Monday, 11 May 2015

Magazine Monday: Smash Hits

The grass is always greener on the other side, that's the message given in this Smash Hits centre spread from the mid 1980s.

For full size pages click: ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR.


It's really awful having old-fashioned parents because... they're always telling you to turn down your new Prince LP because they can't hear Leslie Crowther on The Price Is Right and whenever you're trying to watch Top of the Pops they sit there making painful remarks like "Oh my God, is that a boy or a girl?" and "what must his parents think of him?" or they start doing the hoovering on a Saturday morning while you're trying to watch Boy George take calls on Saturday Superstore and it's even worse when you have friends over 'cause Mum has to get the photo album out and starts cooing over terrible snaps of you taken when you were about one year old and you can see your bum and everything while your dad's talking about Birmingham City's promotion prospects to your wiggy new mate who looks like Mac McCulloch and doesn't even know what a football is and as soon as you disappear upstairs under a barrage of disapproving glances, you're all being offered a tray of chocolate cup cakes and - mmm! - beakers of Ribena (really adult!) and if you bring a boyfriend or girlfriend home it's like a job interview with Dad in his new Marks & Spark's suit and Mum's had her hair done specially and you all have to sit round the table and eat sandwiches and sponge cake while they ask really embarrassing questions about how many "O" levels he or she has got and if they're planning a career in Plastics and what their parents do for a living and you're hoping they won't notice your Mum's appalling collection of little china hedgehogs nestling in the cabinet beside the telly - the shame! - and it's even worse when they have their friends round for some sort of grisly party and they demand beforehand that you "make an appearance" and "for God's sake look interested when someone talks to you" and then when everyone's had a few too many sherries they drag you downstairs and insist that you play "Mull of Kintyre" on your recorder like you used to about a hundred years ago in primary school but of course your Dad thinks he's musical anyway and most Sunday evenings drowns out the Top Forty by running through Perry Como's greatest hits on his home organ and your Mum's always so clueless when you ask her specifically to buy you the new Thompson Twins LP for your birthday and she proudly presents you on the big day with one of those "soundslike" compilation LPs of cheap cover versions of Jim Diamond and Cliff Richard 'cause it was "such good value" and when they go on holiday without you for the first time and you think "yippee! I'm going to have a really wild party" then you discover that they've arranged for Aunt Ethel to come and stay just to "keep an eye on things" and when you're trying to dash out the front door in the evening having spent literally hours getting ready to go to a party and you know they're going to go beserk when they see what you're wearing they always beat you to the door at ten times the speed of light and scream "you're not going out looking like that!" and when you've finally agreed on some kind of compromise outfit they announce that you've got to be back in by 10 o'clock by which time the party will hardly have started and you know that the second you leave they'll be scouring your bedroom for incriminating evidence of any activity they disapprove of - which covers just about everything - and removing your posters 'cause the Blu-Tack leaves nasty little marks on the gruesome old Star Wars wallpaper which you were trying to camouflage in the first place...

On the other hand

It's really awful having trendy parents because... they insist that you call them by their first names and, even worse, that your friends do, so that when they come round they can't just say "Hello Mrs Smith" they have to say "Hi Sally" or whatever as though they actually liked them and then your Dad gets really embarrassing and starts offering round glasses of Vin Blanc from his Sainsbury's wine box and muesli Original Crunch Bars, and they're floating round the kitchen in their fleecy track-suits thinking they look like Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall and joking about their hangovers and your Mum starts going on about how "sexy" Roger Taylor is or how Tom Bailey's "gorgeous" and you wish they'd just leave you alone with your friends and then there's their friends who turn up regularly for endless parties which start off with everyone ranting earnestly about saving the whale or adopting a baby seal or something and end up when they've all had too much to drink - and, God, can they knock it back! - with everyone wobbling round the front room to "Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones and cornering you for hours when you're dying to go to bed and saying things like "Duran are okay, right, but the Stones could still blow them off stage 'cause they've got so much energy" or sometimes you come home from school and your Mum's chairing her Friends of the Earth meeting and the front room's absolutely crammed with wallies with beards and Aran sweaters itching to go down the pub and start drinking gallons of real ale and then you're settling down to watch Coronation Street and your Dad starts ranting on about this "amazing" arty black-and-white silent film that Channel 4 are showing later and of course he's being really modern and doing the ironing while your Mum's out in the garage mending the car before everyone has to get together for one of those ghastly family meetings when you have to democratically decide "really important" issues like the washing-up rotas and where you're all going to go on holiday and whether you can stay the night at a party because they're encouraging you to be "responsible" and want you to know that they "trust" you and can they borrow your clothes and would you make a tape of some "new sounds" for their car stereo and when you're festering in bed on Sunday morning trying to listen to Steve Wright, they burst in trying to persuade you to go for a jog 'cause it gives you "a real buzz" and then a Shannon record comes on the radio and your Dad starts trying to breakdance in a really casual way and for Sunday dinner you can't, of course, have meat-and-two-veg like everyone else, oh no, you have to have lasagne and green salad or vegetable curry which your Dad's spent the entire day in the kitchen creating and then someone phones up for you and your Mum answers the phone and has to chat for at least ten minutes, using cringeful expressions like "mmm, heavily into that myself" or "wow, that sounds like a real hassle" and you have to wrench the phone off her before she starts reminiscing about the "incredible experiences" she and Dad had at horrible hippy rock festivals in the '60s and gazing misty-eyed at the Bob Dylan poster on the kitchen wall beside the pasta jar and then the two of them start making hideously embarrassing Public Displays of Affection - you're always trying to pretend you're not with them when they walk down to the shops holding hands - and worst of all they keep telling you that they "love" you all the time, and basically, you just wish that they'd grow up...

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