Sunday, May 19, 2013

You Knew You Grew Up In The 80s If

As a child of the eighties you remember a time before the internet and mobile phones, dvds and cds. We've all seen those emails 'you know you're a child of the 80s when......' On this page I've got another selection for you, please add your own at the end.

You Knew You Grew Up in the 80s if........
You know all the words to Bon Jovi - Shot Through the Heart.

You remember when mullets were even had a mullet.

You owned a banana clip........maybe you still do.

You remember when Neil Patrick Harris was a doctor.

You remember ending your sentences with not..........and you still sometimes do!

You also used to say Bonus!

You remember when Alyssa Milano was Tony Danza's daughter

You remember cassette tapes and you used to record the top 40 off of the radio every week.......some of you would've made mix tapes or at least received a mix tape off of a member of the opposite sex. (I still have the only one I was ever given, I no longer have a cassette recorder though!)

Are you still singing Shot Through the Heart??

If you were also from the UK - you know who the father of Michelle's baby is

You remember when Michael Jackson looked 'normal' and was just a great performer.
You remember when Madonna first started out, maybe you even took some of her fashion ideas - lace gloves anyone?

You had a pair of Jelly Shoes..........I worked in a shoe shop during the summer holidays and we couldn't keep up with the demand, I think I personally had every color they made.....even orange!

You wore legwarmers as a fashion statement......."Fame, I'm going to live forever, baby remember my name....."
If you didn't want to wear legwarmers there was always......slouch socks!!!
You had big hair and you looked F A N T A S T I C !

You used to say 'What cha talkin' bout Willis'.....maybe you still do?

You know who shot JR.

You know the words to the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bow Wow Wow

Bow Wow Wow were formed by former Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren. The line up consisted of Leigh Gorman, Dave Barbarossa, Matthew Ashman and Annabella Lwin.
Bow Wow Wow were heavily influenced by tribal beats. Groups such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers and No Doubt cite Bow Wow Wow as a strong influence.

 Scandal also followed Bow Wow Wow as McLaren and Annabella's mother squared off over a naked picture of the underage songstress. The scandal added to the allure of the band and they hit the charts with songs such as Go Wild in the Country and I Want Candy.

The Beginnings

Bow Wow Wow owe their start, in part, to Adam Ant. Adam Ant was disappointed with his group Adam and the Ants' first album. Having met Malcolm McLaren when McLaren was managing the Sex Pistols he asked him for some advice. McLaren gave him some image advice - he is credited with helping to achieve the dandy highwayman look that Adam and the Ants became famous for.

Malcolm McLaren also decided to lure the Ants away from Adam. He offered the Ants' bass guitarist (Leigh Gorman), drummer (Dave Barbarossa) and guitarist (Matthew Ashman)the chance to start a new group. That group was Bow Wow Wow. All that they needed now was a singer.

Myant Myant Mye was discovered singing along to the radio in a London dry cleaners. Malcolm McLaren persuaded her to change her name to Annabella Lwin and made her the lead vocalist for the band. Annabella was only 14 years old at the time.
Myant Myant Mye is Burmese for Cool Cool High
The Music

The band's signature was a tribal beat that caused controversy when they were accused of stealing it from Zulu songs and turning the original lyrics into English. In their defense the band agreed that their sound was influenced by the Zulu's, but claim to have fused it with a mixture of West African beats, Brazilian pop and conventional rock and roll.

Groups such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers claim that Bow Wow Wow were a big influence in them. In fact mention is made of the group in two of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' songs. In the song "Suck My Kiss" one of the lines is "swimming in the sound of bow wow wow." The song "Right on Time" includes the line "Holy cow bow wow wow," in homage to the group.

See Jungle
Police Called In

In 1981 Bow Wow Wow released their first album which was called "See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah! City All Over! Go Ape Crazy!"

The proposed album cover caused controversy, something that Malcolm McClaren was very good at. It showed the now 15 year old Annabella posing naked as the cover. The cover was meant to be a copy of Manet's "The Luncheon on the Grass" painting.

Scotland Yard were called in by Annabella's mother as she tried to bring charges against Malcolm McLaren. "Hello, hello what do we have here then?" Exploitation of a minor for immoral purposes officer. Luckily for Bow Wow Wow fans an agreement was reached as Annabella's family nearly made her leave the band.

The Agreement 

The agreement that Malcolm McLaren made with Annabella's family included not publishing the album cover. The cover was used, however, on an EP a year later when she was 16. The controversy certainly didn't hinder the album sales and the track "Go Wild in the Country" was a big hit in the UK.

The Last of the Mohicans Want Candy 

Last of the Mohicans was an EP released in 1982, this featured the song that was to also be the name of their next album - I Want Candy.

I Want Candy became Bow Wow Wow's biggest hit. Last of the Mohicans was also the EP that spawned the infamous cover. I Want Candy was recorded because the record label did not like the direction that Malcolm McLaren was taking Bow Wow Wow. With Kenny Laguna helping the group out they made the wise move of remaking the Strangegloves song I Want Candy.

