Sunday, November 26, 2006

A brief fling with the New Romantics

You know, Bumblebee has a long history of becoming sick just when I need a little liberty. And so it was with me and the New Romantics party last night. About 5pm he started wailing about his tummy, and by 6pm he was upchucking like nobody's business. He was supposed to be coming with us and sleeping in a back room of the host's house, but chucky kids aren't nice hostess presents, so I had to think of Plan B. The obvious Plan B was to stay at home with him, SOB!

Luckily my parents were in town for some ex-Army reunion brunchy thing and I managed to talk Colonel Duck into babysitting for an hour in the evening so that I could at least make an appearance and conduct the trivia quiz I'd been asked to write. Bless his khaki heart, he's a good granddad, although quite surprised to walk into a house where his daughter had regressed to her teen years, his son-in-law looked like Adam Ant, and his grandson was screaming in the bedroom, writhing and groaning into an icecream container.

Unfortunately in all the excitement and stress, photos were not taken! And of course, there's always the disappointment of arriving at a costume party to discover that only half the guests had bothered to dress up. The hosts looked fantastic, as did a handful of other people, so there were enough of us not to look dumb; I do, however, greatly envy gatherings of people like the For Battlers, to whom costumes are not a minor and juvenile inconvenience, but a way of life. So, I whizzed in, chatted, joked, conducted some trivia, then whizzed home again to tend my ailing son.

I did manage to take some detail shots after I got home. Colonel Duck had left, best Beloved was still Anting away at the party, and Bumblebee was comatose and building up to his next 3 hours of screaming, so I clicked a few snaps before snatching some precious moments of rest in the face of a night-shift of home nursing. So, from the bottom up:

Sorry about the fuzzy. I was very tired. I found some faux-snakeskin stretchy pants in my costume bag and teamed them with black boots and a crisp white shirt and wide belt. Unfortunately I don't have a frilly white shirt so I borrowed one of BB's office shirts, which was nice and billowy enough, but was marred slightly by having a pocket at the front. I don't think anyone cared, really.

Another thing in my costume bag was a black sequined bustier with quite pointy bra cups a-la Madonna. I wore it under the shirt. It was quite tight (it always has been, I got it secondhand) so I had to breath shallowly all evening, but the discomfort was worth it.

In one ear I gussied up an earring made from a couple of old charms from my youth: a silver fan (it opens and closes like a real fan) and a silver thong. Noice Aussie touch, don't you think? I wore the shirt collar up and a black satin ribbon around my throat.

On the other ear I wore a feather earring I whipped up yesterday afternoon, the feathers being the only costume purchase I made for the party. The lovely Ellis Hutch was also at the party, and she exclaimed wistfully when she saw me that she'd had a pink feather earring in her teen years that she wasn't able to wear because she hadn't been allowed to get her ears pierced. Me too, Ellis, me too. Bloody Colonel Duck used to say that only loose women had pierced ears, and then when I worked up the courage to sneak out and get them pierced, he didn't turn a feather. Just started bringing me back earrings from his business trips. I should have done it years before. Sigh.

I'd gelled my hair into geometric shapes, and I had a lot of makeup on, including masses of blush, but by the time I took the photos it had gone pretty blurry from the heat and sweat, and if I showed you a photo of the 'after' look I'd have to then kill you. Instead, I share with you the quiz I painstakingly put together with the help of Wikipedia. It went down well; you could guess the age groups of the partygoers by their answers!

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1. Name Duran Duran’s first hit.

2. What does OMD stand for?

3. Who was the lead singer of Ultravox?

4. What was Spandau Ballet named after?

5. Where was 'home' for Paul Young?

6. Which of these bands are still together?
a. Depeche Mode
b. Duran Duran
c. Tears for Fears

7. Name TWO Adam & the Ants hits.

8. Complete the following band names:
a. Simple ______
b. Men Without _______
c. Talk ________
d. Scritti ______
e. Haircut _________

9. Who was the lead singer of Culture Club?

10. How many people were in the Thompson Twins?

11. An Australian band influenced by the New Romantics was The Flowers. What did they change their name to?

12. In the video of Sweet Dreams (are Made of This) by The Eurythmics, what colour was Annie Lennox's hair?

13. What was the name of the New Romantic band fronted by Ricky Gervais?

14. Recite the first line of 'Don’t You Want Me' by The Human League.

15. Was the band Japan from Japan?

16. What was Dead or Alive's big hit?

17. Which of the following is NOT a band name from the 1980s:
a. Tik and Tok
b. B-movie
c. Black Sox
d. Strange Advance
e. Heaven 17

18. Two members of Visage left to form another famous New Romantic band. What was it?

19. Which of the following is an Australian New Romantic band:
a. Pseudo Echo
b. Kajagoogoo
c. A Flock of Seagulls

20. WHO AM I?

While the New Romantic movement was based mainly in Britain, I was influenced by it and carried the torch for many years in the USA.

