14 April 2009

1982: Invasion Of The Deelybobbers/Deelyboppers/Beeny Boppers/Bonce Boppers/Space Boppers...

June 1982 - Deelyboppers, or Bonce Boppers, or Deelybobbers, or Space Boppers, or... [insert own name for this exciting early 1980s headgear] ran rampant in New York and were about to arrive here...
From the Rock column by Robin Eggar, Daily Mirror, 29/6/1982:
The young lady with the strange growths on her head is not an alien. She's just sporting the trendiest fashion accessory in New York - The Bonce Bopper.
New Yorkers have suddenly started to sprout spring-mounted bobbles, hearts, stars and windmills.
If you want to be one of the first bobble-headers in Britain, I've just had 25 sets flown in.
To win one, tell me who first recorded the Rolling Stones' current hit "Going To A Go Go" in 1966. The first 25 answers drawn from the bag on Monday, July 5, will receive a bonce bopper.
Sadly, Going To A Go Go really wasn't much of a hit - stalling at No. 26, but deelybobbers/deelyboppers/bonce boppers etc, etc, were a wow!
The Sun, 23 July, 1982 - the "Bonce Bouncers" are here!

We've had head-hunters and head-bangers. Now it's the turn of the bonce boppers.

In fact, it's the latest craze to bounce into Britain from America. And it's going to everyone's head.

So, hang up your hoola-hoop, scrap your skateboard and get a head start by wearing a bopper on your bonce.

It's a headband supporting two spiral wire antenna topped with hearts, bobbing balls or windmills.

When we took to the streets with luscious Linda Lusardi wearing a pair of boppers, headstrong young men came rushing up to look at her...

Page three lovely Linda gets bopping...

In August 1982, an article entitled Parting The Forest Of Headbanger Antennae appeared in my local rag (or newspaper!):
It is the latest craze and it has really gone to people's heads...

What is it? Well, here we encounter a slight problem. What are those things protruding from the heads of everyone under 13 years (not to mention a few people over 13 years)?

The answer is not easy. There seem to be as many names for these glittering balls, hearts, stars, feathers and windmills, as there are designs.
"What do you call those headbands with things on?" I asked a girl in one Cambridge fashion shop.
"I don't know," she mused... "Headbands with things on, I suppose."
Round the corner, the street trader who was undercutting the shop by 39p, displayed no such hesitation.
"Beeny (or should it be beany?) Boppers," he said.
Along the street another itinerant salesman had a sign saying "Bouncers," or was it "Boncers"?
In Green Street, Cambridge, a shop named Games and Puzzles calls them Headbanger Antennae. They are also known as Space Boppers and Bonce Boppers.
"The kids seem to make up their own names," said Games and Puzzles proprietor Mr Lester Saunders.
Whatever they are called, they are the biggest thing since the Rubik Cube. Since the start of the school holidays they have proliferated in Cambridge to almost epidemic proportions.
Let's quickly recap on what we learned in the main
1982 blurb:

The oddball headgear was registered in the USA, its homeland, as "Deely-bobbers" (according to 20th Century Words by John Ayto) in 1982, with claim of usage of the name since 1981.

The name (deely-bobbers, I believe) had previously been applied to a children's toy - a type of inter-connecting building block.

Did you remember all that? If so, pop on your deely-bobbers or deelyboppers (or whatever you like to call them), and reward yourself with a quick boogie to your Kids From Fame LP - you deserve it!

Did we like looking like space aliens? But of course! I remember wearing a lovely pair of deelyboppers (as I referred to them) just before Christmas 1982 at my firm's Christmas "do".

What a night! My mother discovered me at one o' clock the next morning, tinsel round neck, deelyboppers bobbing, standing underneath a lamp post and serenading the family home: "Save your love my darling, save your love..."

She's never let me forget it.

The little cherub above, pictured in the "Daily Mirror" in August 1982, won a baby of the year show. Was she wearing the headgear at the time?

An unusual way of wearing deelyboppers - the "Sun", September 1982.

See a 1982 Atari magazine advertisement featuring deelyboppers - here.


Jenny A said...

Around 82/83 these things were HUGE! My niece ate one of her baubles. She was three-years-old at the time!

AlisonH said...

I found your site after trying to explain to someone about deelyboppers, a new term to them. (Way to make me feel old!)

Drew said...

I'm sure you're young at heart. Just like me!

Stephs Two Girls said...

I've also just found this by searching for deelyboppers, and I hope you don't mind but I've linked back in my blog to hopefully educate some people about how fab the 80s are!

Drew said...

I'm delighted, Steph - thank you!