❏ 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.
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+++ ❚ 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.
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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
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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
✱ 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”.
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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
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