06 March 2010

1988 and 1989: Eco-Friendliness - And Pop Scene News And Gossip...

Environmental concerns had grown stronger and stronger during the 1980s, even Mrs Thatcher was turning Green late in the decade - as this extract from a 1988 speech she gave to the Royal Society illustrates:

In the past when we have identified forms of pollution, we have shown our capacity to act effectively. The great London Smogs are now only a nightmare of the past. We have cut airborne lead by 50 per cent. We are spending £4 billion on cleansing the Mersey Basin alone; and the Thames now has the cleanest metropolitan estuary in the world. Even though this kind of action may cost a lot, I believe it to be money well and necessarily spent because the health of the economy and the health of our environment are totally dependent upon each other.

The Government espouses the concept of sustainable economic development.

Stable prosperity can be achieved throughout the world provided the environment is nutured and safeguarded.

Protecting this balance of nature is therefore one of the great challenges of the late Twentieth Century and one in which I am sure your advice will be repeatedly sought.

In 1989, the UK Green Party won 15% of the vote in elections for the European Parliament, but no seats because of the first-past-the-post voting system.

The Party was formerly known as "The Ecology Party" and switched to the Green name in the 1980s.

In the late 1980s, many of us were getting into buying eco-friendly products (I bought a sink cleaning fluid which left a nasty chalky deposit in its wake and I was never sure that my eco friendly bog cleaner got my bog hygenically clean, but I persevered).

In 1989, as reported by the Bizarre page in the Sun on August 29th, Sting (formerly of The Police) and Elton John had got together to stage a very expensive concert - for the planet:

Elton John and Sting are charging the highest amount ever to see them in concert... £1,000 a head.

The two superstars are to play a £500,000 charity concert to raise cash for the Rain Forest Foundation. It is being staged in the grounds of tycoon Ted Field's £4million mansion in Los Angeles. More than 500 guests will be invited to the event on November 6.

A spokesman for Sting said last night: "Ted Field is a good friend of Sting's and they share a deep concern about the destruction of the forests.

"Ted offered to stage the concert in his grounds if the guests would pay a grand to get in. Sting and Elton will also help out with extra fund-raising events, including a raffle."

Elton, 42, will play piano and Sting, 37, will be on the bass guitar - but there will be no backing band. Last night Elton - who is taking time out from his world tour for the concert - said:

"Sting has done an awful lot for the foundation and I'm happy to help him raise more. It will just be me and him on stage and will be a lot of fun.

"The environment is something I really care about."

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Bizarre page, Pat Sharp, he of the beautiful bouffant mullet, was revealing some facts of his life:

Hobbies: After work I plan more work.

Car: A £26,000 second-hand Porsche 944 Turbo and a rare old Datsun 240Z sports coupe.

TV: There's no time to watch it.

Films: I keep 350 films in the same room as my 6,000 records. My favourite is Caddy Shack.

Star Sign: Scorpio.

Most Embarrassing Moment: When I got chased by gays outside Radio Luxembourg.

Clothes: I love Poco Loco, the Norwegian designer who make great jogging pants and T-shirts.

Pet Hates: I have never smoked, drunk or taken drugs - I don't even drink tea.

Ambition: I would love to make serious TV programmes.

Dave Stewart, one half of the excellent '80s pop duo The Eurythmics, was having some fun...

Zany Dave Leaves Scribblers In Chaos

By Piers Morgan

Dave Stewart caused chaos at a Press Conference by giving bizarre answers to questions.

The oddball Eurythmics star - back in the charts at No 30 with Revival - confused dozens of foreign journalists after the band's gig in the South of France.

But Dave, 36, had the British contingent - including me - in hysterics.

Here's what he said:

Q. Dave, is it right that you are broke?

A. Absolutely. The only reason I stay in Cannes is so I can go to all my rich friends' houses and nick all their furniture.

Q. Dave, as an environmentalist, what did you think of Chrissie Hynde's outburst saying she'd like to bomb McDonald's?

A. She should have said she she wanted to firebomb Spud-U-like. They've got a much sillier name.

Q. Dave, we hear you are going to do a cover version of an old hit soon?

A. Yes, I want to do Three Blind Mice and Custer's Last Stand.

Q. Dave, what you think of your wife Siobhan having bigger hits than you with Shakespear's Sister?

A. It's great. Her contract says she has to give me 50 per cent of every penny she makes MORE than I do this year.

That told 'em, Dave!

Actually, I was startled by Siobhan Fahey's transformation from Bananarama girlie to purring Shakespear's Sister with Marcella Detroit. Startled, but pretty darned pleased.

To round off our look at this 1989 Bizarre page, hands up all those who remember the Scots band Simple Minds?

Me too. Loved them.

Somewhere in summertime...

Won't you come see about me, I'll be alone dancing you know it baby...

Little darlin' close your eyes, there'll be no compromising...

Alive and kicking - stay until your love is...

I must confess to singing "butter on it, put butter on it, put butter oh, butter oh" to the "bah da da da, bah da da da da, bah da da oh" segment of Alive and Kicking. A lot of people did. Sorry, Jim Kerr and co.

However, despite this, I genuinely loved the band - and their atmosphere-laden music now has the power to draw me back to my youthful years, in fancy if not in fact.

In the late 1980s, another Scots band had emerged into the UK pop charts - Deacon Blue. I liked them too. But the Minds remained the favourites.

The beautifully gossipy 1989 Bizarre page (could it be trusted?!!) revealed:

Jim Kerr was a proud son last night after his mum had a bust-up in the Glasgow baker's shop where she works.

Ina Kerr saw red when a woman customer came in and slated her 30-year-old son's band Simple Minds and said she much preferred Deacon Blue. Ina chased her down the road, screaming and shouting.

What it is to have parents who love us!

More from the 1980s pop scene soon...

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