When the Going Gets Tough 

After the success of I Want Candy, Bow Wow Wow carried on with another album, When the Going Gets Tough. They were still without Malcolm McLaren and Annabella said in an interview at the time that they were now concentrating more on the music than the image. Unfortunately Bow Wow Wow's fans loved the image and when the songs seemed to be too polished and lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

One of the singles on the album was Aphrodisiac, but the fans decided to move on and this single was not a hit.

Bow Wow Wow - The End? 
The Bow Wow Wow Break Up

It was during the tour promoting their When The Going Gets Tough in the US that Matthew Ashman broke his hand. The tour had to be cut short, with the band members also suffering from exhaustion it was time to disband.

How did Matthew Ashman break his hand?

In the words of Annabella Lwin -

“He was wearing dark shades and couldn't see, so he fell off of the stage!” 

What Happened Next? 

Bow Wow Wow members do other things It seems to be a little hazy about how the band split up, according to Annabella Lwin she read that they had split up in the New Musical Express! The record label wanted her to do a solo record and everyone went their own way.

What Did The Band Members Do Next?

Matthew Ashman became the frontman of a band called Chiefs of Relief alongside the other former members of Bow Wow Wow, except Annabella. The others drifted away and after five years the band had disbanded. Matthew Ashman ended up dying of diabetes complications in 1995, you can read about his life here - Matthew Ashman

Leigh Gorman initially joined his former bandmates in a new band called Chiefs of Relief, but left after only a few months, by 1989 Gorman had turned to record production and even worked with Malcolm McLaren again in the early1990s. Gorman and Lwin have also reformed Bow Wow Wow together since and toured. Find out more about Leigh Gorman here - Leigh Gorman

David Barbarossa initially joined his former bandmates in forming a new band called Chiefs of Relief, but left shortly afterwards. Barbarossa also had some more chart success in the mid 90s when he was in the band Republica. More about David Barbarossa here - David Barbarossa

Bow Wow Wow's Reformation

In 1997 Annabella Lwin and Leigh Gorman reformed Bow Wow Wow and embarked on the "Barking Mad" reunion tour. Matthew Ashman had died from complications arising from diabetes so they needed a new guitarist. Dave Calhoun took over as the guitarist.

Dave Barbarossa was also unable to tour with Bow Wow Wow as he had commitments with his current band - Republica. He did however take time out to work with Eshan Khadaroo from Blue Man Group. Eshan Khadaroo then performed on the drums for the whole tour.

After the 'Barking Mad' tour the band members did their own thing again before another reunion in 2003. In 2003 Adrian Young from No Doubt joined Bow Wow Wow as a guest drummer. Dave Barbarosa was again unable to perform as he had commitments with the band Cicane.

Share Your Thoughts & Memories of Bow Wow Wow

Did you like Bow Wow Wow? My favorite single was I Want Candy, I know that's a very cliched favorite of theirs, but what can I say?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

80s Television

Do you remember 80s television - when it didn't run programs from 24 hours instead at a certain time the test pattern was shown like this -

More importantly, of course, were the programs.   There were so many great programs during the 80s it's hard to know where to start with a favorite - ALF, Different Strokes, LA Law, the A Team, the list goes on.

One man who was responsible for quite a volume of 80s television was Aaron Spelling and because of him we watched a myriad of programs such as Hart to Hart, Charlies Angels, Hotel and TJ Hooker.   Check out all of his contributions to our television set during the glorious decade that was the 80s - Aaron Spelling's 80s TV.

Of course he couldn't get all of the good programs and there's one with a catch phrase that will continue until all of the children of the 80s are gone - get the shirt and tell me the name of the program in the comments -

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

80s Video Game Belt Buckles

I can still remember the first video game we ever had, my dad brought it home and we had to connect it up to our television - what was it? Pong, of course! After Pong we had classic games such as Space Invaders and Pac Man, compare these basic games to the likes of Halo that we have today and you get blown away by the advances in technology. 

If you grew up during the 80s or are a lover of video game history then you'll have a soft spot for some of these retro video games and what better way of showing your love than with a gamer belt buckle?   I've found a great selection of them at Retro Video Games Belt Buckles.

I must admit seeing Howard from the Big Bang Theory wearing different 'retro' belt buckles does give me pause about buying one (after all I really don't want to be compared to him!) and then I look at them and my sense of nostalgia takes over :)

These belt buckles really would make awesome gift ideas especially for gamers who are coming up to some big birthdays. Most of these games can now be played for free online so you could include the website address in with the gift so that they can take a step back in time and beat their previously high score. Between you and me I can absolutely blitz Space Invaders.....I just wish I could step back in time for a day just to prove to a certain person that girls can get high scores on that game!!!

Here's a couple of the belt buckles in question -

Licensed Pac-Man Game Board Belt Buckle

Nintendo Controller Belt Buckle

What do you think?   I love the Pac Man one myself, but there's also a Space Invaders one on the site at the moment and I much preferred playing Space Invaders to Pac Man!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Let's Dance - David Bowie

There are lots of great albums from the 80s and one that I played constantly was David Bowie's Let's Dance album. So called 'true' David Bowie fans hated this album, but I loved it so much so that when I saw part of a documentary on David Bowie I was glad he was undergoing financial difficulties during the early 80s.

