Tag Archives: culture

Lorimar Productions – the force behind 70s TV

Lorimar is to blame for a big part of your youthful TV viewing if you were growing up in the 1970s.  It was eventually swallowed up in to Time Warner where its logo lived on for a while longer till it eventually disappeared completely.

This production company, born in 1969 and bought by Warner in the mid-80s, brought you The Waltons, Dallas, Knots Landing and the controversial movie Cruising (1980) and Being There (1979).  Lorimar’s logo always popped up at the end of your regular viewing but changed over time till eventually Time Warner made it very slick and charmless.

Here’s the history of a logo:

XTC – Making Plans For Nigel

I always thought this was a curiously timed single from XTC.  Nigel was being railroaded in to a job at British Steel where he would be just another human widget on the production line.  Trouble is – the Nigels of Britain were being turfed out of British Steel at this time and would have given their eye teeth to get on to that production line.

So, unless somebody wants to argue the toss, I just thought the point this song seemed to be making was very outdated by 1980.  The problem for youth wasn’t ending up in a dead end job – it was not being able to get a dead end job.

The video reminds me a bit of the front cover of David Bowie’s album ‘Lodger’.   A rather hackneyed message about ‘them’ out to get you.  XTC just haven’t worn well for me, as you might have guessed.  But very evocative of the time.  And the tune is disgustingly catchy – I’m afraid you must watch this at your peril because you’re going to be humming it for the next week.

The 80s rockabilly scene – how the 50s invaded the decade

You talk to people about 1981 and they’ll remember 2Tone and New Romantics but Rockabilly gets a bit swept under the carpet.  Wasn’t that Shakin’ Stevens?

Well, he was around but more importantly – there was a whole underground scene with lots of clubs across London and bands to match. Clubs included the Orange Tree in Barnet and the White Heart in Tottenham…or the Royalty in Southgate. The bands tended to have the word “cats” in their name – Pole Cats, Stray Cats, you get the drift…

I remember a lot of the sports jocks at school adopted the rockabilly style at the turn of the decade because it was neat, cool, got the girls and had that pseudo-James Dean thing about it. Variations on classic 50s fashion continued to be popular throughout the 80s. HERE is a good blog post on “80s does 50s” fashion.

The late 70s/early 80s rockabilly revival seemed to emerge alongside the Mod revival – though neither side will thank me for saying that. It seemed to me at the time that the music faded from the charts but the look endured well into the decade. But rockabilly die-hards will of course deny that.

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