I was born in the later part of the 1970’s, and my fondest memories and era are the 1980‘s, and whenever I recall anything from this time it brings me much joy! Mainly because I enjoyed growing up in a remote mining town in the northern most part of Australia (will blog this another time) where everyone knew each other in the street, had street bbqs, and everything was relaxed and fun.
I think I’ve clung to the sometimes cheesy, simple and uplifting movies of my childhood (something I’m sure others can relate to).It was a time where technology was still in infancy, and our time was spent using our own creativity and initiative to generate fun in our lives.
So I thought I would share snippets of things I remember and information about what was happening in the world in the 1980’s. It’s also interesting to reflect on how things were back in this time, and how things are now; and in particular how far we have come technologically, but humanity has fallen behind (in the sense that the basic issues still remain).
I think I will keep adding and refining this as I reminisce!!
1980– John Lennon was assassinated. In Australia, baby Azaria Chamberlain disappears from a campsite at Ayers Rock, reportedly taken by a dingo. Mini Gold Rush in Australian outback after gold is discovered. In Mexico first ever natural birth in captivity of a Giant panda.
1981– Charles and Diana got married. MTV (Music Television) is launched. Bob Marley died. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) begins taking a worldwide toll which will be compared to that of the Black Death in the 14th century. Researchers find the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic.The term Internet was first mentioned
1982 – We were sooooooo cool, because we got a Commodore 64 (do you remember the games were on a datasette!! ) Computers were such a big deal that Time Magazine named The Computer as the person of year in 1982! 9 planets align on the same side of the Sun!! first International Day of Peace on Sept 21.
1983 – Everyone is legitimately worried about nuclear war. But this was a year of good times! Michael Jackson and The Police dominate the music scene. China’s Population reaches 1 billion (the world pop est 4.72 billion). The first mobile phones are introduced to the public by the Motorola Company.
1984 -The year with so many cool movies to list!! Oh and Michael Jackson’s scalp is seriously burned by pyrotechnics during filming of a Pepsi television commercial, Sony and Philips introduce the first commercial CD Players.
1985 -The Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior, is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents. British Scientists discover a hole in the earths Ozone Layer. On the music front, this was the year of both We Are the World and “Live Aid.” Whilst the intention was good and genuine, if you listen to the lyrics it does seem to imply a barrier between rich (the musicians and listening public) and poor (the people in Africa) and is a little pitiable in a ‘Glad it’s not me’ way..Bono sings at one point ‘Well tonight, thank God it’s them, instead of you’. Here is the video, but be forewarned the worst hair cuts ever and the biggest offenders being Simon Le Bon, Bono, Paul Young, George Michael!
1986 – Halleys Comet reaches the closest point to the Earth, during its second visit to the solar system in the 20th century ( I remember seeing this with my dad, and he was enjoying a glass of Baileys Irish Cream).A full survey is carried out of Loch Ness hoping to find proof that Nessie exists.( No Proof Found ). IBM unveils the PC Convertible, the first laptop computer.
1987 -The World’s Population reaches approx five billion (5,000,000,000) – check this link for live stats in the world. Supernova is observed, the first “naked-eye” supernova since 1604. The First Criminal is convicted using DNA Evidence in England. Disposable Contact Lenses became available for commercial distribution.
1988-The Hubble Space Telescope Goes into operation to explore deep space and is still in full use today mapping our universe.After 8 years and 1.5 million dead the Iran — Iraq war ends,.Australia celebrates its bicentennial (this was a huge affair, and as a school student, I received a special medallion and everyone autographed it). Archaeologists uncover the original Globe Theatre in London. The first major computer virus infects computers connected to the Internet.
1989 – The Berlin wall comes down ending 28 years of separation of East and West Germany.Tiananmen Square massacre.
Toys & Gadgets etc
Sony Walkman – (never got one til later in the 80’s and when I did it was waterproof..lol..I thought that was cool then),
Rubics Cube – (I don’t think I ever solved it, nor thought about taking stickers off and cheating)
Uno card game (we definitely had this) and playing marbles was cool in school lunch times and afterwards
Atari – ( I think dad bought this for himself and mate!)