I am famous for my fashion style, which goes hand in hand with my innovative music.

My work in the 1980s crossed the borders between music and film, and I made two films which were more like extended video clips than movies.

My backing bands have had a variety of name changes, as in fact have I.

Some say my best music was made in the early to mid-1980s, and that by the mid 1990s I had lost my way, especially when I changed my name to a symbol that nobody could pronounce.

UPDATE: The answers are now in the comments for this post!

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As I write, I have had less than five hours sleep thanks to Bumblebee, who evacuated every repository of fluid throughout the night with much drama and flair. He then settled down to sleep at about 4 am, and woke up at 10am perky and cheery. Unlike me. I'll be in bed before the sun tonight...


lynn white said...

Cheesh Duckie, post a harder quiz why don't you. The only ones I can't answer correctly after 15 seconds of contemplation are 7, 13 and 18, though I am not sure if I'm right that the answer to 17 is a.

There you are. Hopeless child of the 1980s that I am. I guess the songs you enjoyed when you were 12-16 are the ones that stay with you for life.

Never liked Prince until teh 1990s though.

Ampersand Duck said...

Well, I wasn't sure of my audience, so I tried to make it pretty accessible. Only a few people were consistently answering, and a few didn't make any efforts to answer, even though they looked old enough. Maybe they were just shy.

But EEEEEHHHHHH! number 17 is NOT a. Try again, someone. And number 13 was for Spicks & Specks watchers, as was 5.

Mummy/Crit said...

I clearly didn't pay enough attention during that ep of S&S, but I do remember seeing Ricky Gervais looking like David Bowie and singing, but I can't remember the band name. I can answer a surprising number of these for a counter-culturist...Sorry to hear about the Bee's tummy. Rest up well.

seepi said...

Well I only got about 11 out of 20, and i'm the right era. Must have enjoyed it too much and lost a few brain cells....

I think someone should hold a costume party only for those who always dress up - I love a costume party!

I used to have those exact snakeskin pants - I thought they were fantastic!

Ha - finally remembered why I was going to comment. A friend of mine wrote her favourite band name on her canvas schoolbag (as you did), and never realised why people thought it was so funny that she loved SPEUDO ECHO.

Boysenberry said...

I think I have about 15/20.

Condolences on the child evacuative exercise; you're not Robinson Crusoe there. MissB seems to have an ability to pick the most inopportune times.

Mummy/Crit said...

Seepi reminded me that someone i knew used to have "Psuedo Echo" on their stuff (and I still have to remember that it's not what they're called) which always made me giggle in a cynical the kid who wrote "Matallica" on her bag...

Bernice said...

Honey - dead ringer for Sousie. & after sharing a house with an extremely repressed queen romantic boy of 18 many many years ago - I can't Ican't even go there.....

Ampersand Duck said...

OK, Here are the answers. I hope you didn't peek before having a go...

1. Planet Earth

2. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

3. Midge Ure

4. A German prison (where Nazi Rudolph Hess was jailed after WWII)

5. Wherever he lay his hat

6. Prince

7. All of them

8. Could be any of the following: Ant Music, Stand and Deliver, Prince Charming, Young Parisians, Ant Rap.

9. a. Minds
b. Hats
c. Talk
d. Politi
e. 100

10. Boy George

11. Three.

12. Icehouse

13. Orange

14. Seona Dancing

15. You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you

16. No, British.

17. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

18. c: Black Sox

19. Ultravox

20. a: Pseudo Echo

lucy tartan said...

Excellent pants Ms Duck, and I would have got about three-quarters of those right, eventually. Am quite proud of myself for remembering the names of two Adam & the Ants songs.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...


great stuff Ducky, if only to show up the pathetic 80's creature that I am... heh!

btw I still have a soft spot for Mr Ant. I was a member of the Adam Ant Fan Club. I still think Dirk Wears White Sox is a tops record. so is Kings of the Wild Frontier. oh sod it, so's Prince Charming.