© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

The 80's with Richard

Sam Wilkinson
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Everyone’s 80’s experience would have been different.

This could be due to location, ethnicity or many other variables. But one thing that everyone seems to have in common from this unforgettable time is the utter love for music that broke through into the 80’s by beloved bands that still get talked about today. Richard is no exception, I interviewed him to see what his 80’s experience was like and he was more than happy to share.

I wanted to ask him as the very first question if he enjoyed listening to The Garage. This is because since it is the music he listened to and that he enjoys, it is crucial the entire station is fitted somewhat to his liking. This includes the music, the on air content etc. His initial reaction is the same reaction we get from all fans of the station, that he thinks it’s great because he gets to hear music he loves that has never been played on commercial radio before. He described listening to the station as “a great trip down memory lane for me.”

When asked who his favourite artists from the alternative 80’s were he was definitely caught off guard, it’s like asking somebody what their favourite chocolate is, there is just so much to choose from. However, he says that the big ones for him would have to be The Clash and XTC. Then he brings it back home and states his favourite NZ alternative 80’s bands are The Villains, Toy Love and The Bats who had just started out and were on the rise. He also states that “everybody in Christchurch was an exponents fan” and after talking to people of the similar age who lived in Christchurch I have found this to be a common truth. I am actually quite a fan of them myself!

Richard elaborates on a Talking Heads concert that he had briefly mentioned to me before the interview that sounded interesting. He talks about how amazing the experience was, he was only just starting to go to concerts because he could finally afford them and he was at a age where he could enjoy himself at a concert. The festival was called Sweetwaters South that happened in the North Island in places like on farms in Ngaruawahia and Pukekawa and it included a lot of local bands but also big international bands. The bands included were Netherworld Dancing Toys,  Dance Exponents, JoBoxers, Simple Minds, The Pretenders and Talking Heads and these played all in the same night.

The final question I wanted to ask Richard was ‘Do you want to go back’. The reason I ask this is because as much as everyone seemed to enjoy the 80’s, it’s interesting to know if they prefer today’s world, or how it was back then since they are substantially different.

Richards response was to first of all point out that we can never go back, we will see about that.  He goes on to say the 80’s were amazing and talks about the difference in things from back then to now including how cheap beer was, how cheap flatting was and there was no talk about global warming and continues to point out just how much everyone loved the music.

The overall answer however is that he would like to go back, to be able to dress up like he used to back in the day. Blonde streaks in his hair, get his baggy corduroys back on and the thing he misses the most is being able to hear his mother's eye liner.