It’s 35 years ago since Tottenham Hotspur last appeared in the final of a major European competition when they won the UEFA Cup on penalties against Anderlecht. Back then of course, the final of Europe’s second biggest club competition was a two-legged affair which was taken seriously, unlike its successor the Europa League, which if I was a manager, I would actively tell my players to try not to qualify for.
Anyway, the point of this article is that once again we’ve gone Michael J Fox like into the time machine, to take a look at how we were living our lives when Graham Roberts lifted the big plant-pot trophy at White Hart Lane all those years ago.
FRANKIE SAYS “RELAX”
By the time Radio 1 DJ Mike Read had realised that Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s debut single was about cracking one off and not about putting your feet up at the weekend, the damage was already done.
The Scouse five-piece were by far the biggest band of 1984 and the BBC banning the single only made it more popular with the kids as it stayed at the top of the charts for what seemed like an eternity. When their album “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” was released later in the year, it was no surprise to see that the vinyl version was done in gatefold sleeve style that opened up to reveal a giant cock.
Spin-off merchandise like baggy t-shirts with the words Frankie says “Relax” emblazoned on the front, were that summers must have garment along with Wham’s rather more diluted version telling us to “Choose Life”. The backlash to this was immediate however, with many lads and lasses round my way strutting their stuff in T’s that told us to; “Don’t give a fuck what Frankie says”.
One of the biggest TV shows of 1984 was The A –Team, a ludicrous tale of four blokes who all fought in Vietnam, getting together to fight crime and charging people the earth for doing so. Led by male chauvinist pig John “Hannibal” Smith (played by George Peppard) our four intrepid heroes used to ride around in a souped-up Ford Transit getting up to all sorts of mischief without ever declaring a penny to the tax-man.
Hannibal’s other partners in crimes were H.M. “Howlin Mad” Murdock who used to drink his own urine, Templeton “Faceman” Peck who shagged so many women it was a wonder he had the energy for solving crime, and B. A. Baracus, a tough guy who had already been floored by Rocky and who’s only contribution to the show (apart from bad acting) was to call Murdock a “crazy fool” at least three times per-episode.
WHO YA GONNA CALL????
If cinema was more your thing, the biggest grossing film of 84 was Ghostbusters, the movie that turned Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd into global superstars. Just like the A-Team, Murray and Aykroyd set up a crime-fighting unit only this time, they call it a paranormal investigation and elimination service as they go around New York City getting rid of ghosts.
Probably the most famous scene in the film is when they destroy Marshmallow Man; basically a giant inflatable who, in a nod to Frankie, explodes causing white stuff to splatter all over the place. Ray Parker Jnr’s theme tune to the movie was also one of the summer’s biggest selling singles and the video game for the Atari console gave fans a chance to be Murray, Aykroyd or even Harold Ramis, who was the other member of the crime-fighting trio, for an afternoon.
TORVILLE & DEAN
The sporting highlight of 1984 was undoubtedly Torville & Dean’s performance of Ravel’s Bolero at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
The couple from Nottingham had thrilled fans of the sport for years with their chemistry on the ice which left non-Ice Dancing fans to ask the question, “Is he giving her one?” It’s an indication of how little live sport was actually broadcast back then that their routine that saw every judge give them a maximum 6.0 for artistic impression, attracting 24 million viewers.
Even to this day many people who witnessed one of the great sporting moments of the 20th century are still wondering what the fuck Michael “Phantom of the Opera” Crawford was doing on the sofa next to them when the votes were cast.
No, this is not something that Claudio Ranieri once stated in a press-conference, but the title of the winning song by Sweden who were crowned Eurovision song contest champions of 1984. Herrey’s were the name of the band that performed the winning ditty, made up of three Mormon brothers, Per, Richard and Louis, a sort of Swedish version of Bucks Fizz without any women.
To this day they remain the youngest ever male winners of the competition and 12 months later (god help us) they released a follow-up single entitled Sommarparty.
Described in certain quarters (probably their families) as a boy band before boy bands were famous, Herrey’s went on to become the biggest selling pop-group in Sweden during the 80’s. It’s probably a merciful release to the rest of the world that their religious beliefs outweighed their desire to become a musical phenomenon outside of their home country.