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28.2.15

1986: Black Type Murdered By A Picnic Table Wielding Maniac? What A Nightmare!

This book, which I found last year in a local charity shop, is truly brillo pads. It's completely and utterly swingorilliant. It transports me back effortlessly to the heyday of Smash Hits magazine - that heyday, of course, being the 1980s. Those were the days of Madonna, Morton "Snorten Forten" Harket, miserable Morrisey, Bros, Jason and Kylie, Wham!, Adam and the Ants and other "pop" "stars". The days of "akchewerlery" and frightwigs. The days of Rick Astley's Ruddy Big Pig. The days of Black Type. Black Type? Yus, mateyboots, Sir Blackford of Type, the legendary letters page editor of Smash Hits.

In 1986 a nation mourned as horrendously horrible news broke: Black Type had been brutally murdered by a picnic table-wielding maniac. Stunned horrendous horror gave way to cries of "worra swizz!" as it all turned out to be a dream and Black Type lived on to blacken many more pages of Smash Hits.

 
Some utterly fabby Smash Hits covers from 1986 and 1987. Yes, folks, we have Howard Jones! We have Duran Duran! We have the Beastie Boys! And yes, yes, YES!!! we have Nick Kamen and the Housemartins.

The book even features some advertisements from the 1980s. Remember chat lines? After British Telecom arrived in 1980 and became a public corporation in late 1981, all sorts of new and highly exciting thingies happened - things like chatlines, which rose into the stratosphere in the mid-1980s. Great fun, coz the World Wide Web wouldn't be invented until 1989, so you could natter to all sorts of Tom, Dick and Harrys in the comfort and safety of your own black ash infested pad even back then. But chatlines had such potential aggro value they were actually featured as a storyline on Brookside. Yep, some kiddies dialled the digits and drove their parents' phone bills sky high, causing many tears and smacked botties before bedtime.

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