Smurfs -(these happy little blue folks kept me entertained in a morning, and I adored my Smurf mug! which I used to fill with Milo)
CareBear – I used to do the care bear stare with my mum, and imagine sending love from my heart to others – I had Cheer Bear and Grumpy Bear…LOL
My first bike -which was blue, with big handle bars and long seat, later I got a BMX bike ( I had a silver one which I got for christmas, we would go down to the school and do jumps)
E.T Doll 🙂 –must of loved it, as it went on holidays with me 😛
Cabbage Patch dolls with birth certificate and adoption papers!- (I had 2 dolls, a girl with red hair and plaits and a boy with no hair called Francis Xavier ; I travelled with it interstate when I was very sick undergoing a kidney operation)
Roller Skating (I had a black pair with yellow glitter wheels, and was quite the skater girl)
Trivial Pursuit / Monopoly (these were the days we enjoyed playing board games as a family – why don’t people do this anymore, I say bring back the boardgames). I remember as a family we went on a holiday to the Gold Coast and we went to a games store and bought about 6 games to play as a family :). Some of the games I remember playing; mousetrap (A great toy on it’s own, you spent more time setting it up), connect4, battleships (we used to loan this and play at the library), Operation (For the aspiring surgeon in the family. Remember you had to remove the pieces from the body using the little metal tweezers without touching the sides. If you do, there will be hell to pay in the form of the most annoying sound ever invented), Trouble, Yahtze
Barbie – I loved Barbie and Ken, and mum would love seeing our excitement that she would sneak us early presents ;). We would use our Encyclopedias to make houses for them, and I would chop their hair to give them an 80’s punk spike, and colour it with textas
Archie Comics – ( I still adore Archie and Veronica comics)
Magazines -I think I regularly bought “Smash Hits” magazine to read up or get posters of my favourite songsters
World Wrestling Federation – I lived in South Australia at this time and it was huge, we all used to buy collectable cards at the corner deli to swap with each other.
My Little Pony – I had a purple one with stars on it’s body.
1980 – Blue Lagoon – as a young girl, it was always a bit naughty and risque when they got naked and frolicked in the ocean and lagoon. Any Which Way you Can (Clint Eastwood) – my dad loved Clint Eastwood and Chuck Norris, so over the years we were definately influenced by their films (later it become Steven Segal), The Blues Brothers! – Oh yes, crazy fun classic that has stood the test of it’s time.
1981– The Great Muppet Caper (we loved all the Muppet Movies :)), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Arthur
1982 – E.T – my sister and I watched this on video ( I think my dad managed to get a pirated copy!),Zapped –another naughty teen movie, Annie – “The sun comes out tomorrow, tomorrow” my sister watched this many times and enjoyed singalongs. The Dark Crystal – (Dark version of the Muppets with scary as hell characters) the creepiest movie for a sensitive young girl like me to watch, I went to the cinema with friend and her mum and was frightened to tears, and the mother told me not to be silly!
The Man From Snowy River -the heart of the high country, every aussie has probably watched this one.
One of the greatest scenes from the Man from Snowy River!
1983 – Flashdance (such a great ‘beat all odds’ movie), Risky Business – Tom Cruise became a heart throb!, National Lampoon’s Vacation (Chevy Chase – loved all his movies and made me laugh a lot)
1984 –Ghost Busters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (totally loved this movies, but couldn’t stomach the monkey brains being eaten scene :S), Gremlins (aww we loved this movie), The Karate Kid (thought Ralph was cute back then), Romancing the Stone (always fun to watch the adventures), Revenge of the Nerds (classic naughty teen movie), The Last Starfighter (cool movie!), Sixteen candles.
1985 – Back to the Future (enjoyed this a lot), Cocoon (cool Alien movie) , Goonies (one of my favourites (and sis’) of all times), Fletch and European Vacation (Chevy Chase entertains me again, so funny), The Breakfast Club (an all time classic, cool movie), Weird Science (saucy teen movie which I enjoyed), Desperately Seeking Susan ( Madonna becomes a movie star)
1986 – Top Gun (so it was a toss up between Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer who was hotter and cooler),Crocodile Dundee (the movie that made the world think we all wrestled crocs, and had kangaroos as pets), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Three Amigos, Little Shop of Horrors (feeeeeeed me Seymour), Big Trouble in Little China, Labyrinth (ever so creepy David Bowie!), Flight of the Navigator, 91/2 weeks, Foottrot Flats (now only if you are Aussie you would know this one, and it featured Dave Dobbyn’s hit Slice of Heaven -which my friend I would sing lots!)
1987 – Good Morning Vietnam, Beverly Hills Cop II, Dirty Dancing (my sister fell in love with Patrick Swayze and we all wished love was like this), Space Balls (the funniest scifi spoof), The Lost Boys (first Vampire movie I watched and set the scene for loving the genre, plus that catchy song – see video below), The Princess Bride (one of my favourite movies).
1988 – Big (a great Tom Hanks movie and we never forget that creepy wishing machine!), Beetlejuice (kooky but in a good way) Die Hard (adventure overload), Cocktail (Tom stays the heart throb), Beaches (the movie that made you cry), Gorillas in the Mist (awesome true story put to movie, and I still remember the sad scene with the gorilla found mutilated, anything with animals pulls my heartstrings in a big way).
