Every week I'm inviting DJs to share their favourite summer track from each year of the 80s. It was a decade of inventive and durable pop or a decade of inexorable and disposable pap depending on your viewpoint. Either way, songs are great valves for memories and stories. After Readers Wife, Chelsea Kelsey's 1980 sojourn last week we're at 1981.
Here's Mark Johnstone, aka Kim Phaggs, the other half of the Readers Wifes.
In the summer of 1981 I was thirteen. I went on a French exchange trip to the town of Cahors in France. The reason I have for ending up in this two week French nightmare is as ridiculous as it is boring, so I won’t explain why I was there. I just was. I was staying in a horrible dirty house with a French family: Monsieur et Madame Whatever-their-name-was, two teenage sons, a dog and about a million-trillion cats. Every night after a horrible meaty dinner we had to sit down and listen to 'Oxygene' on their really crap record player, and watch the Dad and eldest son play CHESS! The only time we were allowed the telly on was when we watched 'The Nutty Professor' with Jerry Lewis, who I HATE, and in FRENCH, which I was completely hopeless at!
On one of our rare trips into a town with a record shop, I bought 'Sat In Your Lap' by Kate Bush. When I got back to the house that evening I waited until after our horrible dinner, and side one of 'Oxygene' before asking if I could play my new record? I put it on and it just sounded like such a racket! Especially on such a crumb-features record player and even more especially as it was the WORST pressed single EVER!
Anyway, completely unimpressed, French Dad then asked me to play a game of chess with him, and I didn’t want to be rude so I accepted, even though I can't actually play. I only kind of knew that the first row were like draughts and that the horse can go in a capital L shape. It was an absolute nightmare. I had to pretend to think for AGES about where I was going to move and everything. In the end French Dad stood up and said something I didn’t understand and swept all the pieces back into their wooden box and walked out!
When I got back 'Sat In Your Lap' still sounded rubbish on my record player in my bedroom at home! It’s maybe still one of my least favourite Kate bush singles even now. Sorry, did you want to know my FAVOURITE song from summer 1981? It's 'Japanese Boy' by Aneka."
Japanese Boy - Aneka (zShare)
And here's what Scottish Aneka looked like on Top of the Pops in August 1981...
Kim Phaggs, along with Chelsea Kelsey as the Readers Wifes, are on at Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London, every Saturday. The last ever Gay Shame night (awwww!) on Gay Pride will be at Brixton Academy on July 4th. Get your tickets for the 'Girly' themed night here. Apparently it costs too much to put on, there are 100 performers to pay after all, as well as keeping the Readers Wifes' in Babycham all night. So get your gay arses down there to at least show willing.
Previous 80s summer posts
1980: Jump to the Beat - Stacy Lattisaw