The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
ISSUE EIGHT (17 July 2006)
Miami Vice: The Game. Need We Say More?
Starpulse News (20 April 2006)
Vivendi Universal Games' Sierra Entertainment has announced the development of Miami Vice The Game, a thrilling third-person action shooter inspired by the Universal Pictures crime drama, Miami Vice (based on the television series), in cinemas July 28, 2006. Developed by UK-based Rebellion, Miami Vice The Game will be available exclusively for the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system in July 2006.
"By taking full advantage of the advanced technology on the PSP system, Miami Vice The Game will deliver action-packed missions and highly-detailed locations that capture the danger-filled lives of the film's main characters and immerse players in the authentic world of Miami Vice," said Cindy Cook, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer for VU Games.
In Miami Vice The Game, players follow a storyline set just before the events of the film. Gamers must build up the mefarious reputation necessary to infiltrate the seedy underbelly of South Beach, and ultimately bring down the organization of an "untouchable" South American drug lord. Gamers can also choose to play as either Crockett or Tubbs, or team up via wireless to play each mission cooperatively.
Boy George then George O'Dowd now

Boy George Sent to Rehab, NY Drug Charges Dropped
Jeanne King, (8 March 2006)
Singer Boy George pleaded guilty on Wednesday to falsely reporting a burglary and was sentenced to five days of community service and fined $1,000, but drug possession charges against him were dropped.
The 44-year-old performer also was ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation program during a brief hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court.
The charges against Boy George, who made his name as the cross-dressing front man for the 1980s chart-topping British pop band Culture Club, stemmed from an incident on October 7, when police responded to his call reporting a burglary and found 13 bags of cocaine in his apartment.
If convicted on the drug charges, the singer, whose real name is George O'Dowd, could have been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In February, his lawyer Louis Freeman told reporters, "In the strongest possible terms, George maintains his innocence. He's going to fight them all the way."
But on Wednesday, a contrite-looking Boy George, wearing a black suit, black overcoat and black T-shirt, was sternly told by the judge that he would now have a criminal record.
"Don't get rearrested," Judge Anthony Ferrara warned the singer, saying he could be sentenced to up to one year in prison if he has more trouble with the law.
Ferrara granted permission for George to attend rehab in Britain.
After the hearing, the singer was greeted by fans who hugged and kissed him as he left the courthouse. He gave some fans autographs but said nothing to reporters.
George's musical production Taboo closed in New York in 2004 after losing money. The musical was an autobiographical look at a time when flamboyant cross-dressers reigned in London clubs and Culture Club topped pop charts around the world.
The son of an Irish builder, George rose from supermarket shelf stocker to glitzy pop millionaire.
He became an international star in 1982 with "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" The song topped the charts in 18 countries and Culture Club went on to sell almost 20 million albums.
In 1995, George recounted his drug-induced fall from grace and how he had finally kicked his heroin habit in his autobiography Take It Like A Man. Later, he made a new career as a disc jockey and record producer.

Copyright 2006 Reuters

Twentysomethings Are Snapping Up 80's Items
Matt Friedman, Columbia News Service (20 April 2006)
Not long ago, a 26-year-old woman went wild when she met Samantha Newark, the voice of a glam-rocking cartoon character named Jem who captivated little girls in the 1980's in the show Jem and the Holograms. The fan jumped up and down. She laughed.
"She actually started to cry," said Newark, now a singer/songwriter in Southern California. Newark is getting used to evoking strong emotions from many former little girls -- and some former little boys -- who grew up in the last great age of cheesy TV cartoons, before children got networks of their own with fancy production values. "Pretty much every person who finds out that I was the voice of Jem flips out," Newark said.
As today's young adults leave college or toll away at jobs with uncertain futures, many are retreating to the familiar bosom of childhood nostalgia.
As this new generation -- not quite X, not quite Y -- their obscure pop-culture heroes are beginning to inch aside the baby boom favorites that still dominate America's cultural conversation.
Fans in their 20s are spending big bucks on their childhood fixations, buying out-of-print Jem and the Holograms DVDs for as much as $100. They're hosting conventions dedicated to their favorite cartoons. Writers are dropping references to '80s characters into the new shows they're creating for Cartoon Network, knowing they will strike chords with the young guys (mostly) who tune in.
At Love Saves the Day, a store that sells retro collectibles in Manhattan, you can still find Elvis lunchboxes and Daffy Duck toys. But another bunch of posable figures that might draw a blank from the boomers are ever so gradually claiming shelf space.
Here are the ThunderCats, a team of part-cat, part-humanoid aliens who fought evil on a planet called Third Earth during their syndication from 1985-87. He-Man, a Norse-looking prince who first aired in 1983, looks poised to jump from his shelf and resume battling the evil Skeletor. And don't forget She-ra, He-man's sister from another diemsnion who fought on behalf of the 10-and-younger female demographic in 1985 and in reruns for many years after. In a store that's sort of a retirement home for kids shows, these figures are its youngest senior citizens.
Kevin Stecko feels the '80s cartoon wave coming on strong. The 28-year-old from Adamsburg, Pa., runs the Web site. He began in 2000 by selling only He-Man, ThunderCats and Transformers T-shirts. Now, he sells more than $3 million worth of shirts each year that feature '80s cartoon icons, including My Little Pony and GI Joe. Stecko himself was a huge He-Man fan as a kid.
"When I watch it now, it's absolutely horrible," Stecko said of the show, a mix of corny dialogue and cheap animation. "But something about it captured my imagination." And now, he said, "It's basically a way back to a simpler time."

