Dave Wakeling

Of all the decades of which I’ve been on this planet (halfway to six now!), IMHO, it was the 1980’s that offered the best in music. We had New Wave, Punk, Hip-Hop, Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative, Pop and the tail end of disco.

Martha Davis of the Motels
[Martha Davis of the Motels]

It was a decade where MTV launched with their very first ironic AF video, Video Killed the Radio Star. It’s where Adam and the Ants brought the New Romantic, pirate and puffy white blouse to the forefront of fashion.

It’s also where the Sex Pistols inspired kids to wear safety pins just about everywhere. We had URGH! A Music War, Prince’s Purple Rain and REM’s finest albums (Chronic Town, Murmur, Reckoning, Life’s Rich Pageant).

Each one of us (of age) will have their own music stories to tell; for me it was trying to get into the Los Angeles clubs before turning 21 and being turned away from some amazing shows (Malcolm McLaren immediately comes to mind).


Then there were regular jaunts to my local record store (Vinyl Fetish!) to pick up the latest import release (because domestic releases didn’t always include the same tracks and often the cover designs were cooler). Later, CD’s took center stage (but that’s another story).

Taking us back to that very influential decade is award-winning freelance photographer Mike Hipple in his recent launch, 80s Redux: Your Favorite Musicians Today. Join Mike on his journey to three countries and all four corners of the US to get an intimate glimpse into the lives of the musicians we so fondly remember to this day.

The influence of 80’s culture is undeniable, especially when it comes to music. So what are the musicians who built the sonic landscape of the 80’s up to?

Robyn Hitchcock Bill Wadhams
[L to R: Robyn Hitchcock, Bill Wadhams]

Mike had a good sit-down with Lol Tolhurst from The Cure, Robyn Hitchcock, punk pioneer Alice Bag, Cindy Wilson from The B-52’s, Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses, Steve Mack of That Petrol Emotion and others, finding out what they’ve been doing ever since they rocked and rolled in their heydays.

Of course I had to look up my faves in the content section and read their missives right away, but there are a few that hadn’t come onto my radar in the 80’s so this led me on down a YouTube rabbit hole to hunt for their videos.

I really enjoy Hipple’s photographic style that allows each musician to pose in their own natural way against a wide variety of backdrops.

If you’re an avid collector of concert tickets, you’ll love Hipple’s included front and back inside cover spread. I even recognized many from my own collection (he unfortunately lost his own ticket collection and through the kindness of friends was able to include these as eye candy).

Matthew Wilder
[Matthew Wilder]

Though many musicians showcased in the book have switched careers or have taken a quieter turn in life (to raise families or pursue other hobbies), almost all of them still write, record and tour. When it’s not being ironic, 80’s retro is in, after all.

80s Redux: Your Favorite Musicians Today also contains a foreword by TV personality Dave Holmes. Leafing through the 144 pages (and 84 colour photos), any 80’s lover is certain to rediscover (and relive) the magic of the era.

Available via Schiffer Books online.

Top photo: Dave Wakeling of The English Beat and General Public. All photos by Mike Hipple.

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