For me, the Eighties decade will always have a special place in my heart and soul.  They were my teenage years, no worries, schooldays, excellent TV shows, great films, and they made me who I am.  The music though, I lived and breathed for.  From buying those fabulous records in superb cover art to anticipating my favourite artists’ next video.  The cassette taping of the UK Top 40 every Sunday trying not to pick up the DJ’s voice was a must.  Now the vinyl has been replaced by the CD, the cover art is barely the size of a beermat and if you taped a record now you were “killing music”.  I am nostalgic for the Eighties and I remember it like it was yesterday, and the tunes will never die.

I wondered what it was like for others who experienced some of this decade’s music and what it was like for them.  I interviewed a handful of people about what it was like for them growing up in the Eighties.

The first record I bought was Cliff Richard’s Dreamin’, honestly, he was quite popular in the Eighties and made some good records (before the Christmas annoyances).  From the people I interviewed I got very diverse responses such as the usual Wham! (Freedom), Adam Ant (Goody Two Shoes), King (Love and Pride) to the rockier Rainbow (Down To Earth) and ELO (Don’t Bring Me Down). This was the beauty of the Eighties, nothing was off-limits, nothing was laughed at and everything was appreciated. 

I didn’t have the courage to dress as my first idol Adam Ant, but I did used to want my hair like Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet (that’s never going to happen as the hair has disappeared now!).  At school there were traces of Goth, Rock, Two Tone, Punk, New Romantic and many other cross- styles.  Did any of my interviewees dress up?
Gill, 40-something said, “Rock, leather tassled leather jacket, denim embroidered waistcoat, wrangler jeans and airwair boots.”

Rob, 43 also went with the denim and leather theme.  

Most unusual answer was from Lyndsey, 41 who said “Late Eighties I tried to dress like Ya Kid K out of Technotronic”. 

I saw a lot of girls in my school wanting to be like the biggest female music star of the Eighties, Madonna and wearing the New Romantic frills and funky hairstyles. 

Michelle, 42 said, “Dressed like Madonna and loved the New Romantic style!” 

I thought the Eighties music brought people together and helped me certainly make new friends easier.  It didn’t seem to matter what music you were into, everyone just accepted to be different.  Of course there were the groups of similar tastes but nobody really hated each other, like the Seventies problems of Punks and Rockers and Rockers and Mods. 

Lyndsey added, “Ska, Two Tone, Reggae and Punk brought lots of white skinheads together with Jamaican people in the UK, crossing racial divides.” 

Rob disagreed slightly and said, “I think the miners’ strike and everything else (nuclear threat, cold war) had people divided into groups, only in the late Eighties did it start to change.” 

Joanne, 45 also agreed with Rob saying, “I don’t think so really, I used to like to go to the Youth Club Disco and enjoyed the silly dances we did together…I think the songs just happened to be the backdrop of that phase in my life, rather than contributing to it.”
I had a few embarrassing moments in my musical Eighties memories, usually trying to impress the girls with my lyrical understanding of songs and then finding out I was totally wrong or singing along with my boom box looking cool and then totally forgetting the words! Most embarrassing was, being a massive fan of Madonna, I wanted everything about her, magazines, newspapers, everything.  When the Penthouse magazine came out in 1985 with the old Madonna nude pictures in from her early days I had to have it. At 17 buying an Adult magazine was a bit weird, but I did it!  Buying the “Sex” book in 1992 proved a lot simpler and less red faced.

Joanne called her first concert watching Kids From Fame “slightly embarrassing but I enjoyed it.”  

Rob thought watching Status Quo at Deeside Leisure Centre in 1982 was his biggest mistake! 

Lyndsey said her moment was having a crush on John Taylor of Duran Duran. 
Paula, 40 said her “silly dances under Runcorn Baths roof(with friends and a beat box)” were her worst moments.  

Most embarrassed was Eva, 33 who said, “Singing in front of the whole class at the tender age of 8, accompanied only by a piano, to establish if I was suitable for the school choir.  It was discovered that I was tone deaf!”

I love being nostalgic about the Eighties music, the songs make me happy when I feel terrible, they lift me up.  Does everyone feel nostalgic about the Eighties?
Paula says “those were the days.” 

Joanne stated, “I don’t have a lot of nostalgia for the Eighties.  The film The Wedding Singer does make me smile, though.” 

Michelle said, “Have loads of Eighties tunes, always put them on when I’m feeling down or low to cheer me up.”  

That echoes my sentiments really.  

The probable real reason is summed up finally with Eva who said this, “All the time because I was a kid and that is generally what kids do, don’t tend to worry too much and just enjoy themselves.”
I did enjoy myself, as people have differing opinions on the Eighties, it will always be remembered for something that happened in your life.  Personally, I have nothing but good memories, and the variety and positive nature of the music certainly makes me proud to be a “a child of the Eighties”.

Many thanks to the following interviewees who participated:
Lyndsey Clewes, 41, Runcorn, England
Rob Watson, 43, Runcorn, England
Paula Skelhorn, 40, Runcorn, England
Joanne Japp, 45, Runcorn, England
Eva Nejezchlebova, 33, Runcorn, England
Gill Darlington, 40-something, Cheshire, England
Michelle Delap, 42, Warrington, England