Charles Pettitt, (20 April 2006)
There's a bit of an 80s revival happening in London's theatreland what with Movin' Out packing them in at the Apollo Victoria and Dirty Dancing selling out its first two months before it's even opened. It's therefore not surprising that the 1984 hit film Footloose has been adapted for the stage. What is surprising is that it's not a cynical cash-in but a cracker of a show!
The Footloose film launched the career of a tight jean-clad Kevin Bacon and garnered two hit singles: "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and the title track. This time around Derek Hough plays Ren MacCormack, a Chicago teen who moves to the rural town of Bomont and finds that dancing is forbidden. Ren can't take the sleepy pace and all hell breaks out as he breaks loose and soon has the whole town on its feet.
Derek is more American boyband than beefcake, but he's far more convincing as a teen. A former World Latin American Dance champion, he's certainly got the moves (a factor that more than makes up for some projection problems in the first act) and is sure to result in a queue forming at the stage door.
Giovanni Spano as the lumbering Willard, a wimp who can't quite make it with the girls, has an entirely different appeal making a comedic role likeable and sexy. We all love a bad boy, and former Hear'Say member Johnny Shentall doesn't disappoint as Chuck Cranston.
Forget hearing it for the boys, the women are just as watchable. Lorna Want as the love interest Aerial [sic] ... exceeds the film's Lori Singer for sheer sassiness. As the song says, "The Girl Gets Around."
But it Stevie Tate Bauer [who] steals the show with her "Let's Hear It For The Boy." In the film this was just used as an accompaniment to scenes of Ren teaching Willard the moves. Here it's central to a hoedown scene that's bursting with energy and comedy and proves once and for all that line dancing can be sexy.
....While the basic storyline remains intact, Footloose is far more than a simple retread, cranking up the humour and our emotions. It also adds a number of songs to the mix, not least seminal eighties hit "I Need A Hero" which proves a showstopper of a number....
As is rather common with this type of feelgood show, Footloose ends with a huge mega mix reprise of all the best songs we've already heard -- which proves far from just filler but a true crowd pleaser, especially thanks to one final surprise....
Footloose has wowed them in the provinces and it's not hard to see why. Its energy and sense of fun is infectious and makes you truly want to cut footloose and dance off those Sunday shoes.

Jackal Probe Over -- 20 Yrs On
Associated press (19 April 2006)
Paris--A French judge has wrapped up 20 years of investigations into convicted terrorist Carlos the Jackal's possible role in four bombings in the early 1980s, a lawyer said on Wednesday.
Anti-terror judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere -- renowned for tracking down Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez -- finished his investigations April 12, said lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre.
A prosecutor must now decide whether Ramirez will stand trial.
The investigations centre on a 1982 attack in western paris that killed one and injured 63; a 1982 bombing on a Paris-Toulouse train that killed five and injured 77; a 1983 attack at a Marseille train station that killed two and injured 40; and a 1983 bombing on a train south of Lyon that killed three and injured 11.
The suspect's lawyer now has 20 days to study the files and request more information.
Coutant-Peyre, who is also Ramirez' fiancee, said the time limit was too short given the massive case and accused the system of depriving Ramirez of his right to a defence.
He is already serving a life sentence for a triple murder in 1975.
Ramirez gained international notoriety as the Cold War-era mastermind of deadly bombings, assassinations and hostage dramas.
He is also suspected in the 1976 Palestinian hijacking of a French jetliner in flight to Entebbe, Uganda.
He was captured in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1994, and hauled in a sack to Paris by French secret service agents.

