Fake '88


Transcribed by Patrick and Nicola

[Sarah:] "I am tired and I'm bored,", he said. / "and I've got kinks in my bed. / This work, how I hate it, I'd much rather play, / nothing to do, but I do need a rest." /

[whispered:] Let's just get started and make a mess...

Morton stood up and said "What's that? / It's the fifteenth of May, and I'm cold, and I'm wet." / He turned without stopping / and smiled to the pilot. People weather the terrible storm. /

A distant space ???

[Stephen:] A scene from a film circa 1982. We drove down George Street, en route to Wendy's. Glenn Campbell was on the radio singing about cleaning his gun and dreaming of Galveston. "What's this?" she said. "It's Hall & Oates or nothing for me."

Of course, this was pre-House Nation and I asked her "What is anyone going to remember this decade for?" She paused for a second, then said: "Waffle cardigans, Wentworth jail, rah-rah skirts straight out of Hell, Andrew ??? and BMX bikes, Chernenko and miners' strikes, Nikky Kershaw and Red Ken, Peter Tatchell and Dirty Den, Mark King slapped his bass, and early issues of The Face, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Margaret Thatcher, Toto Coelo, and Spycatcher, E.T., Arthur, Elmo's Fire, not a patch on Billy Liar, Phil Redmond and Transformers, Tin-Tin Duffy in leg-warmers, Stu Damer, evil Tel, Roger Hebert, what a pal, Steven Waldorf, Jerry Gross, Do The Hucklebuck by Coast To Coast, Steve Blacknell on the telly, the classic beard of Altobelli, Leon Klinghofer, baby duck(?), blonde highlights, flourescent sock, Steve Lynex and Gordon Smith, Martin Fry grew a quiff, Haysi Fantayzee, Videotech, Shakey drove us crazy, what the heck, Hazel O'Connor in Breaking Glass, Gripper Stebson's in the class."

And I said, "I don't remember any of that. If you can remember the '80s you weren't there. Uh, you know, I remember Scott Crolla in his Furry Freak Brothers t-shirt, if that's anything."




The song name-checks many of the bits and pieces of '80s Britain that mostly defined the decade before dance music refocussed things. I'll name what I can recognise. If you can help with any more ideas, I'd love to hear from you.

Er, Wentworth was the jail in Prisoner Cell Block H. Red Ken is Ken Livingstone, a Labour Party stalwart, whose Greater London Council was taken apart by the Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher; the Miners' strikes and the writing of Spycatcher by ex-MI5 agent Peter Wright were similarly politically-charged events of that time. Peter Tatchell was Labour candidate for Bermondsey in the 1982 (?) by-election who was smeared by the Liberals for being gay and narrowly lost - he's now very big in Outrage. Nikky Kershaw, more formally Nik Kershaw was a popster. Dirty Den was a character in the soap Eastenders. Mark King was a bassist in Level 42 who insured his thumbs for a ridiculous sum. The Face is a style magazine. Sigue Sigue Sputnik were a half-successful media-blitz pop outfit on Parlophone. Toto Coelo had a hit with I Eat Cannibals. The films you should recognise. Phil Redmond wrote for the TV soaps Grange Hill and Brookside. Transformers were the first of the robot toys that turned into vehicles. Stephen "Tin-Tin" Duffy is performing the song! Stephen Waldorf was a guy who was shot by the police as he waited at traffic lights in London because he resembled someone they were after. Do The Hucklebuck is, er, best forgotten. Steve Lynex played football for Leicester City, he was part of an amazingly successful partnership with Gary Lineker. Martin Fry sang for ABC. Shakey is ageing popster Shakin' Stevens. Hazel O'Connor starred the mentioned film, a fictional, eh, rockumentary. Gripper was the meanest bully character to appear in the golden age of the school-soap Grange Hill. Imelda Davis had nothing on him! The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers are cartoon hippies from the '60s; I think their "If you can..." mention here is supposed to be, you know, ironic.


The liner notes say:
Intended to be the screaming finale to Foxbase Alpha, the comic aspects of the 1980s turned it into a show tune while our backs were turned. Eventually ended up a Volume compilation. Dulcet tones courtesy of Stephen Duffy.


Stephen Duffy said in Volume:
I knew Bob through the things he'd written about me in Melody Maker, so when they asked me to do something with them I thought they wanted me to sing. I think this might have been before Sarah joined. I can't remember. Anyway, we'd all heard the demo of The Osmonds by Denim and, aware of the '70s angle of it, we had the idea of trying to conjure some wistful nostalgia over the '80s.

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Fake '88

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