My thesis (yes, that’s right, I used the word thesis) is that if you want to write a history of the 1980s a good place to start is Wired for Sound by Cliff Richard. Not only is it a cool song (yes, I know, but I defy you to listen to it and not sing it afterwards… “AM FM I feel so excited”), but the video manages to cram so many 80s trends into it that it is like a snapshot of the dawning era.
I have already talked about the following things for this masterpiece of the 80s:
- The phenomenon of Cliff Richard himself
- The rise of the Walkman
- Leotards, legwarmers and Fame
- Roller skating
- Wired for Sound, and
That last one is cheating, because it was actually about New Zealand in 1973 and new fangled ideas called supermarkets, malls, and opening shops on Saturday morning. Cliff is roller skating around Milton Keynes’ shopping mall in this video back when Milton Keynes was minty fresh, and malls were a vision of modernity.
I wanted to do my last piece on Wired for Sound about roller skating, but by trawling through my back catalogue I see that I have already done this. Never mind, I found fresh inspiration in the pages of an article from the Listener in 1982 including this beautiful free spirit
I can’t really explain it, but I love this picture and George’s way of finding almost a spirituality in his skating. I suppose that if this article was written in 1981/82 and George was in his twenties, that he might be in his fifties now.
I would quite like to find George. There are no Manukau’s in the phonebook. I searched him on Google and found this thread:
Which made me excited. Kung Fu. Eeling. Petone. My Aunty Joan’s brother! (It took me ages to translate this.) Benneydale is a primary school, so the dates could be about right.
So I joined Old Friends in the hunt, and searched for George. There is a George Manukau listed as 46 and living in Auckland. I sent him a message.
Hmm. Just saw the “I right a blog” thing. Wow. Good think I’m not a teacher.
Anyway, if this doesn’t work, anyone have any thoughts on how to find someone with only a name and a Listener article from 1982 to go on?