Back To Blacknell

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Some memories remain as clear as the day they were made. One such recollection I have dates back to 13th July, 1985. A blistering hot, sunny day, one which I would have normally spent topping up my tan, was spent sat in front  of the television, watching the musical extravaganza that was Live Aid. You can imagine my excitement last week, when I got to interview someone who had been an integral part of that historical occasion.

Steve Blacknell, TV presenter of the BBC’s “Riverside” and  “Breakfast Time” during the Eighties, was the man who got to interview Phil Collins during his transatlantic flight on Concorde. The flight enabled CollinsMusicBoxSteveBlacknell to perform on both Live Aid stages, Wembley Stadium in London, and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Although the live radio broadcast of the interview was barely audible in parts, as a 14 year old girl, obsessed with the music industry, I was mesmerised by the apparent glamour of the event. Steve recalls the reality of his trip across the pond as being in stark contrast to my imaginings. You will have to wait until the full interview is published in my next book, “Your Eighties”, for the details. However, with a view on everything from Mike Score’s haircut (Steve was responsible for signing A Flock of Seagulls to Jive Records in 1981) to Bruce Springsteen: “a pub singer”, I can assure you that Steve’s candour in all his responses, means the wait will be well worth it.

Steve is currently working on his autobiography which, from the snippets I gleaned during our interview, promises to be a revelation in more ways than one. Having enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle in the Eighties, alongside some of the biggest names in entertainment, the expectation will be for some celebrity gossip. What most may not expect is the vulnerability of the man who, despite being surrounded by excess, won his battle with bulimia, and now uses his own experiences to help fellow sufferers. If the book offers only a fraction of Steve’s roller coaster life, I want a ticket to ride!

In the meantime, I will leave you with this little gem I found of Steve and Phil, as the pair are about to board the plane. Click Here to watch.

 

Birthday Boy Bowie

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Today sees David Bowie celebrate his 68th birthday. Although the chameleon-like performer has seen a number of character transformations since his 1967 release of “The Laughing Gnome”, the song has remained in my consciousness, thanks to its lyric “then I put him on a train to Eastbourne” (my Dad’s home town). This gimmick track may have been my first exposure to Bowie, but it didn’t deter me from exploring his subsequent releases, and becoming a huge fan in the process.

Although I appreciate the genius of his Ziggy Stardust period, my favourite Bowie music is that released around the time of his 1983 “Serious Moonlight” Tour. Stylish and sophisticated, Bowie’s appearance not only echoed the class of his music, but the time in which it was written. In recognition of the birthday boy’s brilliance, here is my favourite track from that time, “Modern Love”.

New Year’s Day – U2

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I know that some may consider it sacrilege, but I am not a big fan of U2. However, there are a couple of their tracks, from the early Eighties, that I love. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” is one of them, and “New Year’s Day” is the other. Given today’s date, and to prove that even “serious” musicians couldn’t escape a dodgy 80’s hairdo, here is the latter. Happy 2015!