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George Michael and Morrissey discuss Joy Division (and breakdancing) in 1984

In May 1984, George Michael and Morrissey appeared alongside the unhip, uncool and utterly square antique DJ Tony Blackburn on BBC youth programme Eight Days A Week. The show was a weekly round-up of the latest music, film and book releases as pecked over by a trio of celebrities. It was aimed at a young happening audience with the intention of fulfilling the ye olde BBC charter obligations to “educate, inform and entertain” (perhaps not necessarily in that order).

The week George appeared on the show he was storming up the UK charts alongside Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! with their hit single “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” while Morrissey with bandmates The Smiths were just about to release their song “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” And Blackburn—well, he was still unutterably anodyne, nauseating and the very establishment edifice these two young artistes were (in their own ways) rebelling against—no matter how much Blackburn sought credibility by pronouncing his deep love of soul music.

At the time of its broadcast, the fey, young aesthete Morrissey would have been seen as the “cool” one. But in truth it’s George Michael who steals the show with his honesty, sensibility and utter lack of pretension. He says it as it is and plays to no gallery as both Morrissey and Blackburn were wont to do.

The topics up for review the week this trio appeared were Everything But The Girl‘s debut album Eden, the crap movie that film producers Golan & Globus called Breakdance (aka Breakin’) and a book about Joy Division called An Ideal for Living: A History of Joy Division by Mark Johnson. While Morrissey does Morrissey whilst talking about another Mancunian band, it is George Michael who delights with his (low) opinion of pompous English rock scribe Paul Morley and surprises by revealing his love of the brooding quartet.  While the show’s host Robin Denselow (probably an apt surname) asked, “George, I wouldn’t imagine you as a Joy Division fan, maybe I’m wrong?”

George: Ah, you might be wrong! This book, just became incredibly suspect for me, the minute I saw…

Denselow: You do like them?

George: I do like them, yeah. It became very suspect when I saw that it was partially, a lot of the contributions were from a gentleman called Paul Morley.

Denselow: You don’t approve of Paul Morley?

George: You’d need a book a lot thicker than that to list that man’s ideas or hangups, whatever you’d like to call it. It became very, very pretentious, in so many areas, I actually didn’t finish it, I did not get anywhere near finishing it.  And I actually really liked Joy Division, or particular their second album Closer. I thought Closer, the second side of Closer…it’s one of my favorite albums, It’s just beautiful.

Watch George Michael & Morrissey talk pop, film and books, after the jump….

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The Clash: Live at the US Festival 1983

This was Mick Jones’ last performance with The Clash in front of an audience of 140,00, headlining at the New Wave Day for the US Festivals, Saturday May 28th 1983. The support was an odd mix for New Wave, consisting of Divinyls, INXS, Men At Work, Flock of Seagulls, The Stray Cats and Oingo Boingo. The quality is rough and watery VHS, but it all adds to its appeal.


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Simple Minds: Early live footage, New York 1979

There was a moment back in the late-seventies / early-eighties, when Simple Minds could do no wrong. From their debut album Life in a Day, through to New Gold Dream, 81, 82, 83, 84, they were the likely heirs (by-way-of Kraftwerk) to fill the space left by Bolan and Bowie and even the Velvets, with their mix of pop (Empires and Dance) and experimentation (Real to Real Cacophony). But by 1984 and the release of Sparkle in the Rain, the Minds were a stadium band, with their own rock sound, vying with U2 for world domination.

For me amongst the highlights of being a student in the early eighties was the thrill of listening to I Travel, Chelsea Girl and Theme For Great Cities, played loud, late at night, with friends in shared apartments and rooms, listening and talking, expectant for the life to come. It all came too soon, and sadly much of Simple Minds’ early innovation and brilliance has been too easily forgotten.

Here then is Simple Minds at Hurrah’s Club, New York City, October 1979, performing “Premonition”, “Changeling” and “Factory”.

