The Eighties

The Powerhouse Museum is currently showing “The 80s are back” – an exhibition that covers all things from the decade. My friend Rebecca had seen the show and told me that it really highlighted that the 80s was “her decade”. I had never considered the 80s as my own – if I had been asked I would have maybe said the early 90s was “mine”. But like Bek I found myself excited and moved by the show that seemed to have at every turn something that switched on a memory.

Highlights from the show for me;

  • Poster from the ABC show “sweet and sour” – on afternoon tele show when I was in year 7. Loved that show so much – and still sing the theme tune in my head – check out the video. Tracy Mann lip syncing to Deb Conway…and yes, that IS David Reyne)
  • Tim and Debbie outfits!!
  • The little room you step inside and are surrounded by images of parties at the Hordern – there is a small audio grab with Rusty Nails from triple J (when it was good) talking about a sell out RAT party one NYE. (check out the very thorough Wikipedia entry here on RAT parties and their background) That day my friend Chrissy and I had caught a train to Sydney to scout around a few places in Surry Hills rumored to still have tickets. When we ran out of luck we headed back to Wollongong. I wasn’t home for half an hour when Chrissy called and said she heard that there would be some tickets at the door. We got dressed and got straight back on the train for Sydney and queued outside the Hordern for about 5 or so hours. I think we must have been 16 (??). A nice man in the queue gave us a beer. Getting into the Hordern was a big crush and we luckily got in. I think there is also a women on the audio talking about the big crush. We saw in the New Year there and a growling Grace Jones (who was 3 or so hours late to the stage!). It was the start of parties at the Hordern for me where we had the time of our lives – but maybe that’s for another post. Let’s just say those parties where very different form the glam happy-happy outdoor festivals and parties of today. Verrrryyy different indeed…

  • They have a small section of the AIDS quilt on display.  I worked for  GP located on Oxford Street in the late 80s and some of their patients were participating in a trial for a new drug called AZT. And while there was this fun happening in the dance and club scene in the Darlinghurst area, it was also a horrible , sad period – and seeing part of the quilt with other parts projected onto the screen was very moving.
  • The many band posters – Hunters and Collectors, The Dynamic Hepnotics (speaking of…Continental Robert Susz used to drink and play pool at the Darlo bar when that was our quasi local in the late 90s…), Spy V Spy, The Triffids, Electric Pandas (who no one ever heard from again after they did that Diet Coke ad) – even a nod to the Wiggles with a reference to the Cockroaches…

    I’m going back again to have another look. With a young boy in tow you have to keep moving.

    I leave you with the Dynamic Hepnotics and Soul Kind of Feeling from 1984 (with Donnie Sutherland! Where is he now? I loved Sounds!)


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