Tuesday, February 7, 2012
1981: Not a chance
When you're about to turn 16 and Kim Wilde suddenly appears on the telly it's like a gift from God.
Wasn't she a smasher? With her tight jeanes, stripey top, dirty blonde hair, attitude and sexy nasal voice and those lips, we became fast friends. She was the girlfriend I wanted but was highly unlikely to get at that age. I adored from afar.
I loved Kids In America. At the time, it was quite something. A bit of rocky electronica in tune with the times, poppy enough not to scare anyone away and with a singer guaranteed to gather an instant fan base. The song tapped into everyone's obsession the cool Americana. That place was still quite far away in those days, though I'd take my first trip in '82 it's not like it is now. It was an adventure. They did things differently there and we all dreamed of being a part of it, irritating as I found America-obsessed people to be, even then.
It reminds me of looking out of dirty old windows, frankly. Overcast Marchlike weather, trawling the local big town for American comics, walking miles and visiting every newsagent I could find, striking lucky more often than not, trying not think of impending O levels and - gulp - the future. Oh to be a kid in America.
I remember one day seeing someone from school on travels. He ignored me, naturally, as we'd never been friends. And to think, just two years later he'd die of a tropical disease he picked up while unpacking furit on the night shift at Safeway.
Poor Kim though. She wasn't on-trend for long. Water On Glass, Chequered Love, then Cambodia were in a similar rocking vein, and then it was kind of all over for her. Not sure why she fell from grace. 1983 was a fallow year. The hits got smaller until her late Eighties comeback, by which time she wasn't doing it for me anymore. I'd moved on.
Still, Child Come Away's a corker. No one does a story song like Kim.