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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The 1992 Reading Festival review, 12th September 1992.

Writers: Everett True, Jim Arundel, Shane Danielsen, Andrew Smith, Simon Price, Sharon O’Connell

Photographers: Kevin Westenberg, Stephen Sweet, Matt Bright, Steve Gullick

Those who also turned up to get drunk: Allan Jones, Steve Sutherland, Andrew Mueller, Ben Turner, Sally Margret Joy, Ben Stud, Ngaire, Black Mat Smith, Clint Poppie

Apart from the mud this was the infamous Reading Festival where ET pushed Kurt onto the stage in a wheelchair. Has the story of how and why that came about been told already? If so please post a link and if not then can I tempt the story from the horse’s mouth?

UPDATE: Discussion about Reading and particularly this Reading Festival over on the WSC message board prompted by Simon Price considering breaking a 21 year attendance record.

And if you’re looking for a timeline of Reading Festival from inception to present day then this site if worth a look

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Here comes the rain again…falling on my head like a memory

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