Back in normal life in my first own flat. Also back in my regular job with no big view that there will be no big chances that something real important will happen. My life oscillated between the everyday work, to enjoy the time of my own with music and books at home and to go out with my mates. Nothing boring but just everyones live at this age. With a few colleges we planed to travel for five weeks through the western states of USA.
We sat together for many evenings to plan our vacation. Our plan was to rent a camper in Los Angeles an move northward on the coast highway to San Fransisco. I remember that I was a little nervous because it was the first time I will take a ride on an airplane. But afterwards it was the start to travel most of the times by plane. We arrived in LA in a misty afternoon in may and I was a little disappointed because I always thought that there must be sunny weather. After we checked in in our hotel me and one of my colleges wanted to get out for a few beers. This was a good plan but we checked out the wrong place because we stumbled into a bar on the strip – not knowing that this place is filled with whores and junkies when the night comes. So we went to the bar ordered some pints and tried not to get in any trouble.
So we could start a few days later our round-trip that lead us up to Frisco then up to Lake Tahoo. Our travel guide told us that there would be a lot of flowers to see but we arrived in snow around the whole area. That’s we decided to move through Death Valley to Las Vegas. Impressed by driving lot’s of miles and seeing nothing more than sand and dunes we arrived at our destination by night and one more time surprised by all that neon light that made day out of night. Next destination were the big canyons. The Bryce Canyon is not as famous as the Grand Canyon but worth to visit. One peaceful moment was when we walked down the Grand Canyon to the Colorado river. We just to a rest near the river listening to some Americans playing guitars and singing.
The next days we traveled over Flagstaff and Phoenix to San Diego to take a short trip across the Mexican border. We met a lot of friendly people over there – don’t knowing if it is possible to do this in our days now. All in all it was great experience to stay in this country with people that are open to visitors from other countries. I remember one afternoon when I decided to take the car and go to the next record shop to get me some LP’s. Bought myself around 25 records like The Gun Club and The Fleshtones. When it was my turn to pay the cashier, a young pierced girl, was astonished about my collection and asked me where I come from. So we started to talk and talk with the result, that I was invited to a local party. It was really great to listen on this garage-rock, punk, New Wave and also some soul tunes, standing around talking and enjoying some cool drinks.
Although I stayed in the US here’s some of the songs from 1982
Joan Jett – A song that rocked every party these days
Dexy’s Midnight Runners with their biggest hit
Culture Club mixing soft reggae with pop
The Jam with one of their last masterpiece before they split
Great voices from over the Atlantic ocean – perfect pop
Tears for Fears brought the sadness in songs
ABC: Simply perfect after all the years
Toto – Africa: I used to listen to on every radio station for five weeks
Blancmange with perfect synthie sound
Political statements from NY by Grandmaster Flash
And one we didn’t need neither in that time still today:
Records I remember that was published in 1982:
The DB’s – Repercussion: Collage rock at it’s best.
XTC – English Settlement: Great songs arranged perfectly
Van Morrissn – Beautiful Vision: Van the man is back with a bucket full of great songs – especially ‘Scandinavia’
Lou Reed – The Blue Mask: The guitars of Lou Reed and Rupert Quine on separate channels combined with a few very good songs from his later period.
Haircut 100 – Pelican West: Simply wonderful
Fun Boy Three – same: A great record after the split of The Specials. Very own songs with reggae background.
Level 42 – Strategy, the early tapes: Jazz and funk with a memorable bass
Ry Cooder – The Slide Area: Return to the classic blues and rock sound with a heavy slide guitar
Joe Cocker – Sheffield Steele: The comeback from the white Ray Charles with great songs and a lot of reggae influences with the rhythm section by Sly and Robbie
ABC – The Look Of Love: A monument – nothing more to say
Joe Jackson – Night and Day: Takes us back to the times of barroom music with really remarkable song.
Donald Fagen – The Nightfly: New songs from the former Steely Dan member
Marvin Gaye – Midnight Love: His legacy before he was killed by his father
Violent Femmes – same: Folk punk and independent folk from the US
1982 in movies – what was worth to watch:
ET – Very big hype in the US but a nice movie – nothing more
An Officer And Gentleman – Richard Gere gets famous and it was the start of a lot of movies with the same theme
48 Hours – Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. A classical buddy story with great actors. Also the start to movies with the same theme
Gandhi – Biopic about the life of Gandhi with a gigantic Ben Kingsley
Blade Runner – Mr. Scott shows us his version of the future
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid – Great homage to the classical detective movies of the 1940s with the classical dialog: ‘What does F.O.C. mean’ – ‘It’s another word for making love’
Fitzcarraldo – Klaus Kinski as a weired fan of Enrico Caruso trying to built a opera house in Peru
The World According To Garp – One of the best novels by John Irving transformed to a remarkable movie
What happened in the world in this year:
First computer virus was found on apple computers written by a 15 year old kid; Hama massacre in Syria – the first time the Assad regime starts slaughter; the European Cort of Human Rights rules that teachers who cane, belt of tase children against the wishes of their parents are in breach of the Human Rights Convention; the Falkland war begins – Argentine troops invades and occupy the Falkland Islands; Aston Villa wins the European cup by beating Bayern Munich; the Lebanon war begins when Israel troops invade in southern Lebanon under the order of Ariel Sharon; Italy wins the world championship in Spain against Germany with 3:1 – I still feel ashamed about the shame of Gijon when we stopped playing against Austria. Just keeping the ball over 60 minutes in our own half and Austria wouldn’t attack us. It was the first time I stopped watching our team; Helmut Kohl replaces Helmut Schmitt as Chancellor of Germany through a constructive vote of no confidence.
It’s another difficult decision which record touched me more this year. For sure – The Gun Club with ‘Miami’ was the best heavy record of this year. Jeffrey Lee Pierce brought us a unbelievable combination of post punk, punk blues, cowpunk and deathrock. Pierce former head of the Blondie fan-club in Los Angeles formed this band together with Kid Congo Powers who joined The Cramps beforte their first record. Some backing vocals on this record were sung by Blondie. Every song on this record is a killer. They transported CCR’s ‘Run through the jungle’ as a swamp blues into this days. Also his version of the traditional ‘John Henry’ is fast ride on speed through this song. I love this record until now and I am sure, that I’ll play it often in the future.
But the record that impressed me much this year comes from August Darnell’s Kid Creole and the Coconuts. It was the new big thing from New York and gave us a superb mixture of variety styles like Caribbean, South American and Trinidadian sounds combining this with Cab Calloway and the golden era of the big bands. The Coconuts were a glamorous trio of female backing vocalists. Their first records were well recommended by critics but not successful. The got their breakthrough with ‘Tropical Gangsters’. It is a perfect mixture of great arranged and very danceable songs. It was the record the most of my lads could agree this year and we all went to see them live in Stuttgart. It was a fantastic evening listening live to all them songs and getting a little Caribbean flair. Also their performing on stage was great. We used to watch bands playing their music mostly in rotten clothes and now we saw the musicians dressed up in style. That’s what became also popular this year – look over to ABC and it was the start into the new disco and club thing. Kid Creole opened my ears to the forthcoming sound of this kind of music.