Friday, October 11, 2013

New Romantics Against Thatcher

What's not to love about Steve Strange? Here he is in 1984 auctioning off signed records and other pop memorabilia to raise money for the children of striking Welsh miners. I can almost hear him saying: "Who'll start the bidding for this Thompson Twins LP? Do I hear 50p?" Amongst those who donated stuff to the auction at the Oakdale Institute were his showbiz pals Boy George, Elton John and Paul McCartney. Highlight of the evening was when Steve auctioned off the gold disc for his own hit, Fade to Grey. I like to think that today it is sitting proudly on the mantelpiece of some former miner, perhaps next to a Welsh lady made out of coal or an ornamental Davy lamp. In total £600 was raised so that children of miners from the local pit could enjoy a decent Christmas. Asked about his motivation for organising the auction, he said: "I came back to see my family in Wales and seeing what the miners have been living on, I found it quite disgusting." Legend.

*Incidentally, the Oakdale Institute where the auction took place was taken down brick by brick in the late '80s and rebuilt at the Baudrillardian Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans. It re-opened to the public in 1995.