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25.12.14

Merry Christmas!




Here's a Christmas card I received in 1988 - with our old feline pal Garfield offering some excellent seasonal advice. We wish you all the best for Christmas (remember, more is more!) and for 2015 (onwards and upwards!). 

'80s Actual will be back after a bit of seasonal excess. xxxxx

20.12.14

This Is Not A Love Song - "Crossing Over Into Free Enterprise" With Johnny And PIL



John Lydon found there was a future after all in 1983 - in free enterprise!

Cally Asks:

In the 1983 PIL song This Is Not A Love Song, I thought John Lydon sang: "I'm crossing over into free enterprise/big business is very wise". But I keep reading on lyrics sites that it was "e-enterprise". This makes no sense as E's were not big business then - lol! Which is it?

It's free enterprise, of course. The mantra of the 1980s. Good song that, even though it wasn't a bit like Spandau Ballet's big 1983 hit, True. But then it certainly wasn't a love song! :)

Back in 1983, the internet was unheard of by the vast majority of us (in fact it was still coming into being) and, as the World Wide Web would not even be invented until 1989 and was not up-and-running until the early 1990s, that's how things remained. The "on-line" experience was a far rarer - a far geekier and nerdier - experience back then.

However, the phrase "Free Enterprise" was everywhere in the 1980s, even the ferry tragedy of 1987 contained it. The ferry's name? Herald Of Free Enterprise of course!

But no "e-enterprise" We simply didn't have the technology to get selling on-line, although computing came on in leaps and bounds during the decade, including the arrival of the first commercial computer mouse, the invention and release of the first versions of Microsoft Windows, plus the likes of the ZX Spectrum and the Apple Mac.

However, John Lydon may have updated his lyrics in more recent renditions of This Is Not A Love Song.

Bless 'im.

 

17.12.14

Christmas Presents 1980s Style - 3: Sportswear

I was surprised at work the other day when a nineteen-year-old girl told me she was aping my fashion-sense. I was an unashamed 1980s trendy person, and still have numerous garments left over from that glorious decade. Of course, many '80s fashions have returned over the last fifteen years or so, and I've taken to wearing a 1987 sports jacket that I received for my twenty-second birthday way back then. Imagine my surprise when my young colleague informed me that she had acquired one just like it - at a price I found surprising - in a vintage shop and, furthermore, wore it to "modern day" rock concerts! With all that in mind, take a look at the beauties above. Sportswear moved on in leaps and bounds in the '80s and has had a tremendous impact on keep-fit wear ever since.

Perhaps your current cuddle will be dead chuffed if you present him/her with something rather shell suited in style this Yule...

15.12.14

Christmas Presents 1980s Style - 2: Garfield Car Window Stick-On

Dear old Garfield. So funny - and downright... er... catty. After creator Jim Davis' Paws Inc company was founded in 1981, Garfield merchandise flew into the shops and began arriving here in England circa 1983.

The character had made his debut as an American newspaper comic strip in 1978 - back then he was far more traditionally cat-like in appearance, but his image evolved until the early 1980s when he came to look pretty much as he does today.

In the 1980s, there were Garfield posters, mugs, figurines, greetings cards, soaps, clocks, telephones - you name it. By the middle of the decade, he was everywhere.

And he stared out from many a passenger seat window in passing motors.

These still crop up on internet auction sites, and, if seeking to evoke the feel of the Style Decade are surely a must.

Garfield seems to capture the attitude of many cats I've known - selfish and yet hugely lovable. Perhaps he also sums up the selfish side of ourselves we don't like to confess to.

Whatever the reason, he's tremendously funny.

Read our main Garfield post here.

14.12.14

1982: The Genius Of Snoopy (And Charles Schulz)... "Don't Be Born So Soon"...

Ooh, the 1980s!

"It's not that you're not good enough. It's just that we can make you better. Given that you pay the price, we can keep you young and tender..."

Tears For Fears (Mothers Talk - Songs From The Big Chair). How I love those biting lyrics!

The mid-to-late 1980s were fixated with youthful looks, health and beauty. Of course, vanity was not invented in the 1980s, but there's no doubt that the boom era played host to that vice in plenty. More was definitely more. So it's wonderful to read Snoopy's advice on looking younger from May 1982 below.

He ponders the question of how to look younger deeply.

And then comes up with the perfect solution - better than anything on the market.

So simple.

And yet so absolutely impossible.

It's beautiful.

Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, was a genius.

From 1950 until his death in 2000, he kept coming up with the goods.

And beagle Snoopy (Vs the Red Baron), Charlie Brown ("Good grief!"), Lucy (with her "crabby genes"), Linus (follower of the Great Pumpkin) and the others are today, deservedly, comic strip legends.

The original comic strips are being collected into a series of books, The Complete Peanuts, and I heartily recommend them.

Simple brilliance. 

 Peanuts, 4 May, 1982.

8.12.14

Christmas Presents, 1980s Style - 1: Snoopy "Inspiration" Photo Frame


With Christmas looming up, we begin a little series of posts designed to give you some inspiration when it comes to showering your pals with gifts - either genuine vintage 1980s, or with an '80s theme.

How about the above? Dear old Snoopy of Peanuts fame faced stiff competition from Garfield in the 1980s, after several decades of reigning supreme. But we still loved him dearly, and Snoopy merchandising continued to sell like hot cakes. The frame above, manufactured by Hallmark Frames (copyright Hallmark Cards Inc.) in 1981, is great. It features Snoopy at his typewriter ("It was a dark and stormy night"). You can pop in a pic of your nearest and dearest and present it to them, or, if you don't HAVE a nearest and dearest, pop in a pic of yourself!