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BANG! How The 1980s Began... Tabloid Snippets From The First Two Years...



1980 - Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please... The anthem of that summer. LOVE IT!!!! Listen to it whilst you're reading through this article - it'll help bring that early 1980s vibe flooding back...

"TWO PINTS OF LAGER AND A PACKET OF CRISPS PLEASE!" we all squawked in the summer of 1980. This was thanks to Splodgenessabounds, of course. 

June 24, 1980:

Britain's most outrageous punk group have rocked into the charts with their first single.

The band, Splodgenessabounds, pour out four letter words, show their bare bottoms and break wind on stage.

Their recording of Simon Templar has reached No. 7 only four weeks after its release.

But it is the B-side - a song called Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Please - which has caught on with the fans.

The group's founder, lead singer Max Splodge, 21, said in London last night: "Before I take my trousers down and moon, I always take a special powder so that I can break wind effectively."

The only person in the eight-strong band without a bare bottom role is girl singer Baby Greensleeves, 22.

Baby, who sometimes takes her dog Two Pints to the group's concerts, said: "I'd moon as well, but it would take too much time because of the gear I wear."

And what was the song about? Some desperate young lad trying to get served in a packed-out pub. Been there so many times. Mind you, if I'd been a barmaid/bloke, I probably wouldn't have served me either.

Max Splodge, Two Pints... writer and singer, spilled the beans about the song years later:

"One night I rushed into The Crown in Chislehurst waving a pound note, trying to buy two pints of lager and a packet of crisps. The bell rang and the bloke wouldn't serve me. The guys in the band were out of their heads on magic mushrooms and thought this was hysterical. The next day I put down a drum track and bass line and just shouted, 'two pints of lager and a packet of crisps...' Mike Reid played it on Radio 1 and it started selling 17,000 copies a day. No one could believe it. It sold a quarter of a million copies and got to No 7."


Cor, the '80s were starting out dead posh, weren't they? 

 Splodgenessabounds' wonderful 1980 anthem on glorious vinyl, tucked away on the B-side with Michael Smith's Talking Bum.



 1981 - England's burning...

Well, of course, we all remember the Style Decade! The glitzy 1980s! Yuppies! Docklands developments! Big Bang! The Credit Boom! Big hair and shoulder pads!

Ho, ho, weren't they up themselves, mateyboots?

Well, actually, one of the things that fascinates me the most about the 1980s is what a turbulent and contrasting decade it was, and nothing speaks louder about that than the good old tabloid newspapers of the era, those we propped up against the Daddy's Sauce bottle as we read and gronffed down our egg and chips early in the decade, or against the bottle of fancy salad dressing as we read and gronffed down our beautifully prepared Nouvelle Cuisine later on.

Let's continue to trawl through some early 1980s tabloid snippets... no yuppies. No mobile phones. Three TV channels and Top of The Pops on Thursday nights...

In my street, none of the school leavers stayed on to sixth form or had the remotest desire to attend university. Oh no, we wanted out of school, and that was the way it had been for us, the lower working classes, the great unwashed, forever. During the 1980s, this would begin to change, but when I left school it certainly wasn't the case. Unemployment had been a problem for years, and with Thatcher focusing on inflation, the number of jobless folk was accelerating through the roof in the early 1980s. But we poor sods had no thought of "staying on" - and it would not have been financially viable for parents round my district anyway.

No yuppies in the early 1980s, no credit boom... riots, royals, CB radio, New Romantics, Space Invaders, and Rubik's Cube were the new trends popping one by one onto the scene.

One writer referred to "The Swinging Sixties And Savage Seventies". As the 1980s got underway, I wondered if they would be remembered as "The Aggro Eighties"? Actually, there was a lot of aggro THROUGHOUT the 1980s, so perhaps it's a worthy title, but so much else happened in that ten years that there are many others!

Anyway, sit back and continue (hopefully) to enjoy this visit to 1980 and 1981, via the Daily Mirror...

1981 - "There's Going To Be A Rumble Tonight"...The riots... in 1980, there was some trouble, centred around racial tensions, a youth leader commented he'd seen it coming for fifteen years or so. In 1981, inner cities burned and shops were plundered as trouble makers, opportunists, political activists and bored youths joined in.

July 9, 1981:

Hours before the latest explosion of mob violence in North London, the word was passed around: "There's going to be arumble tonight!"

The news spread rapidly through local pubs, youth clubs and even school playgrounds.

It resulted in a crowd of around 400 youths converging on Wood Green and turning it into a battlefield of looting and rioting.

Yesterday police, community leaders and shopkeepers - who were robbed of thousands of punds' worth of goods - were in no doubt that the mob was well organised.

More than six hours before the eruption, the Daily Mirror was warned that trouble was about to break out.

A man, who refused to give his name, phoned the Mirror to say: "There will be trouble in Wood Green High Road tonight."

The caller explained that he had overheard a group of youths in a North London pub boasting that they were going to "take on the police".

At about the same time, police themselves heard about the impending violence.

This was revealed yesterday to local police Commander Jim Dickenson.

He said: "It was obviously organised by somebody.

"You don't get hundreds of people massing in one place by coincidence."

Haringey Council leader Robin Young also got a tip-off hours before.

He said: "Undoubtedly it was all pre-arranged. The word went round that there was going to be a rumpus."

