INDEX OF ALL 800+ POSTS➢ 2009 till now : Everything at Shapers of the 80s...
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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 Shapersofthe80s 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
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
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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
- 2020 ➤ Sade’s 20 songs that ensure she remains a 21st-century star
- ➤ The day Harry Evans answered his interview question for me
- 2020 ➤ Saatchi hosts those Gen Z degree shows you missed
- 1980 ➤ Life on Mars as you’ve never heard Bowie before!
- ➤ Farewell Kansai the fashion genius who breathed the same colours as Bowie
- 1991 ➤ Supercool video found of Bowie duetting with Morrissey
- 2020 ➤ Yes, Midge Ure has Fleetwood Mac to thank for his landmark hit Vienna
- 2020 ➤ UK Madheads re-invent the Madness hit Our House
- 2020 ➤ Star drummers salute Ringo Starr in an ear-opening demonstration of his gifts
- 2020 ➤ Vocalist Hadley hammers final nail into the coffin of Spandau Ballet
- 2020 ➤ Gaz still rockin’ those blues a lifetime later
- 1980 ➤ Why Bowie came recruiting Blitz Kids for his Ashes to Ashes video
SEARCH our 700 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 new 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
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✱ “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: Saatchi
❚ TODAY’S NEW STARS OF BRITISH ART are quieter and more thoughtful than the YBAs in the Sensation survey of 1997 — this was the progressive critic Waldemar Januszczak’s verdict in June on Part 1 of the millionaire Charles Saatchi’s latest survey when it opened in London. “A rousing exhibition, Saatchi’s best for many a year,” he wrote. Part 2 of Newspeak, British Art Now, opens to the public today and it too proves to be another sprawl of hits and misses, yet the hits do unsettle and send a tingle through your aesthetic nerve. Shapersofthe80s has chosen a dozen of the more hyper-intense images for the gallery below.
For the sake of balance, let’s give the caustic old traditionalist his turn. Even after he “walked sickened away” from the 1997 Sensation show, Brian Sewell has actually conceded that “Saatchi did more for British contemporary art and the economic blossoming that it engendered than all the Tates, the Arts and British Councils put together.” Yet faced with the 2010 selection, he pronounced Newspeak Part 1 to be “Oldspeak rather than new, and we have seen it all before… The Newspeak group are hardly new kids on the block, for all have substantial exhibition histories, many of them international, yet very few have reached further than the low levels of skill, aptitude and common sense demonstrated every year in exhibitions mounted by students in the benighted art schools up and down the land.”
He concluded: “Newspeak is at best cliché, kitsch and the ironic subversion that is the joke so often played by the post-postmodernist… One might reasonably conclude that British art is dead.”
Shapersofthe80s sides with Januszczak in finding more experiment and curiosity than indifference at Newspeak. Januszczak identifies the Saatchi touch thus:
“What Saatchi has always done, and what Tate Modern can never do, is back hunches with cash. The Tate doesn’t have any FU money. Its investments are our investments. Which is why it remains so chronically and conspicuously image-conscious. When it comes to rewriting agendas, the Tate is a scaredy-cat. Saatchi, on the other hand, is not.”
Of Newspeak, he concludes: “[The] clash of new and old, scientific and irrational, experiment and belief, is typical of the show’s prevailing mood.”
❏ Newspeak: British Art Now — Part 2 runs at the splendid new Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, October 27-Jan 16, 2011
➢ “One might reasonably conclude that British art is dead” — Brian Sewell’s review of Part 1 in the Evening Standard, June 3, 2010
➢ “Britain still has talent” — Waldemar Januszczak’s review from the Sunday Times Culture, June 6, 2010