heroin advertisment, 21st January 1989

Of all of the big social ‘issues’ I was aware of back in the 80’s the only two that I really remember affecting me that much were the impending nuclear war with Russia and heroin.

Back in the 80’s heroin was bad. It was worse than bad – it was evil, pernicious and addictive. In fact, it was so addictive that if you so much as wrote the word ‘Heroin’ down you’d start stealing money from your Mum’s purse to buy your next fix and before you knew it you’d be dabbing the brick dust on the floor of the school toilets. But that fear, that mystery, brought with it the sort mystique which made doing heroin kinda sexy as this famous press ad proves. I mean look at that the eyeliner he’s got on…so sad, so fragile, so fucking cool.

I still remember that ad and although I don’t specifically remember this one above, I’m sure there’s a strong collective memory within my generation of this very orchestrated fear campaign. I don’t know what the legacy of these ads is. I’m not a stranger to casual drug use but I’ve never taken heroin, never injected and know very few people that have. Is that an indication of their success or merely proof that I was middle class and scared easily?

These days you Talk to Frank of course, a campaign that has probably indelibly affected today’s teenage generation as deeply as the 80’s heroin campaign did to mine. The difference between now and then being that nowadays teenagers are warned off the full spectrum of drugs and not specifically heroin. Is crack the new heroin? Is meth the new Crack? Is heroin still the same scourge on society as it was 20-30 years ago? Probably, but it feels like it’s just part of the mix now rather that the embodiment of evil it once was.

Remember kids – just say no!

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Perry Farrell on the cover of Melody Maker, 21st January 1989. Photo by Joe Dilworth

I just never got Jane’s Addiction. I really tried with Ritual de lo Habitual but it just didn’t click.

But then there was a time in L.A. around 2000, when, hopelessly stoned and locked away in the 4×4 for my own good, Perry Farrell spoke to me. Sang to me. Communed with me. However long it lasted I can only compare it to a religious experience. And then I sobered up and the music sounded shit again. Drugs eh? Who needs em?

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David Bennun interviews Super Furry Animals - part 1, 13th July 1996

David Bennun interviews Super Furry Animals - part 2, 13th July 1996

David Bennun interviews Super Furry Animals, 13th July 1996. Photos by Steve Gullick.

I’ve not read it but I will. Then I might leave some retrospective commentary. Then again I might not. I bloody love Radiator though.

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ben-turner-interviews-darren-emerson-and-charlie-hall-19th-february-1994

Ben Turner interviews Darren Emerson and Charlie Hall, 19th February 1994. Photo Steve Gullick, club pics Pat Pope

It’s been a busy week as the lack of regular posts attests so I’ve not read through this, however I suspect it is very much of its time.

Regular readers might notice I’ve got a cute little indie ‘amp’ button badge up. My friend littlepixel has kindly worked it up for me. Please do visit his blog where he’s currently in the middle of ‘reimaginitizing’ a series of classic record covers in the mode of 1950/60’s Pelican book covers. Here’s just one of them. Leave him comments and love and I’m sure he’ll pixel more for you. G’wan he lives for this sort of thing.

Primal Scream: Screamadelica

Oh and Simon from the most excellent Sweeping the Nation has added the 432 available tracks from Garry Mulholland’s splendid “500 Greatest Singles Since Punk And Disco”, as a Spotify playlist here: http://www.sharemyplaylists.com/this-is-uncool-the-500-greatest-singles-since-punk-and-disco/

The Boiler by Special AKA is just finishing up. Harrowing and still shocking. Listen if you’ve not heard it before.

Right I’m off to stick my new badge on to my charity shop cardy now so I can do some of my famed, doomed Morrissey dancing this weekend.

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