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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!
Tag Archives: EPIC 2015
“ A decade from now, it has never been easier for people to make their lives part of the media landscape . . . The press, as you know it, has ceased to exist. After the News Wars of 2010, The New York Times loses a supreme-court battle with Google and eventually goes offline as a print-only newsletter for the elite . . . 20th-century news organisations are a remnant of a not too distant past. ”
— EPIC predictions made in 2004
❚ SUCH UNWELCOME FORECASTS of global media convergence were made in 2004 by two young Americans, Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson, alumni of the Poynter Institute. EPIC 2014 was the title of a flash slideshow made by Sloan and Thompson for the fictitious Museum of Media History. Set in 2014, it charted the history of the internet from 1989, and envisaged an evolving mediascape and the impact of online technologies on print and on daily life. It coined the word “Googlezon” from a putative merger of Google and Amazon to form the “Google Grid”, and predicted “news wars” after which the online New York Times reverted to being a print-only paper for a literate, elderly elite.
The emergent media mechanism was dubbed EPIC — the Evolving Personalised Information Construct — which spookily anticipated Google Maps and GPS matched to personalised data capture, all too familiar to us today through Google, Facebook and mobile phone apps.
Epic 2014 was prescient and unnerving in 2004. As superfast broadband was rolled out many of its prophecies came into existence, and a year later MySpace was being bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Epic 2015 was an updated sequel in 2005 only marginally less dystopian than the original. Its vision will certainly rattle the confidence of all affected by the latest concerns at Guardian News Media (GNM) in the UK.
THE GUARDIAN “LOOKS TO AMERICA”
FOR ITS ONLINE FUTURE
“Andrew Miller, chief executive of GNM’s parent company, Guardian Media Group (GMG), told staff in a series of briefings yesterday that the group could run out of cash in three to five years unless it underwent a ‘major transformation’ . . . The Guardian will continue to publish in the morning, but will focus on analysis and opinion instead of reporting widely available news.”
“Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, has repeatedly had to dispel rumours that the title might stop producing printed papers altogether and become an internet-only business . . . Andrew Miller’s commitment to a ‘digital first’ strategy relies partly on launching an online-only New York office later this year, which he hopes will help take The Guardian’s website into the top 10 most read in the US, where advertisers would automatically include it in major national campaigns.”
“News mimics the architecture of the internet: end-to-end, witness-to-world, without a central gatekeeper… Reporting is our highest journalistic priority. Telling stories will always have a role. But journalists have more roles to play today. When working in collaboration with the public — which can help news become at once more expansive and less expensive — it may be useful to help collaborators improve what they do: journalist as community organiser, journalism teacher, support system. At every turn, the question must be where can I add the greatest value? Is that necessarily in writing articles?”
➢ “We’ll all have voices in our heads by 2040” — View video of Ray Hammond, the futurologist who coined the term “online” back in 1984, discussing eight key drivers of the future as seen from June 2011. Download his latest book free