1985 – 1988

“For me this was just the beginning of the worst of times for music.
I was bored…”

By the mid ’80’s things were going awry. The Iron Lady had the country in an iron grip, systematically dismantling the unions, and pitting individual against individual. Saved by the bell of the Falklands conflict she was now fine tuning her doctrine of divide and rule. A lot of what we are reaping now was sown in the mid 1980’s, some good, some bad. This was the beginning of the ‘classless society’.

The music had been getting more political with artists such as The Style Council and Billy Bragg, culminating in the Red Wedge tour which was very loosely attached to the Labour Party. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe.

A different level of political agenda was reached in the music world when Bob Geldof and Midge Ure got together the great and not so great of the pop world to release a song for the starving millions of Africa. July 13th 1985 was a day that I will always remember. Setting off from Whaley Bridge crammed into a Mini Metro, off to Wembley Stadium for Live Aid. Cynics would say that it was just a load of rich pop stars  using the event for self promotion (Adam Ant) , but it was a cracking day out. Best moments;

  1. Playing football in the car park at 6.00am
  2. Running down the terraces to get onto the pitch
  3. Richard Skinner’s intro.
  4. The Weather.
  5. Sades’ back (Google it)
  6. Falling asleep through Queen’s set. (Burn me at the stake now)
  7. A dutch smack head asking me for heroin
  8. Jiving with Bainy to Elton John in the pissing rain.
  9. The stuffed toy being thrown from one side of the crowd to the other, to the sound of pantomime cheering and booing.
  10. Not wanting it to end.

The music scene had gone full circle from 1976, with record companies once more taking control and erring on the side of caution. We aquired a management team. Musicianship was the order of the day, gone were the days of spontainrty and creativity. In it’s place had come polished performance and insipid, soulless bands. Technology was creeping into recording with click tracks and sequencing, the fashion, if there was a late ’80’s fashion, was shockingly ordinary; over patterned shirts with clashing, cluttered colours. Crusty look or casual banker?

For me this was just the beginning of the worst of times for music. I was bored.