During the ’80s there was a desperate need for television networks to chase after and provide programming for ‘the youth’. One of these such shows was Eight Days A Week. A show which offered its guests the chance to discuss, in depth, music and film and other pop culture. One of these discussions saw Morrissey, George Michael and infinitely awkward DJ Tony Blackburn talking about all sorts of things from Joy Division to breakdancing. Take trip back to 1984, in all it’s mad splendour.
The guests at the table in this particular episode has two icnreidble and infamous artists of the ’80s… and Tony Blackburn – possibly the cringest DJ to have ever walked the earth. At the time, Wham! were one of the biggest bands in the world while Morrissey was the enigmatic lead singer of The Smiths having just released ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’… and Tony Blackburn made us all want to eat our own faces.
The unlikely trio discuss Everything But The Girl‘s debut album Eden, the frankly awful film Breakdance (aka Breakin’) and a book about Joy Division called An Ideal for Living: A History of Joy Division by Mark Johnson.
While you might expect Morrissey to do his usual act, moaning, being obtuse and avoiding as many rules or expectations as possible. George Michael however shows his admiration for Joy Division when discussing the book.
” Denselow: George, I wouldn’t imagine you as a Joy Division fan, maybe I’m wrong?
George: Ah, you might be wrong! This book, just became incredibly suspect for me, the minute I saw…
Denselow: You do like them?
George: I do like them, yeah. It became very suspect when I saw that it was partially, a lot of the contributions were from a gentleman called Paul Morley.
Denselow: You don’t approve of Paul Morley?
George: You’d need a book a lot thicker than that to list that man’s ideas or hangups, whatever you’d like to call it. It became very, very pretentious, in so many areas, I actually didn’t finish it, I did not get anywhere near finishing it. And I actually really liked Joy Division, or particular their second album Closer. I thought Closer, the second side of Closer…it’s one of my favorite albums, It’s just beautiful.”
There are some more cringey moments to be had, the reviews of the film Breakdance are excruciating as George Michael (rightly) calls it trash while the hideously out-of-touch Tony Blackburn claims it’s shining qualities.
The whole episode is entirely brilliant watching. not leats to get a feel for the youth of 1984 in Britain. But to get a glimpse of a young George Michale and Stephen Morrissey, two men who would go on to shape music for decades to come.