June 30th 2015, a furiously hot English summer’s day. Yes, I know, an oxymoron but there you go. An air conditioned photographic studio in south west London. Takes me back, all the way back.
These men, forever the sound of 1983 and 1984, when I was 15 or 16 years old and all the summer seemed to be this way. Simon, John, Nick, Roger and Andy. My sister’s bedroom wall, plastered in posters of them carefully de-stapled from Smash Hits and Jackie. Guildford Civic Hall friday night discos, my dad turning up in his slippers to pick me up dead on 11pm. So embarrassing. A neon yellow Sony Sports Walkman. Whole days spent making mix tapes then realising that the first song on side two was a mistake. Aching for the day when I could drive. Long boring Sundays, walking the path that ran alongside the railway and only the sound of a car passing somewhere in the vague distance. One train an hour. Cans of Lilt, the girls with blonde ponytails in blue tank tops at the tennis club. The Reflex, Save A Prayer, Hungry Like The Wolf, Girls On Film always there soundtracking it, hanging in front of us the promise of a brightscaped, nightscaped future this time next summer.
A Q&A with John Taylor in Smash Hits.
“What time do you get up?”
Yes, I thought. That’s what I want. I want to get up about 11.