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1319Re: [Stratosphere_Fanzine] Re: My Top 10 Music Guilty Pleasures - Top 10 New Wave Bands.

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  • Jon Gordon
    Aug 3, 2006
      Interesting the extent to which your media kept musical developments away from much of an audience. In the late 70's the BBC, through Top Of The Pops, Whistle Test, John Peels show and Radio 1 generally was as good a source of New Wave as you could expect to find. I quite vividly recall Johnny Walker announcing that 'punk rock has hit the charts' and then playing 'Sheena Is a Punk Rocker' on a lunchtime Radio 1 show. Then there's the whole thing about the Sex Pistols: in May 1977 they're 'banned', in July 1977 they're on Top Of The Pops. Peel's show you doubtless know about, and if you look over YouTube for any interesting clips from that period there's a better than good chance they're from Whistle Test. All this and plenty more was broadcast nationally here and there were also some quite well stocked record shops in Glasgow, plus a music press which wasted no time in bringing the latest developments in Covent Garden to the attention of provincial idiots such as my teenage self.
      What you describe does sound a little worrying with hindsight. One video show a week? It couldn't have happened like that here, Brits were inundated with new ideas and noises from almost every direction, and on a practically nightly basis, courtesy of the BBC. If they were only quite as adventurous nowadays - the bands are certainly around and so what if Top Of The Pops folded because it had fewer than 5 million viewers, it's public access and we pay a licence fee to own a set here, all of which goes to the Beeb. Let me hear one good reason, one reason as to why we couldn't dump Newsnight for a rejuvenated Whistle Test featuring bands like Cartridge, Plastic Passion, Dirty Pretty Things and whoever else can cut it in this framework nowadays. These are tamer times, and Monty Python wouldn't make it past the production stage today either -

      rswappleton@... wrote:
      "...New Wave is what happened when punk went into the mainstream.. ."

      "...New Wave was a term which had mostly fallen out of use in England
      around the end of the 70's..."

      I did a bit of research into New Wave last night after posting my list of
      songs, and I see that my definition is very much a result of my own
      limited exposure to new emerging styles of pop music in the late 70's /
      early 80's. I agree certainly with Jon's observations above, having now a
      bit of knowledge about music; but in 1982 or so I would have said, "huh?"
      or something similar.

      In the backwater part of Western New York State where I lived (and still
      do live, being too poor and timid to join the mass exodus to greener
      pastures) we were always a few years behind the rest of the world. We
      never heard the term New Wave until Devo's "Whip It" became such a huge
      radio hit. Punk, in fact, never arrived. The Sex Pistols were a distant
      rumour, the Ramones entirely unknown. Most of what we knew about Synth
      Pop, the New Romantics, etc, we learned from a tv show called Friday
      Night Videos (not MTV. Nobody had ever seen MTV. Nobody had cable.)

      I can only recall one kid in my school class who knew anything about
      punk, post-punk, or anything non-mainstream. He was labelled the school
      weirdo and was thoroughly ridiculed on a regular basis. I was a closet
      New Wave fan; which means simply that I was interested in learning more
      about this quirky alternative music, but was too much a coward to admit
      it publicly. I was treated badly enough just wearing my Iron Maiden shirt
      to school. :)

      --- RSW
      www.raymondscottwoo lson.com

      See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.

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