Standard pop columnist Ray Connolly of his 1973 film, That’ll Be the Day (which starred David Essex and Ringo Starr with cameos from Billy Fury and Keith Moon). It’s a very British coming-of-age story that keenly captures the vicissitudes of postwar austerity prevailing in the provinces as the Swinging Sixties dawned.
BBC sell: “It’s 1959 and young Jim Maclaine seems to have it all. He’s good looking and destined to go to a good university. But he’s haunted by the father who abandoned him and his mother when he was small. Is he ready for the normal life mapped out for him? Or is he restless like his old man?”
Jim’s story is followed through on Saturday 30th with Stardust. Sell: “Show me a boy who never wanted to be a rock star and I’ll show you a liar. In this sequel to That’ll Be the Day, it’s the early 1960s and Jim Maclaine is now an aspiring pop musician. He seeks out his old mate Mike, because every pop star needs a road manager. Performing to bored audiences in seedy clubs, the Stray Cats live on dreams of becoming as famous as the Beatles…” Based on the film of the same name which featured David Essex, Adam Faith, Larry Hagman and Keith Moon.
❚ ON THE ROPES is a serious issue-led strand on BBC Radio 4 in which veteran interrogator John Humphrys talks tough to somebody in the public eye. This morning he discussed bi-polar disorder in depth with the flamboyant and charismatic popstar, Adam Ant now aged 56, who at one stage in his later life “would have gone to prison for a long time”.
Humphrys — “The man who dominated the pop scene in the early 80s was [20 years later] a burned-out husk locked in a mental home with people who, he said later, wanted to be dead. Adam Ant, did you want to be dead at that time?”
Ant — “It wasn’t really wanting to be dead. It was really that I felt dead, I felt I was encased in a Dante-esque purgatory. It was worse than hell. I can’t describe how terrifying it was, knowing you are in control of your faculties and being told you’re not.”
Adam Ant in 1981: in his glam-rock guise as Prince Charming, a heroic highwayman based, he says, on the film stars Errol Flynn, Marlon Brando and Clint Eastwood
Ant talks throughout in a low soft voice, but his views are heartfelt. He said he disagrees with the use of the term bipolar disorder and insisted: “At this point I don’t need medication… I am always passionate. I’m not hyper. Onstage I’m an athlete. That doesn’t make me nuts or paranoid.”
Afterwards, he was criticised for some of his blunt language, especially for saying: “I was put in a nuthouse and it is a nuthouse — it is worse than Bedlam.” His descriptions of life in care are graphic. “The only thing they are concerned with is polishing floors and making sure you take your medication… It’s like the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but there isn’t a cute nurse there being jokey and you’re sedated. I want the prime minister to know that takes place and it’s wrong.”
❚ TODAY AT A PRESS CONFERENCE Adam Ant confirmed 11 concerts for his Blueblack Hussar tour of Britain from May 16 in Brighton to June 4 in York, plus a screening of the 1981 Prince Charming Revue on film, plus live Q&A at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant & Castle on May 11.
In today’s Press Association video interview (below) at Chelsea football club’s Stamford Bridge stadium, Adam Ant announces the tour with his new band, The Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse, based on the series of preparatory small gigs over recent months. He says: “It’s time for a little bit of real rock and roll — there’s too much sampling and karaoke going on.”
He also says that his sixth studio album, Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar In Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter (an old naval term for corporal punishment in which sailors were flogged), has been postponed until 2012. His own website says: “So, apparently this tour will not be to promote new material”. Adam tweets Mar 30: “I would like to say… Its not my fault the album got pushed back… there are reasons which cant be disscused [sic] at this time.”
❏ Posted April 1 by music-news.com, below — 12-minute interview backstage after the midday showcase Under The Bridge on March 29 “I don’t want to do downloads. [My new album] is not for earplugs or mobiles. If you’ve got kids, you owe it to them to play them a vinyl disc in their lifetime because once they hear it they will never get over that experience… I don’t like the people that invented the internet — it encourages children to sit in a room, not move, look at a screen and get fat. And noone cares. I do. I have a daughter. I want real records for real people.”
➢ Choose “View full site” – then in the blue bar atop your mobile page, click the three horizontal lines linking to many blue themed pages with background articles.
MORE INTERESTING THAN MOST PEOPLE’S FANTASIES — THE SWINGING EIGHTIES 1978-1984
They 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 ➢ THE BLOG POSTS on this front page report topical updates ➢ ROLL OVER THE MENU at page top to go deeper into the past ➢ FOR NEWS & MONTH BY MONTH SEARCH scroll down this sidebar
❏ 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
✱ Deejay legend Robbie Vincent returned to JazzFM on Sundays 1-3pm in 2021… Catch Robbie’s JazzFM August Bank Holiday 2020 session thanks to AhhhhhSoul with four hours of “nothing but essential rhythms of soul, jazz and funk”.
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
✱ Jawing at Soho Radio on the 80s clubland revolution (from 32 mins) and on art (@55 mins) is probably the most influential shaper of the 80s, former Wag-club director Chris Sullivan (pictured) with editor of this website David Johnson
LANDMARK FAREWELLS. . . HIT THE INDEX TAB UP TOP FOR EVERYTHING ELSE
We respect copyright, and are happy to give credit to a photographer’s work and try to seek permission first. If you own images published here and wish them to be removed, simply ask.
Reblogging is theft, so whenever you recycle any picture for your own use, please credit the photographer or artist (living or dead), and seek permission to reproduce it. Their livelihoods (and those of their families) often depend on fair dealing