Closest Thing To A Heavenly Favourite Five

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I have never made any secret of the fact that my all time favourite song of the entire Eighties is The Kane Gang’s “Closest Thing To Heaven”. So, you can imagine how delighted I was when former band member, David Brewis, agreed to appear on this week’s My 80s radio show. Tune in from 9pm this Thursday (14th Sept) to hear the multi-instrumentalist choose his Favourite Five 80’s tracks and talk about his new album Autoleisureland. I will also be playing a track from the album, but if you can’t wait until then you can order your copy from autoleisureland.com.

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Buzzing Times For My 80s

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Just a reminder that this week’s My 80s radio show will not be broadcast in its usual slot tonight at 9pm. Instead, it will go out this Saturday (9th September) at 1pm, as part of the Mad Wasp Radio launch weekend. The show will also be repeateMy80s wasp 2d at 8am the following Monday.

We return to our usual slot of 9-11pm on Thursday 14th September, with that show then being repeated the following Saturday at 1pm and Monday at 8am. As before, all My 80s shows will be available on Mixcloud after their initial broadcast.

Requests for a song to be played on the show or suggestions for the Back On Track (any track from an 80’s album that was not released as a single) and Word Up (song featuring that week’s word in the lyrics or title) features can be made via the show’s Facebook page, via Twitter @MyEighties using #My80s or via the contact form on my website.

I look forward to chatting to you on Saturday, when I will be making my Mad Wasp debut, hot on the heels of the Rockabilly ‘N’ Blues Radio Hour. To check out what other fantastic shows Mad Wasp Radio has on offer, take a look at their weekly schedule. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the week’s schedule at a glance.

Those Were The Jamie Days

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My special guest on this week’s My 80s radio show, choosing his Favourite Five 80’s tracks is Jamie Days. As a young boy in the Eighties, Jamie started to keep a diary, and has already published his daily musings from 1984. He has contributed excerpts from his diaries to The 80s Annual, vol.II, due out this November. I asked Jamie a few questions about his diaries and growing up in my favourite decade. 1984 Summer

What made you start to keep a diary at the tender age of eleven?

My nana bought me a tiny Grange Hill diary for Christmas in 1983. I’d had a little Paddington one before, in 1982 or 1983 I think, but I never stuck to it. But something in 1984 made me keep going.

How many years did you write your diaries for and how difficult was it to keep them going for that long?

I kept a diary from 1984 to 1986 and then for a couple months in 1987, then started again towards the end of 1989 up until the end of 1994. It was hard to keep them going and I didn’t always write every day, sometimes I’d write a few days at a time or catch up on the week at the weekend.

How did you feel when you first began to read the diaries in adulthood?

I’d always re-read them on and off, particularly those from ’84-‘86. For example in 1992, for some reason, I started to type them out, but it was only recently I re-visited the late ‘80s early ‘90s ones. It’s these later ones that really make me cringe. The detail I went into and how I went on and on about what friends said and did and how I felt about everything…*groan!* In terms of the ones from the 80’s they really make me laugh. It’s almost like they’re not by me; just this innocent boy entering into, but at odds with, this adult world. They’re also quite a good reminder of what is important to teenagers, and where their heads are, which can help bring some perspective when dealing with my own kids.

Why did you decide to publish your diaries?

A number of reasons really. Mainly, it is that I had a friend who kept diaries in the 80s and she planned to publish hers. I was helping her work out how she might go about this and started to share my diaries with her. I’d always thought they wouldn’t be interesting to anyone else, but she loved them. Sadly, she died before she got chance to realise her ambition. However, as we were working through it, we discovered other people who were blogging or tweeting their old diaries and I just loved them! They were hilarious and moving and I wished I could have the whole lot to read. So after I’d typed out all of 1984, I thought why not? I’ve always had ambitions to be a writer but never seem to get round to finishing anything. But I have written diaries, which are a form of book, so why not?!

How did it feel when you first let someone else read your diaries? Was it scary making the entries public?

I guess it felt quite daring, to assume anyone else would be interested. Diaries are by their very nature self-indulgent and individualistic, so why would they appeal to anyone else? In terms of revealing myself, it was all so long ago it doesn’t bother me. That said, letting the people I was at school with, who are in the diaries, read them has been weird – and I haven’t let my Mum and Dad read them all!! Whilst I’ve fessed up to quite a lot of what I got up to, that they had no idea about at the time, they’re not ready (or I’m not ready) for the whole truth!!

You’ve had some fantastic feedback from people who have read the diaries. How does that make you feel?

It’s brilliant and really touching in many ways. I recognise they won’t be for everyone. A lot of people get more pleasure from the now and the future, rather than looking back, but for those who tell me they’ve had them laughing ‘til they had tears in their eyes, that’s just amazing.

Some of your entries are hilariously candid. Do you think a lot of readers, especially the guys, can relate to the situations you found yourself in?

Potentially yes. I’ve talked to a couple of guys who’ve read them and, particularly in reference to those more candid elements, they’ve said things to me like you think at the time it’s just happening to you, but reading my experiences makes you realise it’s the same for everyone. Also, that a lot of what I wrote about is normal, yet it doesn’t get talked about, so it’s refreshing to have it out there. But more broadly, I think we all have teachers we don’t like, friends we fall out with, music we fall in love with and struggles with our changing bodies and environments!

Are you still mad about Madonna? Did you keep any memorabilia?