Back with a Bang(le)
Tom Lounges, Northwest Indiana News (7 July 2006)
What red-blooded American boy during the 1980s did not have a secret crush on wide-eyed Bangles frontwoman/lead singer Susanna Hoffs and a poster of The Bangles hanging on their bedroom wall?
"Wow, it was all such a whirlwind at the time," recalled Hoffs during a chat last week from the California home she shares with her film director husband Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Fockers) and their children. "Everything moved so fast. It was such a wonderful time for us!"
The Bangles had everything going for them. Hoff's petite build and slightly exotic looks smacked guys squarely in the libido, while the strong rock'n'roll chops of the band -- guitarist Vicki Peterson, drummer Debbi Peterson and bassist Michael Steele -- smacked them upside the head. And the songs, while hook-heavy and pop-flavored, had substance.
The Bangles are back on the road and touring to support the newly released "Best of the Bangles" collection that is part of the ongoing "We Are the '80s!" series from Sony/Legacy Records.
While revisiting the past may have them traveling this summer, milking the nostalgia circuit was not the reason the band reformed in 1998 after an eight-year stretch apart where they pursued individual projects.
....Though unsure that time if the band still had a future, the response to that reunion tour and their new material was so powerful that the ladies hit the recording studio once it wrapped up and laid down the songs for what became their September 2003 release, "Doll Revolution."
....One major difference ... is the absence of bassist Michael Steele.
A one-time member of The Runaways band, Steele joined up with co-founding Bangles members Hoffs and the Peterson sisters in 1984, just in time to catch the wave of fame and success that took the Cali group up the charts with hits like "Hero Takes A Fall," "Walk Like A Egyptian," "If She Knew What She Wants," "Walking Down Your Street" and ""Hazy Shade of Winter."
"Michael was with us on the last tour, but in 2004 decided that she really had had enough and wanted to 'retire from being a Bangle' and we totally respect that," said Hoffs.
....Hoff describes the current live show as all the hits, plus some "Doll Revolution" favorites and a few newer cuts.
When she is not performing with the Bangles, Hoffs maintains a separate career recording with pop singer Matthew Sweet.
"We did an album of cool '60s covers together, stuff you wouldn't expect to hear covered," she boasted with obvious pride in the project. "We're going to do another album but with '70s covers. But right now it's all about the Bangles."

Little Progress in Atlanta Investigation
Harry R. Weber, Associated Press (19 April 2006)
Decatur, Ga. -- Nearly a year after reopening the investigation into five of the Atlanta child killings of the 1970s and '80s, police appear to have little to show publicly besides some detective seminar bills, hotel receipts and vouchers for a trip to Florida.
DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham announced the reopened investigation last May to much fanfare, saying he had wrestled for years with doubts that convicted killer Wayne Williams committed all of the two dozen slayings attributed to him.
But there have been no arrests to date, and records obtained by The Associated Press offer little evidence of the vigorous investigation Graham promised.
"They had me all hyped-up and happy, you know," said Catherine Leach, whose 13-year-old son, Curtis Walker, is among the victims whose cases are being looked at. "My hopes were built up that something would come out of this, but I have heard nothing."
....Williams said in a telephone interview from prison that he believes Graham's investigation will ultimately help prove his innocence.
....John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was involved in the initial probe in the 1970s and '80s, said Graham had not contacted his agency seeking assistance.
Graham was an assistant police chief in neighboring Fulton County and worked on the task force that investigated the string of murders that terrorized Atlanta. The death toll reached 29 -- all black, mostly boys.
In 1982 a jury convicted Williams of two murders and sentenced him to two consecutive life terms. Afterward, officials declared Williams responsible for 22 other slayings, and those cases were closed. The state Supreme Court upheld Williams' conviction in 1984 and later rejected an appeal for a new trial.
Williams, who is black, had contended he was framed.

Fashion Rewind to the '80s
CBS News (20 April 2006)
Turn the clock back a good 20 years or so and you're back on the cutting edge. Fashion trendsetters have rediscovered the looks of the 1980s.
Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor-at-large at Glamour magazine joined The Early Show for Thursday's Trend Report to show how to wear these fashions with an updated flair. She told co-anchor Tracey Smith, "It's back because opulence is back. We're seeing lots of accessorizing and over-accessorizing."
Look No. 1: Dolman sleeve. With a dolman sleeve, the shoulder actually starts in the middle of your arm. Schwartz pairs it with peg leg jeans, flats or ballet slippers.
Look No. 2: Mod mini dress. The Mod mini dress with opaque black tights and chain accessories is back in a nig way. Over-accessorized looks are suddenly fresh after all the minimalism of the past few years.
Look No. 3: Bubble ruffle dress. The bubble ruffle dress is very current, but not ideal for a pear shape since it adds more volume to the lower half of the body. Pair it with leggings or over a catsuit with ballet flats or sling-backs.
Look No. 4: Chanel. This is the classic '80s look. It's a Chanel-inspired jacket with a quilted bag and thick, chain belt. Schwartz gives it a fresh, youthful twist with a white tank and keeps the silhouette tight, rather than big and baggy. It's a look that transcends age.
Look No. 5: Over-sized dress sweater. Slip on your husband's oversized sweater for a look straight from Demi Moore in "About Last Night."
Look No. 6: Catsuit with chain belt. Unlike the oversized sweater, this look offers no place to hide. Paired with a cropped jacket and chain belt, this look is best for a night out.

