Three magazines from my huge archive of 80s stuff – Record Mirror featuring Blondie, My Guy with Steve Strange and No.1 magazine with the faces of 1983. Record Mirror was a good music mag but it never inspired the tribal loyalty that attached to the NME, Melody Maker and Sounds.
In the late 70s, it would publish painted images of pop stars, some of which I’ve framed as they were rather fetching. The mag closed down in 1991 but bizarrely, the name was bought by Giovanni di Stefano – an Italian lawyer most famous for being on Saddam Hussein’s legal defence team!
John McEnroe lost the plot at Wimbledon……cricket fans threw cushions at the pitch because play was stopped early….Reverend Paisley shot at in Belfast…..inner city riots in Toxteth, Moss Side and Brixton…..Home Secretary authorises use of plastic bullets against rioters…..Basement 5 split….a teenager gets in to the House of Commons with a very big knife screaming that he wants to murder Thatcher….fighting breaks out between SAS operatives and mourners at an IRA funeral…Ghost Town goes to number one in the charts…..fatal stabbing at Black Uhuru gig….South African mixed race couple ask permission to leave Britain due to ‘racial hatred’…..Sounds magazine sues NME magazine….a thousand Mods do battle with the police in the Lake District…..Lady Di has one of her first on camera tearful tantrums at a polo match….a twelve year old girl is on trial at the Old Bailey for stealing a donut…Michael Heseltine suggests a big garden festival will help Liverpool forget recent riots….builder David Young was fined £50 for shouting abuse at the king of Saudi Arabia during a state visit…..’Britain in Turmoil’ thunders the Daily Express on its front page….
The riots of 1981 and a spate of racist attacks weren’t helped by a small number of bands whose political views were to the right of Hitler and the entire high command of the Third Reich. One Oi! gig in Southall led to the pub they were performing in being burnt to the ground by Asian youth.
So, in the months that followed the inner city riots of that year, Oi! had its work cut out improving its public image. The media was branding skin bands as fascist and racist and in part to blame for the violence that had been seen on the streets.
With these accusations ringing in their ears, some skin bands decided to show their anti-racist credentials by taking to the road which would include two anti-racist gigs and an appearance at the Right To Work campaign march. The Business, Infa-Riot, the Blitz and Partisans duly went off on tour.
Sheffield’s George IV saw the Blitz join the Mo-Dettes for an anti-racist gig while all the bands played an Oi Against Racism concert in the same city a little later on.