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Horrible hair, animal remains & leather: Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction talk fashion in 1987


Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction back in the day.
 
In the April/May 1987 issue of Smash Hits magazine members of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction did a rather strange spread for the glossy mag. But did they talk about their lust for creating flesh-pounding songs about sleazy chicks, breaking the law and screwing your best friend’s wife? No. There was also sadly no discussion about gay Nazi disco dancers or stories about vocalist Mark Manning’s acid-dropping days. Nope. What the two-page spread did enlighten us to was the bizarre (yet completely understandable) fashion choices made by each of the Love Reaction’s members at the time. Let’s begin with Zodiac Mindwarp himself, shall we?

Manning notes in his little bio in the magazine that his vision for the band was for everyone to look like “monsters from outer space” thanks to all the time he spent reading science fiction as a kid growing up. To Manning, the Love Reaction had to look like they just arrived from “Planet Freak Out.” Though everyone in the band was cultivating the “horrible hair” look, Manning went the extra mile by adding animal fur to his, and who knows what else. Because according to the then 28-year-old Manning if it “looks good” you should wear it. Manning’s jacket is covered in patches including a Sonic Youth one (nice) with a bit of fox fur on the shoulders. Topping off Zodiac’s look is a Nazi SS replica hat which Manning only dug because it was a “rather striking tifter” which is British slang for “hat.”

For Trash D. Garbage (bass player Alan P. Bailey) he actually one-upped Manning in the deceased animal department by affixing the paws of a dead cat to the shoulders of his leather jacket. Garbage notes that he obtained the paws during his days as a firefighter in Canada following a failed rescue of a cat stuck in a tree. Oof. On the back of Garbage’s jacket are the words “Sex Pig” and the reason his hair was shorter than usual for the shoot was because according to Trash someone stuck a huge wad of gum in his do at a party. It was then decided it made the most sense to pull his hair out by the roots along with the gum instead of cutting it out like a reasonable person. But this is Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction we’re talking about, not the fucking Brady Bunch. And rock stars deal with problems that involve gum differently than the rest of us.

Rounding out the sleazy fashion worn by the band are a few other notable things. Like drummer Slam Thunderhide and his “Sex Machine” belt buckle which was crafted from a Triumph motorcycle, Manning’s famous bullet belt, more Nazi symbolism (it was the 80s?), plenty of pentagrams, tons of leather, ripped clothing and more leather, because pretty much all of those things are quintessentially metal, like it or not. I’ve posted the photos from the band’s two-page layout in Smash Hits below for you to wonder at as well as the Love Reaction’s video from 1987 for “Backseat Education.” All hail the High Priest of Love, baby!
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.02.2017
10:18 am
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80s ‘Superfans’ talk about their obsessions for Bowie, Boy George, Duran Duran & Elvis

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Superfans in the sixties.
 
I don’t suppose I fit the requirements to be called a superfan, well, unless you count having a cheeky wank to a Kate Bush video when I was much younger. Probably not. But I did once (all too briefly) date a tall blonde David Bowie superfan, who probably only ever went out with me because of my passable impression of the Thin White Duke. My vocal dexterity was convincing enough for this dear sweet girl to demand I serenade her with one or two of her favorite Bowie songs during our more intimate moments. I knew it could never last. There was only so long I could sing “The Laughing Gnome” without losing my ardor.

Back in January 1984, Smash Hits music magazine went in search of a selection of typical eighties superfans. They discovered a band of girls and boys who had an overwhelming passion for all things Bowie, Presley, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Madness, Staus Quo, and even Marillion. These young things gave some sweet and occasionally strange answers as they tried to explain exactly what it means to be a “superfan.” Their answers were compiled into a strange format—as if the writer was attempting to cram in as many words as possible into one sentence without thought for punctuation or even explaining who exactly was talking (Me). But that’s not so important as we do get to hear what it meant to be young(-ish) and obsessed with music in the 1980s.
 
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Smash Hits 5-18 January 1984.
 
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DURAN FANS

NAMES: TRACY PARKES & KIM GREVILLE
AGES: 15 & 14
HOME: BIRMINGHAM

“I (Tracy) liked them when they first came out. She talked me (Kim) into going on Duran Duran ‘cause I liked Dexys. She told me to take down all my DMR stuff, give it away and stick up Duran Duran. We have about the same amount of stuff. Tracy has more scrapbooks but I’ve got more on the wall—about 50 different things. We don’t get anything. We only get things if we like them. If it’s a really gonkified pic of Simon le Bon we won’t get it. You don’t put gonks on your wall do you? There’s sort of levels of being a fan. We’ve got a friend who is a real fan but we think she prefers football. She only puts up little pictures on her wall. Even if we see a little one when we’re walking up the street, we’ll be screaming. There was one time she went totally mad on Wham!. We didn’t talk to her for about three days. Then suddenly she went back to Duran. All the lost Duran Duran fans are Wham! fans. We visit Roger’s mum and we’ve been up to Nick and John’s parents’ houses. The first time we went to Roger’s we interviewed his mum for a school project and we found out a few facts that no-one else knew. She told us he was tone deaf and that his favourite toy was a glove puppet. And that his favourite meal is Welsh Rarebit. We’ve been up twice now. No three times. The last time she invited us. His dad was there decorating. We had our pictures took with his dad, his mum and the dog. I think people who go mad and sleep on the grass outside are cruel. OK, you might see him but he isn’t going to ask you out and that is what a lot of fans expect. Some of the girls say they are going to meet John Taylor one day. He’s going to swirl them round to the dinner table—with chocolates and everything—and ask them to marry him. We know that isn’t going to happen. I (Tracy) would love to be in one of their videos. Yeah (Kim), even if we were only standing at the bus stop. Anything. The only thing we have in common is that we’re Duran Duran fans. I’m (Tracy) quiet; she’s noisy. I (Kim) say the wrong things; she doesn’t”

