Ok, firstly, JP has been fired and replaced by JP. JP (v.1) wasn’t working for me. There was this conceit that it was loosely me but in an alternate universe where I ended up in Haiti as a failed rock star. So here is the payoff to that conceit: I became so disappointed by my failure to become a rock star that I decided to kill one of my rock idols for leading me down a path of broken dreams. JP (v.1) travelled to the Dominican Republic and killed Falco (disguising it as an accident) and then fled across the border into Haiti.
See? It’s quite funny. But it wasn’t working because I really just wanted to talk about the 80s directly as myself, but I kept having to contrive clues about the alternate story. So JP (v.1) has been fired and JP (v.2) is back. This JP is really me (with a perm) looking a bit like he’s posing for a Wham! rip-off band photo spread in the Kapi-Mana news.
JP (v.2) will be going through the entire series of the Listeners for 1982, and the New Zealand pop charts for 1982, and picking random highlights to blather on about.
Secondly, this post is only weakly connected to the previous Wired for Sound posts because I (a) discovered I had already written about what I thought I was going to write about, and (b) I got really, really distracted by something else (see below).
My thesis (yes, that’s right, I used the word thesis) is that if you want to write a history of the 1980s a good place to start is Wired for Sound by Cliff Richard. Not only is it a cool song (yes, I know, but I defy you to listen to it and not sing it afterwards… “AM FM I feel so excited”), but the video manages to cram so many 80s trends into it that it is like a snapshot of the dawning era.
I have already talked about the following things for this masterpiece of the 80s:
- The phenomenon of Cliff Richard himself
- The rise of the Walkman
- Leotards, legwarmers and Fame
- Roller skating
- Wired for Sound, and
That last one is cheating, because it was actually about New Zealand in 1973 and new fangled ideas called supermarkets, malls, and opening shops on Saturday morning. Cliff is roller skating around Milton Keynes’ shopping mall in this video back when Milton Keynes was minty fresh, and malls were a vision of modernity.
I wanted to do my last piece on Wired for Sound about roller skating, but by trawling through my back catalogue I see that I have already done this. Never mind, I found fresh inspiration in the pages of an article from the Listener in 1982 including this beautiful free spirit
I can’t really explain it, but I love this picture and George’s way of finding almost a spirituality in his skating. I suppose that if this article was written in 1981/82 and George was in his twenties, that he might be in his fifties now.
I would quite like to find George. There are no Manukau’s in the phonebook. I searched him on Google and found this thread:
Which made me excited. Kung Fu. Eeling. Petone. My Aunty Joan’s brother! (It took me ages to translate this.) Benneydale is a primary school, so the dates could be about right.
So I joined Old Friends in the hunt, and searched for George. There is a George Manukau listed as 46 and living in Auckland. I sent him a message.
Hmm. Just saw the “I right a blog” thing. Wow. Good think I’m not a teacher.
Anyway, if this doesn’t work, anyone have any thoughts on how to find someone with only a name and a Listener article from 1982 to go on?