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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
- 2023 ➤ Fond farewells to the glorious Queen of the Telegraph fashion pages
- 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
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: Faber and Faber
❚ FABER AND FABER EXCITEDLY ANNOUNCE they are to publish Jarvis Cocker’s Mother, Brother, Lover: Selected Lyrics, in October 2011. Only days earlier the prestigious publisher of T S Eliot, the leading poet of modernism, unveiled their monumental digital milestone The Waste Land for iPad, itself probably the mightiest poem of the 20th-century. Now they have signed Pulp’s singer and songwriter, as a spry chronicler of Britain’s common people fast achieving the status of a national treasure. In the video [above] Jarvis talks to Faber publishing director Lee Brackstone about writing lyrics, his inspiration, habits and thoughts on putting together his first published collection.
It was shot on the day he’d signed the contract, three weeks before today’s announcement and right after the reunited Pulp’s triumphal UK comeback at the Isle of Wight festival after a nine-year absence. Jarvis is visibly thrilled to bits and he gives a hugely entertaining interview. “I fell into the thing of writing lyrics when I was 15 because nobody else would. It was like homework, it was as appealing as that. The first lyric I ever wrote started, Shakespeare rock, Shakespeare roll.”
He tackles the risk of writing cosmic bilge, his breakthrough precipitated by an accident when his gaze shifted to the everyday, and the influence of Scott Walker who married realism to cinematic orchestration: “I liked his song The Amorous Humphrey Plugg [deft and witty lyrics by Walker from his 1968 album Scott 2] which is about slipping on a newly waxed floor… a humdrum everyday thing with a massive orchestral backing. I’d been looking for the epic in the everyday. I don’t think everyday life is mundane. I’m curious about what keeps people functioning.”
❚ A NEAT OUTCOME RESULTED from last week’s Radio 4 interview with Morrissey, former singer with The Smiths, the UK’s leading indie band of the 80s, who broke up in 1987. After the reluctant interviewee said that he was “very very surprised to be making music today” he added that, had his music career failed, “I would have become a novelist”. He then revealed that he had written his memoirs and was in the progess of redrafting his 660-page manuscript. He dared to suggest: “I’d like it to go to Penguin, but only if they published it as a classic. I can’t see why not — a contemporary Penguin Classic — within the next year or so.”
By Good Friday Penguin Books, creators of the modern paperback, were trying to head off a bidding war between rival publishers by announcing that it is indeed willing to publish his autobiography. A spokeswoman told The Independent: “There is a natural fit between Morrissey’s sensibility, his artistic achievements and Penguin Classics. A book could be published as a Penguin Classic because it is a classic in the making. It’s something we would like to discuss with Morrissey.”
There is no minimum time limit before a book can be considered a Penguin Classic, but the list embraces people or works that have “caused scandal and political change, broken down barriers, social and sexual”. However, a leading article in the same day’s paper pours cold water on the mighty ego of the singer they call Bigmouth: “Sadly for Morrissey, it’s the accumulated judgement of posterity, rather than authors, which determines what literature survives and what gets pulped.”
Nevertheless, according to The Independent report: “Morrissey is not short of suitors. The publishing director of Faber and Faber sent the singer an open letter begging him to join the ‘house of Eliot’, a reference to T S Eliot, the giant of 20th-century poetry. Lee Brackstone wrote: ‘We feel very strongly that you belong in this company. You deserve Faber and the love we can give you. History demands it; destiny commands it’.”
These events coincide with today’s UK release of a new album, Very Best of Morrissey, a 20-track download and CD of remastered solo classics (also as 18 tracks on vinyl, EMI/Major Minor). A bonus DVD, which includes eleven remastered videos (three of which are previously unavailable on DVD) including Boxers, Sunny, and The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get, plus I’ve Changed My Plea To Guilty taken from the Jonathan Ross TV show in December 1990.
As from tomorrow the 12-minute interview with R4’s Front Row is available on iPlayer. Morrissey deals briskly with pressing issues such as ageing (“many of the early songs were like mating calls and I have to think seriously about singing them now”), the problem of having the prime minister as a fan (“no I’ve never met him”) and, inevitably, a Smiths reunion (this is not the place for spoilers). And yes, Johnny Marr gets a mention.
Update: Listen to favourably selected highlights from a frankly tiresome interview between a cranky Morrissey and a very patient Dermot O’Leary (BBC R2 on April 30, 2011) as the evasive singer winds him up while discussing their Irish roots and musical idols, a UK and Scandinavian tour, an album of new material and the “mutants” of Coronation Street. We hear two clips from his Very Best Of CD, Girl Least Likely To, and Interlude: The next day Moz told True To You why he had been so cantankerous: “I’m sorry I made the O’Leary radio interview so difficult but I was in a foul mood, having spent a full week surrounded by the royal dreading. England may very well be a Windsor dictatorship, but, PR weddings aside, it is usually quite bearable.” He also complains about his familiar views on the British monarchy being cut from the earlier R4 interview.
SUMMER TOUR DATES
➢ Listed at True-to-you.net — Morrissey’s nine-date UK summer tour runs from Perth June 15–Plymouth June 30, plus Glastonbury Festival on June 24, and Hop Farm Music Festival July 2.