I was still in single figures when my favourite decade began, and reached adulthood at the beginning of 1989, so the Eighties represent a very personal period of transition for me. From wearing a sailor top and ra-ra skirt at my primary school disco to sporting a satin and velvet peplum dress with gigantic shoulder pads the first time I went nightclubbing, I loved and embraced the fashions (although, looking at some of the outfits I wore, I don’t think they loved me back!) with a fervour like none I have experienced since. I would spend hours copying the hair and make-up of those I had seen performing on Top of The Pops, in magazines or on record sleeves. Toyah, Boy George and the girl on the cover of Wham!’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ single were just some of those I attempted to imitate, before settling on my own individual “style” in the mid-Eighties - pearlescent pink eyeshadow, electric blue eyeliner and mascara, Bon Bon lipstick and a change of hair colour every other week!
My appearance may have varied throughout the Eighties, but one thing that remained constant was my love of music. Every day, I am amazed at how that passion continues to manifest itself in the unearthing of long forgotten memories of yesteryear. Eurythmics’ ‘Who’s That Girl’ plays and I’m suddenly in a caravan in Burnham-on-Sea, during the long, hot summer of 1983; each time Owen Paul’s ‘My Favourite Waste of Time’ comes on the radio, I think of the penfriend I made during the summer of ’86, courtesy of Smash Hits magazine; Inner City’s ‘Good Life’ will always be the first road trip I made in my Austin Allegro, having taken my A level exams in 1989. Such is the incredible power of music, I feel it is a real privilege every time I meet those involved in the songs of my youth, and interview them for my various writing projects. It is why I write as a fan, not a critic or “expert”.