Youths in orgy of plunder

Moss Side

Shopkeepers were last night counting the cost of mob violence which exploded in Moss Side, Manchester, early yesterday.

Mobs of youths threw petrol bombs, smashed windows and looted shops, leaving a trail of damage estimated at £300,000.

They stoned fireman who were forced to retreat and watch helplessly as two shops were gutted...

In Liverpool, 25 people - the youngest aged eleven - appeared in court following the Toxteth riots.

They were charged with offences ranging from assaults on police to criminal damage. Most of the adults charged were remanded in custody.

Meanwhile, the BBC was apparently giving instructions on Radio 2 on how to make a Molotov cocktail. Good grief!

Wednesday, July 8, 1981: 

A bomb boob on JY show

The BBC blundered yesterday by broadcasting how to make a petrol bomb.

BBC community relations correspondent John Clare, who has been covering the Liverpool riots, described the ingredients of a Molotov cocktail on Jimmy Young's Radio 2 show.

The BBC received a number of complaints and Jimmy made an apology later in his show.

On the same day, a letter published in the Mirror's Public Opinion section asked an interesting question...

As I lived in Toxteth until about two years ago, the riots there are less of a surprise to me than most. It was obvious that the levels of social deprivation I witnessed could not continue without some reaction sooner or later.

I wonder, though, why riots have only broken out now under a Tory Government.


Ted Heath and the Left Wing Mirror were well and truly on Thatcher's case, and Lady Di caused shock amongst traditionalists as Royal Wedding fever raged...

 Thursday, July 2, 1981:

Lady Diana Spencer will NOT promise to obey Charles when they marry on July 29.

She will pledge herself only to "love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health" at the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

Her decision after talks with Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, breaks with the tradition followed by Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.

But it delighted women's libbers like Nell Noell of the Women's Rights Movement.

But Lady Di didn't go far enough for Nell, who said: "I hope she will avoid the humiliation of using her husband's name.

"She should stick to name she was born with and not agree to be called Princess Charles."

Flippin' 'eck! The times were changing, however, quite frankly I couldn't have cared less about the Royal Wedding. But what's that at the bottom of the front page? The topless Mary Poppins? Good grief! SURELY NOT?!!!

Eeeek!

Thursday, July 2, 1981:

AT LAST.. this is the moment when sugary British star Julie Andrews loses all her inhibitions and Mary Poppins finally pops out.

Julie plays a fading Mary Poppins-type actress in her new film, SOB, the story of the machinations of the Hollywood film moguls.

She is called on to go topless in a movie to save the studio from going bust.

It's quite a wrench for the poor girl, but finally she is convinced that fans will pack the box offices if she is seen in the bare flesh.

There is another eye-popping scene where she bares her bottom for a quack doctor to inject her with a muscle-relaxant drug so she can pluck up courage to peel off for the cameras.

What did Julie think of her part in the film, directed by husband Blake Edwards? "It gave me quite a kick," she said.

That nice Mary Poppins certainly wouldn't have approved.

I was so shocked, I nearly passed me fags round. 

In other news... Ronald Reagan was elected President of the USA in November 1980. He was shot in 1981, but survived.

Oh well, we'll watch Wimbledon! In 1981, Wimbledon was a bastion of tradition, a far more staid, and in fact downright posh, affair than it is today. The perfect retreat from the stresses of the highly modern early 1980s world.

Oh yeah?!!!!


"You CANNOT be serious!" John McEnroe was making waves as he dragged Wimbledon out of the highly polite "More Tea Vicar?" 1930s and into the brash, "In-Yer-Face" 1980s....

Lady Diana Spencer watched at Wimbledon yesterday as tennis superbrat John McEnroe smashed his way into the final with a volley of abuse.

Lady Diana, a keen tennis fan, was a surprise visitor to Wimbledon. She was given a standard ovation when she arrived in the Royal box.

Then the 14,000-strong crowd watched in amazement as McEnroe made thirteen loud comments to the umpire and shouted obscenities at spectators.

The behaviour on court brought a public warning and penalty point with the possibility of a £5,000 fine.

And twenty minutes after his semi-final victory, over Australia's Rod Frawley, the fiery American was still at it. 

He stormed out of a press conference after calling newsmen "liars" and "trash".

McEnroe's first-set public warning for unsportsmanlike behaviour came when he suddenly bellowed: "I hate umpires. I get screwed by them in this place."

In the final set he lost a penalty point for shouting, "You are a disgrace to mankind."  The umpire took it as an insult, but McEnroe later said he had been talking to himself.

At the press conference McEnroe's first explosion came when he was asked whether the return to New York of his girlfriend, Stacy Margolin, meant they had split up.

The 22-year-old New Yorker shouted: "People like you make me sick. It is none of your business in the first place and the answer is no."

He went on: "You guys are sh*t and trash and I want you to quote me on that."

During McEnroe's outburst Lady Diana's name was mentioned. He suddenly paused and said: "She's a terrific person."

Before sweeping out of the room McEnroe told reporters: "I don't want to waste time on low people like you."

The uproar continued after the star's exit when a fight broke out between two newsmen - a Britain and an American - which sent chairs and microphones flying.

 Phew, feel quite exhausted after this little trip back... Time to go and have a cuppa and a quick play with my ZX 80, I think. More soon...

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