◼ AS WITH ANY ARTICLE AT THE GRAUNIAD about New Romantic cheerleaders Spandau Ballet, the resulting comments published online are always riotously entertaining. This is the one band that really winds up Guardianistas to a pitch of fury. When the 80s band announced their reunion tour in 2009, Michael Hann declared how much he’s always loathed them in a Graudina music blog which then provoked 342 comments — 342! — most of them apoplectic. How many other bands can claim such a following?
As it happens the Spandau songwriter has recently published an 88-page coffee-table book, titled The Lyrics of Gary Kemp from Lyric Book Company
Today for no apparent reason, the Guranaid runs an item about how Gary Kemp and Steve Norman made Spandau’s 1983 No1 hit True, in which lyricist Kemp admits: “I’m still berated for the line Take your seaside arms, but it’s straight out of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.”
Readers of Shapersofthe80s already know that the song was inspired by Kemp’s unrequited pash for poppette Clare Grogan — he was 22, she was 18 — who fronted an 80s band of Scottish cuties called Altered Images. On the same page, Steve Norman deconstructs his self-taught sax solo which has a key change in reply to Grover Washington’s Just The Two of Us.
All of which strangely prompts tearful blubbing at the Graun, rather than the usual explosion of acerbic outrage. Specimen comments follow after this gratuitous excuse to run a video…
VIDEO OF DARLING CLARE IN HER HEYDAY,
NOT TO MENTION SWIVEL-HIPS TICH
➢ Meanwhile back to today’s Grauniad Online:
❏ Nietzsche39 (who else?) notes: “You don’t bastardise Nabokov. Seaside arms is absurd. Seaside limbs is genius.”
❏ Nepthsolem moans: “It always sounds to me like See side arms, as though referring to the service revolver I imagine was issued to all New Romantics, but sadly never used on TOTP.”
❏ DeeSawdeley says: “I always thought it was seaside aunt, which (for those of us with a seaside aunt, anyway) makes much more sense. Bet he wishes he’d written that now!”
❏ Stolencar comments: “Note also he says she gave him a copy of Lolita not that she had read it.”
❏ To which Vastariner responds: “There’s a picture of her reading it on the front of the Best Of Altered Images compilation released in 1991. Some might call me obsessed for knowing that, or because I have a username taken from one of her lyrics… etc etc.”
❏ From another planet, Golgafrinchan sobs: “I had unrequited love for Clare Grogan, still do to be fair. If you’re reading this Clare, get in touch, there’s still time.”
❏ DameHedwig adds: “I’ve often told my son that if things had worked out for me, Ms Grogan would be his Mum.”
❏ And Mccaugh: “As for the sublime Miss Grogan, well, just how many times did we go and see Gregory’s Girl? Helped, of course, by the fact that it ran at the Dominion Cinema in Edinburgh for three years non-stop.”
❏ Finally Bloodydoorsoff tells a despicable and blatant untruth about darling Clare, so you’ll just have to go to Grunadia Online to see it. And plenty more.
Glasgow Film Festival 2010: Darling Clare seen with Gregory’s Girl sidekick John Gordon Sinclair. In 1994 — sorry, lads — she married bandmate Stephen Lironi in Glasgow and today the couple live in Haringey, London, with their adopted daughter. (Photography by © Scott Neil)