David Bowie came out in this doco and said that he wrote Let's Dance in order to make money because basically he was in a financial black hole as he totally trusted the wrong person and just signed whatever this person told him to so that he could get on with using his creativity.

I don't care if it was commercialism because I loved the album and I can't have been the only person because it sold really well and the singles off of the album also did well. It was Let's Dance that got me interested in looking into David Bowie's earlier work and I have to say I became a huge fan and yet if I hadn't heard his 1983 album I probably wouldn't have looked for other albums of his to listen to.

With the singles off of the Let's Dance album David Bowie really mastered the blue eyed soul style of music and captured the feelings of the time - it was all about being able to dance to the music and singalong at the same time and you could do that with China Girl, Modern Love and Let's Dance and you could do that really well.

When any of the singles from this album are played on the radio I can't help but singalong - it's an album that, in my opinion, doesn't date and I am really glad that David Bowie gave us this album. The Laughing Gnome, Ashes to Ashes, The Jean Genie, Changes and Young American are all fantastic songs, but Let's Dance, Modern Love and China Girl just pull me straight back to the 80s when life was easy (for a teen anyway!) with just a couple of beats!

What do you think about David Bowie's 1983 album - Let's Dance?

Friday, October 21, 2011

80s Movie Night - Spotlight on Red Dawn

For our 80s movie night tonight we're heading back to Colorado in 1984, yes I'm talking about Red Dawn. I loved this movie when it came out and always thought of it as a classic, a couple of years ago I had the house to myself and thought I'm going to rent Red Dawn and as I took it up to the counter the person serving me starting going on about it being a cult hit (he didn't even look like he was alive in 1984!). I enjoyed re-watching it, but a remake?

Red Dawn, like so many classic 80s movies, is being remade and is expected to be released in 2012 with Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck taking on Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen's characters. I'm not sure if I'm going to even watch this version as some of the remakes of 80s movies have really not turned out very well in my opinion (Fame, anyone?)

Will modern day audiences actually 'get' the movie? I think part of the allure of Red Dawn was that the cold war was still in existence and many people believed that the scenario could actually happen. I must admit my brother and I decided to try and get to our home from the movie theater via all the back alleys we knew to avoid being seen by anyone - I managed it, my brother was spotted by a noisy old lady a couple of streets over from us! We worked on improving our stealth like abilities throughout the school holidays and it kept us out of trouble so I'm sure from that perspective our family must've liked the movie too!!

The movie starts with everyone rolling up to school, but the day gets shattered when enemy paratroopers start landing on the school playing fields. The movie provides a lot of action and it's audience was obviously primarily the youth market as it boosted our belief that we could do anything including saving the country.

I love the little bits of irony throughout the movie, I missed it the first time around, but the second time of watching it I decided that one of my favorite moments was one that caused me to have a little chuckle - a pro-gun supporter had a bumper sticker with the words "they'll get my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands" well I don't know if his hands were cold, but they were definitely dead when a Russian took it from him!

What did you think of the movie that started Charlie Sheen's career (I bet he never envisaged what he would do to his career back then!) - I loved it, but feel free to disagree if you like :)

Just remember if you're looking to buy an 80s movie check out my 80s Movie Store I get a small commission on any movie that you purchase while you get a great deal - that's what I call a win/win.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rubik Cube Gift Ideas - Great 80s Style Gifts

Did you love the rubiks cube?   There's something about that cube that pulls me straight back to the 80s when I could never solve it, but I can tell you the name of a boy that could and he was really fast as well......I won't embarrass him by putting his name here, but his initials were AB.

Anyway the rubiks cube really did become a symbol of the 80s so if you know someone who's still 'stuck in 1984' then what about checking out some of these rubiks cube inspired gift ideas -

Salt and pepper mills based around the rubiks cube are an awesome idea and are bound to get the dinner conversation turned onto the best decade ever!

There are lots more rubiks cube inspired gifts however -

A rubiks cube mug is also cool, in fact I would swap my True mug for that one and you know what a Spandau Ballet fan I am! If you're going to have a rubiks mug then you really need the next idea as well.......a rubiks cube coaster!

What do you think of these rubiks cube inspired gifts? I think they are all awesome and I'm sure if you left this webpage open for someone else to stumble upon they are bound to realize that any of these gifts would be perfect for my 80s loving readers!

Of course my hubby would probably find this last rubiks cube gift idea the best one for me -

A rubiks cube notepad is just perfect for my house, because if I don't write jobs down they basically don't get done. My hubby's a bit sick of saying did you or have you? While I reply 'oh no I forgot', he now makes sure I always have a notepad and asks me to write down jobs that are really important!!

So there you have some of the coolest gift ideas for a rubik cube loving 80s girl or guy, let me know your favorite.