A Legacy of Tainted Blood
Steve Sternberg, USA Today (11 July 2006)
Like many young men, Joshua Lunior is searching for his dream girl. He knows she won't be easy to find, because Lunior, 24, comes with some challenging baggage.
He belongs to an all-but-forgotten generation of 10,000 people with hemophilia who contracted the AIDS virus, HIV, from the clotting factors they need to stop their bleeding.
....nearly 25 years after AIDS was first reported in hemophiliacs, the world's focus has shifted elsewhere. Ryan White and Ricky Ray, the American teenagers with hemophilia who became famous for battling AIDS discrimination, have died. But the struggle isn't over for Lunior and others like him.
....Hemophiliacs who have HIV are victims of a tragic miscalculation by federal regulators, the leading hemophilia advocacy group and the companies supplying human clotting factors, according to a 1995 analysis by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.
During a five- to six-year period in the early '80s before doctors figured out what was causing the strange disease that had turned up in California, New York and Florida, HIV quietly made its way into the blood given to people who need transfusions and the clotting factors that combat hemophilia, which occurs mostly in men.
Despite mounting evidence that AIDS was spreading among hemophiliacs, the agencies did not act quickly enough to prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B through blood and blood products, the report found.
By the mid-1980s, about 10,000 hemophiliacs were infected with HIV. Many passed the virus on to their wives, who could have infected their children. About 5,000 people with hemophilia and HIV had died. The result was one of the biggest medical disasters ever.
....Joshua Lunior was born on Aug. 5, 1981, two months after doctors reported the first cases of a strange disease circulating among gay men in Los Angeles .... By July 16, 1982, federal epidemic experts reported that the mystery disease had surfaced in three hemophiliacs, raising new questions about how it was transmitted.
When Lunior was 1-1/2 ... [b]lood vessels in his brain began to leak. Doctors flooded him with clotting factors. At the time, these factors were extracted from the pooled plasma taken from thousands of donors. It would be four years before manufacturers would begin heat-treating the pooled plasma to kill viruses.
By December [1982], a report of transfusion-associated AIDS in a San Francisco baby led researchers to conclude that the pattern of infection "strongly suggested" that blood and blood products spread AIDS, according to the Institute of Medicine report.
Still, the National Hemophilia Foundation advised patients not to panic and to continue using their clotting factors "as prescribed." Families with hemophilia heeded the advice ....
In 1985, the HIV test hit the market. When Joshua was 4, he was tested as part of a study of people who got blood products. His parents were shocked by the positive result.
....[W]hen Joshua was 8 or 9, the family attended a weekend retreat called "AIDS, Medicine and Miracles" in Rhinebeck, NY, organized by some Boulder, Colo. health workers. The retreats drew from the teachings of Bernie Siegel, popular author of Love, Medicine and Miracles. They introduced the Luniors to an ad-hoc family they've treasured ever since.
"Gays, drug users, people who had been in jail, a really mixed population," [Junior's mother] Patricia Lunior says. "We were the onyl ones with hemophilia and they just took us in. They made us feel loved and accepted. It didn't matter who had the virus or how it got into your lives. We knew the devastation it causes."
Junor faced other health issues as well. He suffered from internal bleeding that damaged his right ankle, forcing him to wear an inflatable cast. He took HIV drugs on such a strict timetable that he had to be awakened at midnight. One drug gave him fevers. Another gave him kidney stones. He wrestled with learning difficulties from his brain hemorrhage that make it hard for him to put words on paper.
He tried to steer a safe course between his desire to be open about his plight and fear of the consequences, mindful that an arsonist set fire to Ricky Ray's family home. He struggled to make friends....
....Whether or not he finds a soul mate any time soon, he holds out hope for an even bigger triumph.
"AIDS killed a lot of my friends," he says. "I can persevere and prove that it can't get all of us."

The Eighties Club is not affiliated in any way with any of the publications from which these excerpts were derived, and does not profit in any way from the purchase of the complete articles. These excerpts are provided for educational purposes only.