I’ll let you in to a little secret. Tara Lara and I are *practically* the same age. So when she asked for this week’s The Gallery post to be about rewinding to the past, I’m guessing that while we grew up in different parts of the country, we were probably dancing to the same tracks at around the same time.
This photo was taken in 1984, at my 17th birthday party (you do the math), which I shared with five boys from a local school we used to hang around with, one of whom was my sister’s boyfriend. We discovered we all had birthdays in the same month and so it made sense to have a joint party, so all our friends could mingle (they went to an all boys’ school, so any opportunity to meet girls was all right with them; me and my sister went to a massive comp.) My dad, bless him, got permission for us to have the party at the local club house, and it was all organised perfectly so that there was no trouble, no drama (unlike a previous house party which was nearly gatecrashed by the entire population of a local pub). Just lots of kids having a good time and dancing to the Grandmasters (Flash and Melle Mel), The Message and White Lines (we would all sing all the words, with the boys all standing round doing that air guitar thing when it said ‘freebase’ – but they were in a band, so at least they knew how to play a guitar); also Jingo by Santana (this was always a big hit, with everyone dancing in rows, even though the lyrics were basically ‘Jingo, jingo ba ba’) and Oops Upside Your Head, when of course we’d all get on the floor in a row. (If anyone knows WHY we used to do that, please shout.) There would definitely have been UB40 and Madness and Wham!, because my sister and our friends saw them live at Wembley; Culture Club (me and my best friend were in the second row for that one) and Spandau (I fainted on the tube home after that gig). And Dexy’s, when my friend and I rushed to the front so we were in touching distance of Kevin Rowland.
The boys all dressed up for the event in waistcoats and bow ties. My dress came from the big Top Shop at Oxford Circus, as did the necklace. I would never dream of wearing that kind of geometric print now, and my eyebrows were definitely unshaped, weren’t they? If only GHDs had been around then, too. And as you can see, I’ve always had a big mouth 😉