I was born in 1972, in a small seaside town in the south of England. My teenage years therefore were the fabulous 80’s. When I was asked by Kevin to put an article together, I was somewhat perplexed on how to start? I soon realised, well surely at the beginning of course, idiot!
My memories of the 80’s are many! As I had no interest in the current news of the day, financial status of the U.K. and who was in power my little world revolved around music, fashion and horses for the main part.
One catalytic moment in 1982, my view of music changed. Gone now, the fallout from disco, Hippy’s and flares. I sat crossed legged watching one of the only music shows on the television, Top of The Pops. There in my usual position as close to the screen as my mum allowed, the best night of the week had come. Thursdays were sacred!
The usual artists I had become used to seeing; Bucks Fizz, Elvis Costello, Adam Ant etc. There before my eyes, on their debut appearance on the show the mighty, Culture Club. My eyes nearly popped out of my head. What was I seeing? A tall, white vocalist, with dreadlocks down his back made up to the nines and dressed all in white. My mouth must have dropped to the floor. His voice was sultry, and the song I came to know was, ‘Do you really want to hurt me’. This vision in front of me just sent the media into an utter frenzy. I don’t remember much about that, apart from some ultra- Conservative’s getting their knickers in a right old knot. I cared not! This was such a huge shift in my music awareness at the time. In the big smokes of London and Birmingham, the scene that we came to understand as the New Romantics had been evolving quietly. The LGBQT was coming onto mainstream T.V. I was unaware at the time, but I loved it. My grandad and I had a conversation about Boy George. I remember him clearly saying, not out of any malice, is it a boy or a girl. For that reason alone, I knew that this was for me. To be so completely and utterly different was class. Their music was passionate and heart-breaking and utterly addictive. I had posters all over my walls of them in all their splendour. Move over Adam and the Ants!
My love of them and Boy George has never faltered. Its only recently that I have spent time revisiting their music and listening to past interviews, shows etc. It really highlighted me that as a band were treated so very badly by the media, their life choices, of which partner they chose was common discussion. I’m glad that in a way I wasn’t privy to all that negativity. I just loved their sound, clothes and attitude of ‘We want to be what we want to be!’
If you’re not familiar with Culture Club, go give them a listen. ‘Victims’ is one of my all-time favourites, beautifully sung, it is incredibly moving.
I hope to have ignited a long-lasting love of all things 80’s. Most definitely the very best of eras!