Tuesday, 29 May 2018


For me, the 80s 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  Now the vinyl has been replaced by the CD, the cover art is barely the size of a beermat and if you taped a record now you were “killing music”.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 80s and made some good records (before the Christmas annoyances!).  From the people I interviewed for this article I got very diverse responses about the favourite songs, artists and the fashion.  This was the beauty of the 80s, nothing was off limits, nothing was laughed at and everything was appreciated, unlike now with Social Media where everyone has an opinion and it is not always complimentary!

I didn't have the courage to dress like my first idol Adam Ant, but I did used to want my hair like Tony Hadley (in the "True" era) of Spandau Ballet (hair's gone now so that is never going to happen 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 said, "Rock, leather tassled leather jacket, denim embroidered waistcoat, wrangler jeans and airwear boots!"

Rob also went with the denim and leather theme.

Most unusual answer was from Lyndsey, who said,  "In the late eighties I tried to dress like Ya Kid K of Technotronic"

I saw a lot of girls in my school wanting to be like the biggest female music star of the 80s, Madonna and wearing the New Romantic frills and funky hairstyles.

Michelle said, "I dressed like Madonna and loved the New Romantic style!"
I thought the 80s music brought people together and helped me certainly to 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 and cliques of similar tastes, but nobody really hated each other.  This wasn't like the 60s and 70s when Mods, Rockers and Punks all went head to head in open warfare it seemed.

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 80s did it start to change".
Joanne thought the music didn't really make problems, saying, "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 a backdrop of that phase in my life, rather than contributing to it." 

I had a few embarrassing moments in my musical 80s memories, usually trying to impress the girls with my lyrical understanding of songs then finding out I was totally wrong!  Also singing along with my boom box looking cool and forgetting the words! Most embarrassing was, being  amassive 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 well I had to have it!  At 17, buying a top shelf adult magazine was a bit weird, but I did it.  A much older me had less of a red face and proved a lot simpler when buying 1992's "Sex"  book!

Interviewees, any embarrassing moments for you?

Joanne called her first concert watching The Kids From Fame "slightly embarrassing but I enjoyed it!"
Paula said her "silly dances under Runcorn Baths roof (with friends and a beat box" were her worst moments.
Rob thought watching Status Quo at Deeside Leisure Centre in 1982 was his biggest mistake!
Most embarrassed was Eva, who said, "I was 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 I was Tone Deaf!"
Lyndsey said her moment was having a crush on John Taylor from Duran Duran.

Most embarrassed was Eva, who said, "I was 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 I was Tone Deaf!"

I love being nostalgic about the 80s music, the songs make me happy when I feel terrible, they lift me, remind me of simpler and more exciting times.  

Does everyone feel nostalgic about the 80s?

Paula say, "those were the days".

Joanne stated, "I don't have a lot of nostalgia for the 80s.  Although the film The Wedding Singer does make me smile". 

Michelle said, "I have loads of 80s 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 (about being nostalgic), "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 80s, it will always be remembered for something that happened when you were growing up in that decade.  Personally, I have nothing but good memories, and the variety and positive nature of the music certainly makes me proud to be a "child of the 80s".  Even now, the 80s are coming back, the fashions are coming back, because people today are either remembering how it was back then, or kids have finally realised this is where the music began.

Many thanks to the following interviewees who participated:
Lyndsey Clewes, Runcorn, England
Rob Watson, Runcorn, England
Paula Skelhorn, Runcorn, England
Joanne Japp, Runcorn, England
Eva Nejezchlebova,, Runcorn, England
Gill Darlington, Cheshire, England
Michelle Delap, Warrington, England

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