Simple Minds - “Premonition”

Bonus - “Chelsea Girl” - Simple Minds
More from Simple Minds, plus extra tracks and early interview, after the jump…

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Steven Severin: Interviewed on ‘Music Box’ from 1987

Steven Severin has always been cool as fuck. From when he first appeared on TV, looking edgy at the back of the infamous Bill Grundy interview that launched The Sex Pistols’ “filth and the fury” onto the nation, through Siouxsie and The Banshees, to his position now as one of our leading film composers. Just take a look at Mr. Severin in this interview for Music Box, from 1987, with his blonde crop and silk waistcoat, and compare him to the mullet haired interviewer, who looks like he’s come off the set of Miami Vice, or failed the audition for Conan the Barbarian, again. Mr. Severin has always been ahead of the pack, and that’s what makes him so interesting musically, creatively, intellectually, and in his sense of style.

In this brief, rare interview, Steven discusses how he first met Siouxsie (at a Roxy Music concert in 1975); why the band’s line-up has changed for the better; his thoughts on being the first band to tour Argentina since the Falklands war; why The Banshees recorded “Dear Prudence” in Stockholm; and how tax problems affected The Glove, his band with Robert Smith.

Steven Severin is touring with his superb score for Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr in May and June this year, details here, where you can also buy a copy of his Vampyr CD.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Glove: Robert Smith and Steven Severin’s experimental side-project


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David Hockney talks about his Life and Art

Looking like a delightfully naughty schoolboy, David Hockney explains, in this interview from Andy Warhol’s TV, why he never really wanted to be anything else but an artist, discussing his background, his early work, his heroes, his paintings, his art, his working methods, his interests, and in his involvement in designs for Ubu Roi, The Rake’s Progress and Parade. These clips usually disappear quite quickly, so watch it while you can. With subtitles in Spanish.

More from the fab Mr. H, after the jump…

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Interview from 1983
03:08 pm


New York
Jean-Michel Basquiat

At times, Jean-Michel Basquiat looks bored with the questions asked by the interviewer, credited here as Dr. Marc H. Miller, Currator, Adjunct Proffesor of Art History at New York University. In part his response is understandable, as Miller fails to get in synch with Basquiat, or ask anything other than tick-box questions that offer no mutual connection.

According to the blurb on You Tube:

‘This interview was conducted in early 1983 in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s studio on Crosby Street in SOHO. Taped at about 3pm shortly after Jean-Michel woke up for the day, it begins slowly and picks up as the artists begins to wake.’

Okay, that as may be, Basquiat does look surly enough to have been awoken from his slumber, but part of the time he is being flip to the worst of Miller’s questions.

Also, why was the interview filmed mainly as a 2-shot? What purpose, other than self-promotion, does it serve the audience to see Miller in frame? It’s Basquiat we want to see, not some anonymous academic.

However, that said, there is fun to be had in Basquiat’s facial expressions, which often say more than his answers (someone should write a book about the significance and meanings of facial tics during TV interviews), and thirty minutes with Basquiat is still worth the price of admission.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Jean-Michel Basquait: ‘The Radiant Child


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Echo and the Bunnymen: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1983

I recall the days when Ian McCulloch was Jesus, and girls went weak-at-the-knee for his cheekbones and pout; and the boys wore overcoats and lacquered their hair into shrubs, and sucked in their cheeks in the hope of looking just a little like him. Strange days indeed, but Lay Down Thy Raincoat and Groove…Echo and the Bunnymen at the Royal Albert Hall, will perhaps explain why this all came to pass.

Track Listing:

01. “Going Up”
02. “With a Hip”
03. “Villiers Terrace”
04. “All That Jazz”
05. “Heads Will Roll”
06. “Porcupine”
07. “All My Colours (Zimbo)”
08. “Silver”
09. “Simple Stuff”
10. “The Cutter”
11. “The Killing Moon”
12. “Rescue”
13. “Never Stop”
14. “The Back of Love”
15. “No Dark Things”
16. “Heaven up Here”
17. “Over the Wall”
18. “Crocodiles”
19. “Do It Clean”


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