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Posted in / / / by Jeralyn on July 8, 2009


Blitz Kids.

Various googling around for pictures of goths, new wavers and punks from the 80s led me to this site devoted to London’s Blitz Kids. In case you are unfamiliar, here’s the Wikipedia definition:

The Blitz Kids were a short- lived group of then-unknown people who frequented the Blitz nightclub in Covent Garden, London in the very early 1980s. Among their number were Steve Strange, Boy George and his friend Marilyn, Perri Lister, Princess Julia, Philip Sallon, Carl Teper and Martin Degville (later to be the frontman of Tony James’ Sigue Sigue Sputnik). The club was known for its outrageous style of clothes and make-up for both sexes, while it was also a birth place of several pop groups.

After beginning at Billy’s nightclub in the late 1970s, the Blitz Kids had found themselves bored with the whole punk genre. Billy’s had taken to having regular Roxy Music and David Bowie nights and, in an effort to find something new, the denizens took to wearing bizarre home-made costumes and clothing and excessive amounts of make-up, presenting a highly androgynous appearance. As the group moved on from Billy’s to the more elitest “Blitz” club, this was widely considered to be the birth of the New Romantic movement.

Soon after, Steve Strange and Boy George became famous in their own right with their musical outings Visage and Culture Club respectively, as did vocalist Marilyn.

Carl Teper went on to become a distinguished British Judge.

Boy George celebrated the Blitz Kids scene in his musical Taboo, in which he played the part of Leigh Bowery.

Through the early 1990’s, the Blitz Kids and Taboo ethos lived on through another London club Kinky Gerlinky.

These days New Romantics tend to get a lot of shit for being so over the top with their dress and make up and so sappy and overtly homosexual with some of their music. Back then, however, what they were doing was just as subversive as what the punks had been doing before them. Unfortunately, so much of their music has become ingrained in our collective memory as “Now That’s What I Call 80s” (or whatever) that people tend to forget there was a time when those songs actually (albeit, briefly) bucked the status quo. Anyway, the website I found dedicated to the Blitz Kids is here: http://us.geocities.com/theblitzkids/index24.html . . . it’s set up pretty randomly but if you click around you’ll see tons of photos of kids from the clubs, bands, magazine covers (early issues of The Face!) and New Romantic designers like Vivienne Westwood (tons of pictures of her early pirate collections).

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