This week in the 80s…on 10 June 1982 Steven Spielberg’s science fiction PG-rating film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, became one of the highest-grossing box-office success, that is until Jurassic Park was released many years later in 1993. “Phone home”!
On 12 June, 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark was released. It set a major standard for many action-adventure films to date.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the 80s Mod Revival weekend! Our staff photographers Marinco Kojdanovski and Sotha Bourn documented the weekend, with pictures of the bands, scooters, fashion shows and, maybe you!
Rod came along to the 80s Mod Revival Party held at the museum on 15th May, 2010. Here he recalls his memories of the scene in 80s, including an eventful scooter run to Palm Beach, that attracted the interest of the local police, “all these kids running around in suits and ties and girls in mini-skirts – this is not riot potential – it’s a fashion riot really”. Rod was also a regular at the Sussex Hotel, a local venue that supported young mods and the live music scene.
Part 1: Siobhán shows off her vintage 1964 ‘winter model’ Lambretta, made in Spain, and recalls the time she rode it along the Nullarbor Plain to raise money for cancer research!
Part 2: Being a mod
Siobhán was definitely a mod in the 80s, and here she recalls buying her first Lambretta and going on scooter runs. She was incredibly active in the scene, running a fan magazine and working as a dj.
Part 3:The classic scooter club – “the journey is part of the event”
Do you know the difference between a classic scooter and a modern scooter? Siobhán explains why an automatic ‘twist and go’ scooter just isn’t the same as vintage.
Jim came along with his little red scooter, to the ‘show n shine’, that was part of the 80s Mod Revival weekend at the museum. He shares his memories of playing mod music with bands like The Key, The Go and The Interceptors and explains how sharp the mod scene was, compared to the other fashions at the time, “at that time in Australia in the early 80s, growing up was about getting a mullet, getting a pair of stubbies, getting some thongs and putting some zinc on your nose!”
On 18 May, 1980, Ian Curtis, vocalist of pioneering post-punk group Joy Division, hung himself in his Macclesfield home at the tender age of 23. His death came just days before Joy Division were scheduled to begin their first US tour. He left behind a lasting musical legacy and inspired many tribute songs throughout time, from Factory Records label mates New Order and Josef K, as well bands like U2 and The Cure.
The lyrics to the song ‘Digital’ take on an eerie resonance, since it was the last song ever performed live by Ian Curtis.
Later that week, 21 May, 1980 ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ was released and went on to become the biggest grossing film of the year, just as its predecessor, ‘Star Wars’, did three years before. Heroes, villians, romance, action, robots, spaceships – it’s got it all.
This week in the 80s…
Country music superstar Dolly Parton opens her ‘Dollywood’ theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA on 2 May, 1986. Perhaps you’d like to head over for some ‘thrills in the hills’ and help celebrate the park’s 25th anniversary?
On the 2 May, 1981, while working as a local wedding singer 12 months previously, Scottish vocalist Sheena Easton hits No.1 in the US with the classic housewife song of the 80s, ‘Morning Train (9 to 5)’.
Closer to home, how could we forget Cliff Young, the legendary 61-year old potato farmer from the Victorian Otway Ranges, who won the Sydney to Melbourne marathon, taking the lead while other competitors slept. That’s the way to win a race!
Till next week!
On 24 April 1986 Paul Hogan’s first film, Crocodile Dundee was released in Australia. He played an eccentric crocodile poacher who had to learn survival skills in a different kind of jungle – New York City. The film was a huge success both domestically and overseas and, like it or not, remains one of Australia’s most influential cultural exports. It probably also paved the way for Steve Irwin’s wildlife documentary series success as the Crocodile Hunter over a decade later.
On 26 April 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine exploded, causing the greatest nuclear disaster in history. It is estimated that over 600,000 people were highly effected by radiation and to this day a zone of alienation is maintained to minimise further dangers.
On a lighter note, the Eurovision Song Contest, held in the RDS Simmonscourt Pavilion, Dublin, on 30 April 1988 was won by none other than the now famous French-Canadian singer Celine Dion, as she represented Switzerland with the song “Ne partez pas sans moi”. It begs the question though, would you team a bubble skirt with a double breasted jacket? Only for the brave…
This week in the 80s is all about the cosmos! On 12 April 1981 the world witnessed the first launch of the Columbia space shuttle, which would go on to complete an amazing total of 28 missions into space, before a tragic ending in 2003 when it was destroyed whilst re-entering the atmosphere, killing all 7 astronauts aboard. NASA honours the final crew on their website.
Further into the decade, we witnessed the return of Halley’s Comet, on 10 April, 1986. It has been observed by our ancestors since 240 BC and is next scheduled to appear in 2061. The comet is significant in that it can be seen from earth by the naked eye. However, many were disappointed by its appearance in 1986, when a series of unfavorable viewing conditions aligned, meaning that many people missed out on seeing the comet altogether.
Did you get a peak at this momentous comet? We’d love to hear your stories!