This one has taken ages to write, because I hated 1986 at the time, and I still hate it now. So I'm just going to skip all that and bluster about the good bits. Or semi-good bits, since this is the year my jammy-dodger brother got to go and see Queen live (at Knebworth) (hiss, boo, grumble, sulk, etc). I wasn't allowed to go, because I was eleven, and that wasn't old enough. Also, to be perfectly fair, he probably wouldn't have wanted me tagging along anyway! But it turned out to be their last concert. I should have hidden in the back of the car, damn it!
Important to me, though I suspect for very few other people - this was the year when Mike Smith took over the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. Not the weekend one; that was still Peter Powell, with his Aswad fixation and his insanely jolly jingle. The weekday one. 07:00 - 09:30, which meant that I had to miss half of it due to school. I did get very good at sticking around for as long as mortally possible though, in order to hear as much of it as I could. I needed that damn show. I genuinely don't know how I'd have made it through those first few years of secondary school without it.
Big year for news. Reagan and Gorbachev trying to agree on how they shouldn't blow each other up (you wouldn't think that would take weeks of negotiation, really, would you. But it did). The Challenger
disaster. Keenan and McCarthy, vanishing into the depths of Beirut, to surface again in 1990 (Keenan), and 1991 (McCarthy). I don't know why their story fixated me so, but it did. The other Western hostages in Beirut were American, and older, and looked like CIA agents. They were all over the news to begin with, but it was far harder to empathise with them. Keenan was just an English teacher trying to help people though, and McCarthy was a kid in comparison; this journalist still in his twenties, trying to make sense of the place. And the government handled it appallingly badly, and I've rarely hated Margaret Thatcher and her cronies more.
Good year for music, though. I used to have a double cassette called Now That's What I Call 1986
, and it was about two hours of solid bouncing. Oh, and Chris de Bleurgh, with his confounded Lady In Red
. What she saw in him, I can't imagine. Presumably she was tone deaf, as well as sartorially challenged. Some jeans advert (I think) led to a re-release of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World
, which was nice. Much appreciated, whichever jeans brand you were. I'm guessing Levi, mostly because it's the only one I can think of just now. The kids from Grange Hill
did their Just Say No
campaign, with a terrible song, and a video that's actually quite nice now, though only because thirty years have passed it by. They're all so little
. The Spitting Image
lot put out The Chicken Song
, and it's quite possible that I still have it stuck in my head, even after all these years. Still, it's not the stupidest thing that I've caught myself singing. Not quite. Oh, and Jim Diamond had a hit with Hi Ho Silver
, the theme song from Boon
, thereby confusing half the country, who had thought that he was a woman. And Five Star were everywhere. Why and how, heaven only knows, but somebody was buying their records. If it was you, I'm glaring. Very fiercely indeed.( Read more... )