You know how it is. Reading the books pages you see a book that interests you and you really want to read. Potless, you make a mental note to buy it the next time you have enough cash and then forget all about it for months.
This is how it was when I came across My Favourite People and Me – 1978-1988 by Alan Davies. I saw him talking about it in an interview somewhere and thought that it reflected some of my experiences and I wanted to get it to compare notes. By payday I had forgotten all about it.
That is until I saw Channel 4’s Teenage Revolution on Thursday night. Alan was there in suburban Essex telling me all about his middle class teenage frustrations and clashes with the local skins. Some of this resonated with me. A particularly poignant meeting with the leader of the Debden Skins, who had terrorised Davies and his mates during their youth, highlighted the social juxtaposition between the working (shirking) and middle classes during the 1980s.
The programme nicely portrayed the social and racial tensions that were more than just an undercurrent of the 80s. Real life wasn’t all about shoulder pads and gender bending New Romantics. For blokes over 40 – this was a great nostalgia trip. I went straight to YouTube afterwards to download the Punk and New Wave tracks of my youth like Babylon is Burning and Eton Rifles. For girls and anyone under 40, including our kids, it makes an interesting social and historical document.
This was brought home by Lucy Mangan’s review in yesterday’s Guardian. She found it ‘so extremely boring.’ That’s because Ms Mangan is a girl and under 40 (probably).
But I digress. I went out and bought the Penguin paperback by Alan Davies – Teenage Revolution: Growing up in the 80s. It is in fact the TV tie-in edition of the afore-mentioned and forgotten tome . Excellent marketing. But I’m really looking forward to reading the book and watching the remaining episodes of the programme.