 
More superfans discussing their love of Staus Quo, Madness, Elvis Presley and David Bowie, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.26.2017
09:46 am
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‘The Filth & the Fury’: Sex Pistols comic from 1984
06.03.2015
10:12 am
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Milestones on the road from terrifying societal scourge to mass-market-friendly cultural icons…. In 1984 Smash Hits put out a “yearbook” that contained this wonderful 4-page comic about the entire career of the Sex Pistols, from their origins in 1975 Chelsea to their final show in San Francisco in 1979. [Update: This was in 1978, of course; the comic had it wrong as well.] Flickr user Jon Hicks posted these a few years back—as he points out, the strip has no profanity at all.

The comic is signed by Arthur Ranson, whose art graced countless publications from the early 1970s up through as recently as 2013. The writer is Angus Allan, whose image (according to the above link) appears bottom left of third page, but I haven’t been able to figure out what that’s supposed to mean. (Maybe they mean the fellow who pops up in the “EMI” panel of the second page?)

Click on the images for a larger view:
 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.03.2015
10:12 am
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‘Like Punk Never Happened’: Remembering Smash Hits, the ‘totally 80s’ pop magazine
10.23.2014
12:30 pm
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Culture Club cover of Smash Hits July 19, 1984
Culture Club on the cover of Smash Hits, July 19, 1984
 
Music magazine Smash Hits started out in 1978 and was a mecca for pop fans. It had a strong rotation of writers back in its heyday such as Dave Rimmer (author of the 1985 book, Like Punk Never Happened), Mark Ellen (MOJO), Steve Beebee (Kerrang!) and Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys. Regular content included interviews and pictorials but Smash Hits also published some fun features like “Bitz” (a smattering of industry information like fan club addresses and such), and was filled with pages of lyrics to the current top 20 songs (you know, so you didn’t have to keep trying to write them down on your own). There was always a centerfold spread, and in addition to the magazines eye-catching covers they also ran a special “back cover” with glossy photos of hot at-the-time artists like Limahl the spiky-haired vocalist for Kajagoogoo or the Thompson Twins.
 
Limahl of Kajagoogoo Smash Hits May 24th, 1984
Limahl of Kajagoogoo, May 24th, 1984

In 2009, Smash Hits superfan Brian McCloskey, an 80’s kid who had hung on to his copies of Smash Hits since youth, decided to rescue his collection from his parents’ attic at his childhood home in Derry, Ireland. McCloskey had the magazines shipped all the way to his home in California, tracked down copies he was missing in his collection from the magazines inception, then took on the painstaking process of scanning and uploading every page of every issue he had to his blog, Like Punk Never Happened. McCloskey’s collection of Smash Hits represents every issue of the magazine from 1979 to 1985.
 
Big Country Smash Hits April 14th, 1983
Big Country, April 14th, 1983

As I can’t help but admire his dedication to this pop-culture gem, I contacted McCloskey to learn more about his recollections from the early days of Smash Hits.

Smash Hits took music very seriously, but they didn’t take musicians seriously. A very sensible distinction. I think that people have either forgotten or didn’t realize to begin with that Smash Hits was quite a serious magazine. During their peak years they would receive thousands of letters - handwritten letters! You could read great interviews with real artist like Paul Weller or Ian Dury. After the magazine’s redesign at the end of 1981, the snark really took over. I’m glad that the my archive has reminded, or opened people’s minds to the early days of Smash Hits.

Gary Numan Smash Hits September 1983
Gary Numan, September 1983

Smash Hits continued to publish issues well after its official decline in the early 90’s, then ceased its print run in February of 2006. McCloskey updates his site with new vintage issues every two week and hopes to continue posting issues beyond 1985 with the help of fellow fans. I highly recommend you get comfortable, set your Pandora station to “80’s Pop,” then head over to McCloskey’s blog and lose yourself for a few hours. A number of images published during the years 1982-1984 from Smash Hits follow.
 
The Belle Stars Smash Hits February 3, 1983
The Belle Stars, February 3, 1983

Cyndi Lauper and Thomas Dolby lyric sheets from Smash Hits March 29th, 1984
Cyndi Lauper and Thomas Dolby lyric sheet, March 29th, 1984

Scritti Politti Smash Hits June 7th, 1983
Scritti Politti lyric sheet, June 7th, 1984

Thompson Twins Smash Hits November 24th, 1983
Thompson Twins, November 24th, 1983

Billy Idol Smash Hits July 19, 1984
Billy Idol, July 19, 1984

Adam Ant Smash Hits December/January 1982
Adam Ant lyric sheet, December/January 1982

Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.23.2014
12:30 pm
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Morrissey’s snide record reviews: Moz dumps on Cyndi Lauper, The Psychedelic Furs and XTC, 1984
06.28.2013
06:03 pm
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In 1984, Morrissey was invited by the editor of glossy pop mag Smash Hits to review the week’s singles. As was no doubt expected, Morrissey flashed his natural flair for writing pithy, caustic and highly amusing reviews: he dismissed Cyndi Lauper’s single as “grossly unmusical”; Status Quo as “unreviewable impertinence”; Tracey Ullman “hopeless”; and of Lionel Richie he wrote, “that people care for such things suggests an unholy amount of human misery.”

It’s a pity Morrissey didn’t continue with his career as a pithy pop reviewer.
 
selgnisy
 
More reviews from Morrissey after the jump…
 
Via Us vs th3m
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.28.2013
06:03 pm
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