Not really. I still have huge affection for her because she was a massive part of my growing up, and her songs bring back great memories. She also broadened my horizons into art and cultures I don’t think I would have found without her (I’m still convinced that I managed to scrape a B in my General Studies A Level due to my essay on censorship and freedom of speech, which centred heavily on the banning of the Like A Prayer video and the content of a Channel 4 season called Banned!). However the musical genres she explores on her records these days aren’t ones that appeal to me as much. I still buy the albums but find there are only a handful of great songs on them. I had masses of memorabilia, but as her career progressed there was too much to collect, so I narrowed my collection to UK only releases and magazines with her on the cover. I had over 2000 at one point but eventually sold virtually everything on eBay. I managed to pay for a loft conversion out of it though! I still have some bits, the more sentimental items, but nothing like I used to.

You mention Smash Hits magazine throughout your diaries. Have you kept any copies from the Eighties?

Well, as you’ll get to find out in the diaries, I ended up cutting up all the original copies I bought for my Madonna scrapbooks. Then I would buy them again from charity shops, jumble sales and off friends, cut them up for swaps etc. But now, thanks to the internet, I’ve acquired every issue from the very first one, up to the early 2000s. They’re great to look back on. It was truly an iconic publication!

Judy Blume and Sue Townsend were your favourite authors as a boy. Whose books do you enjoy reading now?

Without a doubt my favourite writer is David Sedaris. He’s recently published extracts from his diaries, and I love them. I also really love Andrew Kaufman, JD Salinger and Alan Bennett. I spend two hours a day on a train commuting so I read a lot. I love books about life and people, so I am fond of memoir, autobiography and fiction that is character driven.

You’ve published your 1984 diary, with 1985 coming out in October. Are there any more diaries to follow?

Yes, I’m definitely going to publish 1986, hopefully next year. It’s probably my favourite, and I may well publish the others from 1989-1993. However I was 16 – 20, so the content is very different!!

What is your favourite year of the Eighties and why?

1985, without a doubt. It was a real coming of age year for me. I started to get into music properly and the music was great. Arguably, the music in 1984 is better, but from a nostalgia perspective I remember a lot more of the music in ’85. I started getting Smash Hits, started writing down the charts, started listening to Radio One properly and religiously. And, of course, there was Madonna! How amazing was she that year?!

End pic 1If you could return to 1984 and give your 11-year-old self any advice, what would it be?

I’d tell him not to worry about stuff because it all works out brilliantly in the end. I’d also tell him to buy multiple copies of every magazine with Madonna on the cover, all her limited editions and special releases and to keep them in immaculate condition as they’ll be worth a fortune!!

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Jamie Days 1984 Diary is available on Amazon.

Follow Jamie on Twitter: @1980sDiaries

 

 

 

It’s Nasher Next!

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I can’t believe it’s almost that time of the week again when I take to the airwaves to bring you two hours of music and memories from the Eighties. Tomorrow night will see My 80s show number 6 broadcast on Radio Cabin, and another guest choosing his Favourite Five 80’s tracks. The feature was originally intended to appear on the occasional show, but the response from both guests and listeners has been so great that I currently have a Favourite Five lined up for every week until September. So, not only will I be bringing you some interesting chats with some of the decade’s best known artists, but they have also chosen some seriously good tunage!

This Thursday, it is the turn of former Frankie Goes To Hollywood guitarist Brian ‘Nasher’ Nash to treat us to his musical magic five. Listen tomorrow night 9-11pm to hear Nasher’s choices, what he has to say about them and much, much more.

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All past My 80s shows are uploaded to Mixcloud. Guests on previous shows include Soft Cell’s David Ball (Show 5), Musical Youth’s Dennis Seaton (Show 4) and Modern Romance’s Andy Kyriacou (Show 2).

Twice As Nice

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Listeners to last night’s My 80s Radio Show will have noticed the technical hitch we experienced in the second half of the show, when the first hour was repeated instead of the second hour being aired. Having spoken to the powers that be, I am delighted to announce that the show will be aired again tomorrow (Saturday 8th July) between 6-8pm on Radio Cabin.

Not only that, but this will be the case for all future My 80s shows. So, we will continue to broadcast My 80s on Thursday evenings between 9-11pm, and then that show will be repeated on Saturday 6-8pm. In addition, all shows are uploaded to Mixcloud for you to listen to at your leisure, so there really is no escaping me!

See you next week … same time, same place.

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On The Ball

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This Thursday evening, I will be joined by David Ball on My 80s radio show. The multi instrumentalist and former member of Soft Cell soft-cell-feature-title.jpgand The Grid chooses his Favourite Five 80’s songs and, as you might expect from someone with his music pedigree, he has given me some excellent tracks to play. Listen from 9pm online: www.radiocabin.co.uk or on air in the Herne Bay area at 94.6 FM.

Past My 80s shows are available on Mixcloud and song requests can be made via Facebook on the My 80s  show page, on Twitter using #My80s and via email: my80s@radiocabin.co.uk.

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Romancing The Radio

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Last Saturday I was invited to join Modern Romance as they performed as the house band at BBC Radio Kent. We all had a fantastic time as the band played their hits from the Eighties as well as new material, such as ‘Seven Days’. My vlog on my YouTube channel shows a little of what went on that morning.

Once the band had finished playing, I caught up with lead singer Andy Kyriacou for a chat about his Favourite Five 80s songs. Tune in to Radio Cabin tonight from 9pm to hear the interview we recorded, as well as some rather fabulous music from the decade.

To make a request to be played during the show, which airs every Thursday 9-11pm, tweet me @MyEighties using #My80s, post on the show’s Facebook page @My80sRadioShow or send me an email: my80s@radiocabin.co.uk . I look forward to playing your songs!