1984, The Smiths, What difference does it make ?


1983/84 was a turning point. I started living alone in Paris the previous in year in september and very quickly I drawn into the abyss of the University. Students were boring, all from middle/upper middle class in a kind of average Telerama culture. I hated that. Instead of studying, I invested my time into concerts, my radio program, and booze, and pot, and acids… I was 18 after all. Sex was also a companion but not as much as my other gay friends. I was a rocker, not a full time queer… I went to concerts twice, three times a week. That time, people were dressed in black, and so was I.

I am a post boomer, the last wave of the boomers, and in my head was somewhere engraved memories of that Courrege style of the 60’s, and in fact, that was also a common point with the first hit of the new wave even if the 50’s were the compromise we all embrased for its stylish and elegant attitude. Drugs and booze, yes, but classy! So in this 1983/1984 winter, I bought a book edited in 1968 for a coin. « Culture Pop », it was called. It was so different, so new. Mini skirts in plastic, colorful psychedelic curtains, so anti-80’s… Gradualy, I let my hair grow, my sidebruns, bough long sleeves shirts and at the automn of 1984 I became a replica of a Grateful Dead fan in 1967! That was great, we were about 100 people like me in Paris, and Nouma Roda Gil was gathering the all of us at the Acid Rendez-vous, rue Dauphine at the legendary Taboo Club, legendary because Juliette Greco, Boris Vian, Henry Salvadore or Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir made the place famous after the war, as well as the scandalous « Miss Vice » price at the same period! I will always remember the song We love you by the Stones. The acid was starting to make its effect and the stereo of this psychedelic tune made me fly like forever. Then, the Messe pour les temps presents propulsed me into the space age of the 1960’s… I was Total…

That year, everything changed and the neo-new wave tribe exploded into many tendances. Many of my friends started to tell me I was a « baba cool », when in fact I was looking at them as the real baba cool, wearing always the same clothes, having the same attitude, listening always to the same bands despite the fact those bands did not do the same music as they used to do… I wanted some change, something new, and Phychedelia, this revival of the year 1967 was just that…

The attidude brole also in the UK, and as the gothic crowd was just becoming more and more boring, The Smith emerged as a new kind of band. The singer used to move like a 1960’s pop idoll, he was throwing roses on the audience, sending his flower shirt, he was sensual and gracy, so different from all those 1980’s singers. And the ballads of this band were gentle, attitude free. He was charming like the Charming man of his the first album… In december of 1984, at Porte de Versailles, a crowd of 500 people like me gathered to listen to the band and what we didn’t know at the time, is that we were entering into the 1990’s and eventually into the 2000’s as there are nowadays so many bands copying The Smiths without even knowing the original… I remember thos 2 brit girls, dancing at the Club La Cebale and putting their bag on the floor, dancing around on The Smiths…


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