This is a great find, Debbie Harry (who looks stunning) singing with avant garde punk-funkers James White & The Blacks at Hurrahs in New York in 1980.
The career of Punk ingenue Honey Bane reads like the script of a torrid teen exploitation movie. Growing up as a “problem child” with an unstable home life, she formed her first band Fatal Microbes in 1978 when she was only 14. They broke up after making just the one single (the minor Post-Punk classic “Violence Grows”) and after that Honey was put in a juvenile treatment centre for alcohol and behavioral problems. She ran away from there and spent a year as a fugitive from Social Services during which she fell in with anarcho-punk collective Crass and recorded an EP with them. Now the ripe old age of 16, Honey released her terrific first solo single “Guilty” on her own label, and then came under the managerial wing of Sham 69’s Jimmy Pursey who got her signed to EMI and attempted to turn her into a pop star.
Sporting a Toyah Wilcox-ish look and a more bouncy, New-Wave sound, her first Pursey-produced single “Turn Me On, Turn Me Off” was a hit in 1981 — I bought it and had a crush on her — but none of the follow-ups did well. Annoyed by EMI’s attempts to push her in an even more pop direction, she quit her contract with them and went into acting. But despite a part in the 1982 film Scrubbers (sort of a female version of Scum) and a Trebor Mints commercial (!), that career fizzled and a few years later she was posing nude in girlie mags to make a living.
If this story was a movie, the final scene would be a desperate suicide by drug overdose, her music dreams crushed and reduced to the sleazy business of taking her clothes off for money. But Holly is still around, back to making music, and last year she released a compilation of singles and b-sides going back to her Fatal Microbes days called It’s A Baneful Life which is mostly excellent stuff, especially when you consider she wrote and recorded a lot of it at an age when the rest of us were only worrying about homework and school discos.
Sad to hear about the death of Sylvia Anderson. The obits focused on her being the voice of Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds but the greatest thing she did for me was design the costumes in the Anderson’s live-action series UFO.
Though the styles were often silly and a hysterically groovy 1960s idea of fashion in the far-flung future of the 1980s, she has my undying gratitude for putting the girls on Moonbase in those silver catsuits and miniskirts, especially Gabrielle Drake. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without that.
I like to think the girls of Moonbase would have been listening to this 1985 hit when they were relaxing between UFO attacks. It’s a tad cheesy but I love it.
Download: Clouds Across The Moon (Extended Version) – The Rah Band (mp3)
Picture quality isn’t that great but this is a real treat otherwise. The Style Council “performing” their first single in a crappy Dutch hotel room with the lovely Tracie Young. Nice to see Paul Weller not being a grumpy git too.
My wife looks a bit like Pat Benatar. Dresses like her to take the kids to school too.
This must be one of the most “Eighties” videos ever made.
I found out the other day that Jacqueline Bisset’s real first name is Winifred.
Does this woman look like a Winifred to you?
Download: You Don’t Know My Name (Reggae Remix) – Alicia Keys (mp3)
I can’t remember where I got this track from but it’s terrific. I loved the Kanye-produced original and it’s even sweeter in reggae style, like old-timey Lovers Rock.
Far as I know this is the only clip from Bobbie Gentry’s 1960s BBCTV show on YouTube which is a real shame as it’s wonderful. I hope there’s more sitting in the Beeb vaults waiting to be reissued (please!) but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been wiped knowing their past history with other old shows.
It’s all great but don’t miss her duet with Donovan at the 11:00 mark.
I’m not entirely sure who was the very first woman I saw on TV as a boy that made my dormant hormones go Boing! and realize that girls were actually rather interesting creatures. Previously I’ve identified that first crush as possibly being Raquel Welch, or even Bobbie Gentry, but it could very well have been Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.
The Batman TV show was already catnip to a young boy anyway with its bright cartoon sensibility and KAPOW! fight scenes, then they threw this cute girl in a skintight purple outfit into the mix (they already had Julie Newmar as Catwoman, add her to the list too) and I thought it was about the greatest thing on television.
40+ years later and I have a daughter who loves watching the same show to see Batgirl beating up bad guys. Anyone with a daughter can tell you the power of strong female role models to fight against the malevolent evil that is Barbie and Disney princesses, so I’m very grateful to her Batgirl for several reasons. Craig died yesterday at the age of 78, she’ll be fondly remembered.
Download: Hero Takes A Fall – The Bangles (mp3)