➢ Saturday update by the GSA media centre: “ Bad news first is that we have lost the iconic and unique Mackintosh library. This is an enormous blow and we are understandably devastated… Mackintosh was not famous for working in precious materials. It was his vision that was precious and we are confident that we can recreate what was lost as faithfully as possible. ”
➢ GSA fire appeal launched by Edinburgh College of Art: “ A report on BBC News at Ten carries footage but no further developments. The windows of the hen run are clearly badly damaged with mullions and transoms destroyed in places, but how badly will the Library have been damaged? … ”/ Continued at GSA website
❚ WHAT’S THE CULTIEST ROLE in all of television, the one that’s just been given to the cultiest madman in all of TV comedy? Yes the new Doctor Who is announced as Peter Capaldi, aka Malcolm Tucker, foul-mouthed spin-doctor from the multi-award-winning political satire, The Thick of It. The part won him the 2010 BAFTA Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Role.
The 55-year-old Scot will be the 12th actor to play the Doctor, a new hero for a new generation. It is not the first time Capaldi has appeared on the show – he played a Roman merchant in the 2008 Doctor Who adventure The Fires of Pompeii.
But few people seem to know how he got his big acting break in Bill Forsyth’s 1983 movie Local Hero. As a student at the Glasgow School of Art, Capaldi had been the vocalist in a post-punk band called The Dreamboys. He also took to stand-up comedy and was invited to support Spandau Ballet on their first UK tour in 1982. The famously anti-rock clubland band did not want the usual rock support act and decided a comedian would add piquancy to the uniqueness of their own approach to new music.
Spandau songwriter Gary Kemp is reluctant to take any credit as talent scout, but it just so happened that he spent quite some time in Scotland that year romantically smitten by Clare Grogan, the cute 20-year-old singer in the Glasgow pop group Altered Images.
Kemp, himself then 22, recalls vaguely how Capaldi came to his attention at the age of 23: “It was through Gerry McElhone who managed Altered Images. Maybe he played me a tape, or something.” Clearly he had other more important things on his mind at the time. Gig archives tell us that in May 1981 The Dreamboys played on the same bill as Altered Images at Edinburgh’s Nite Club, and in September Capaldi gave his stand-up routine, so there’s every chance Kemp met him at the bar.
The point was Grogan had starred in Forsyth’s 1981 cinema smash, Gregory’s Girl, and Spandau’s Diamond tour launched in March 1982 with three dates in Scotland and Capaldi live onstage as the warm-up.
Spandau’s brief tour ended at the Winter Gardens Bournemouth [my pix are previously unpublished] but a year later, when Local Hero was released, Capaldi told me that he got the part only because Bill Forsyth had seen him at the Spandau show in Glasgow. The rest is history: a brilliantly versatile career as an actor of comedy and drama has included a cameo dad in the 2007 series of Skins, and the repressed head of news in last year’s electric BBC series, The Hour.
Steven Moffat, executive producer of Doctor Who, described casting Capaldi as an incendiary combination: “One of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television.”
Capaldi said yesterday: “Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can’t wait to get started.” Filming begins in the autumn.
The Thick of It writer Armando Ianucci tweeted: “There can’t be a funnier, wiser, more exciting Time Lord than Peter Capaldi. The universe is in great hands.”
❏ PETER CAPALDI DELIVERS Bela Lugosi’s Birthday, the A-side song from the 7-inch single by Scottish rockers, The Dreamboys, on the St Vitus label about 1980 – before Craig Ferguson joined as drummer. YouTuber Ashley Harrison writes: “A little post-punk, goth and power pop, it is reminiscent at times of Bauhaus, Joy Division, Wire, The Fall, The Damned.” Scotland had a fierce underground music scene in the early 80s and I’ve often said a weekend in Glasgow felt as if you were in the trendiest city in the UK, and at least on a par with London.
Capaldi in 1983: introducing Sade’s TV debut on Loose Talk
➢ 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