1989 – Dead Poets Society (brooding story I enjoyed because of the love and poetry theme), When Harry Met Sally (that scene!), Uncle Buck (loved this movie), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Weekend at Bernies.
1980 – Upside Down – Diana Ros, Sailing – Christopher Cross, Another One Bites the Dust – Queen, Fame – Irene Cara
1981 -Kiss on My List – Hall & Oates, Queen of Hearts – Juice Newton, Jessies Girl – Rick Springfield (this will be stuck in my head now ..LOL),Betty Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
1982 – Physical – Olivia Newton-John, Eye of the Tiger – Survivor, Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes, I love Rock N’Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (I so remember singing this with neighbourhood kids), Rosanna – Toto ( Toto it’s my guilty 80’s love), Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes.But, Michael Jackson ruled the music scene and the airwaves with Thriller, which became the best selling album of all in time and I loved the film clip…so cool!
1983 – Every Breath You Take – Police, Billie Jean, Beat It- Michael Jackson, Down Under – Men At Work (as an Aussie this is the best take on our humour and character and much loved today), Africa – Toto (One of my favourite songs), Maniac – Michael Sembello, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me – Culture Club , Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
1984 – What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner, Footloose – Kenny Loggins, Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) – Phil Collins, Jump (For My Love) – The Pointer Sisters, Karma Chameleon – Culture Club
1985 – Take on Me – A-Ha (Morten Harkett you rock!), Like A Virgin – Madonna, I Want To Know What Love Is – Foreigner , Shout – Tears for Fears,Broken Wings – Mr. Mister, We Built This City – Starship (Oh cannot stand this song), Never Ending Story – Limahl (one of my favourite movie songs as a kid)
1986 – Say You, Say Me (Title Song from “White Nights”) – Lionel Richie, Stuck With You-Huey Lewis & The News,Invisible Touch-Genesis, Papa Don’t Preach-Madonna (I admit to standing on my bed and singing this song ),True Colors-Cyndi Lauper
1987 – Walk Like An Egyptian – Bangles (I’m sure many of us can remember the lyrics), I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) -Whitney Houston, You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Kim Wilde , Heaven Is a Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle (school discos, yeah I remember dancing and singing to this),Faith – George Michael (You’re so cool George)
1988 – Need You Tonight -INXS (LOVE, not the same group without Michael), Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses, Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz , Flame – Cheap Trick (This song brings very sad memories to me – it reminds me when my parents first separated, it was a very difficult time for me), Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby) -Will to Power , Under the Milky Way – Church (very cool song), Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin ( I think I even had a T-shirt with this on it)
1989- Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison , When I See You Smile – Bad English, Toy Soldiers – Martika (cool song), Hangin’ Tough – New Kids on the Block (All the girls at school were in love with NKOTB), Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx
Trip through the 1980’s Music:
1980 – The Love Boat – always a sucker for the feel good stories each episode!
1981 – The Greatest American Hero, Superman II (I think we saw most of them at the Cinema)
1982 – KnightRider – loved watching this and K.I.T.T was cool, and the Hoff was kind of normal back then! Family Ties – looooved this show – Michael J. Fox a legend. The Incredible Hulk (I used to hide behind dad or someone when the TV opening come on because I would be scared when he transformed into the Hulk)
The Incredible Hulk opening that I was scared of..LOL
1983 -The A-Team (loved this action show and Mr T), Manimal (I enjoyed this a lot, it was about a Dr who could shapeshift into any animal and he would use this to help the police), He-Man Masters of the Universe & Dungeons and Dragons (absolutely loved this cartoon, and would play with my neighbours who had the He-Man Greyskull castle and figurines :))
Opening sequence of He-Man
Here is a clip where the Dr turns into a Panther, from the show Manimal
1984 – Murder She Wrote (Okay, his a big admission, this is my guilty pleasure, I loved nosy Jessica super sleuthing each episode, have been know to watch this if re-run now 😉 and I even had the game), V -I used to sneak to my room to quietly watch this scifi! Who’s the Boss, Punky Brewster – thought she was so cool with her attitude and fashion.
1985 – The Golden Girls, Growing Pains (Kirk Cameron was cute so we thought back then)
1986 – Alf (love this show, the script was so witty and I admit it still makes me giggle like a little girl). Check out the fun moment in this video:
1987 – 21 Jump Street (great show which launched Johnny Depp), Married with Children (the disgustingly funny Al Bundy)
1988 – The Wonder Years (another guilty pleasure, I just loved this show set in the 60’s, have been known to watch it in recent years)
1989 – The Simpsons (becomes a big hit)