These two local Columbus, Ohio TV news reports from 1985—the second one was even broadcast live as this “rock happening” was taking place—together provide a delightful time capsule of an era when being a “punker” meant that you were considered an outcast and got hassled by cops just for having weird hair or dressing “funny.”
The subject, curiously enough, is the ethereal Scottish dreampop group Cocteau Twins and their appearance in “the new rock mecca of Columbus.” Ask yourself how such a group would have found their audience in a pre-Internet time and you’ll have your answer. The reason the Cocteaus were in Columbus, Ohio of all places, one of only five dates on their 1985 US tour, was due to the early championing of the band by a prominent local music aficionado whose self-published newsletter covered them often. Some of these kids drove 100s of miles to get to this show.
I’m guessing that the newscaster was either a friend of the promoter, or a fan of the band himself, or both, owing to this event garnering two news reports in one week. I’m just glad that these clips still exist and that they were posted to YouTube.
You’ll note that when we meet Tim Anstead, publisher of “The Offense” music newsletter, that he was not even using a computer, but an electric typewriter to put his newsletter out. That’s some true-blue 80s-style dedication.
If you wait until the very end, you’ll hear some vintage goofball old man newscaster banter about these crazy kids and their wacky hair.
BONUS CLIP: Cocteau Twins performing “Millimillenary” live in Sweden, 1984:
Thank you kindly Nick Abrahams!