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December 02, 1983 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-12-02
This is a tabloid page

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Spandau Ballet
Clutch Cargo's Productions
Royal Oak Music Theater
8 p.m., Sunday, November 4
By Mare Hodges
E NGLAND has enjoyed a long rock 'n
roll history that began with the
Beatles in the '60s and continues today
with groups such as the Clash, ABC and
Modern English. Until recently,
however, one of England's better con-
temporary pop-dance bands has been
overlooked in the pages of that coun-
try's history book. That band is Span-
dau Ballet.
This London quintet's first live per-
formance took place in November, 1979
but theydidn't receive exposure on ur-
ban contemporary and rock radio in
America until May '83. That's three-
and-a-half years of overlooking a band
that now has three top-10 hits to its
name-"True," "Lifeline," and "Gold"
all from their LP True.
True, Spandau Ballet's most suc-
cessful album to date, is "an honest
album, very much written truly from
the heart" said drummer John Keeble
in a recent interview. "It's by far the
most accomplished album (we've
recorded) and the best songs, really."
Spandau Ballet has recorded a total of
three albums, but aside from those
people who prided themselves on their
secret appreciation of the band before
True, not many recognized Spandau
Ballet's earlier efforts.
Journeys to Glory, Spandau Ballet's
first release, contained three club hits
in England but went almost
unrecognized across the Atlantic. The
band produced several extended re-

LAST YEAR at 'this time, I was
faced with the weighty dilemma of
coming up with something viable for
the year-end issue of Weekend. I ended
up commenting on some of 1982's silliest
things, and since then, I've become
friend to few, but icon to many.
Perhaps such end is a just one; but ain't
that, after all, a fate all we media hyp-
sters face?
So be it. And now we segue into 1984,
but not without commenting on a few of
'83's happenings in a new, Daily-
approved format, that being the Chut-
The meter, a creation of University
Professor Tom Junior, measures the
degrees of chutzpah (and chutzpah-
related byproducts) once they are fed
into the mechanism. So without further
delay, let's proceed with our latest
technological breakthrough, shall we?
On the quasi-chutzpah front, we

have Elizabeth Taylor and Richard
Burton's reunion in Noel Coward's
Privafe Lives. Lots of photos came
over the laser photo machine on this great
occasion, but Liz and Dick were predic-
tably reticent on the lovey-dovey.
From quasi we move into the realm
of pseudo-chutzpah. Accordingly,
there are many examples falling under
this banner of scrutiny. Orson Welles
continued to rule the Kingdom of
Waisted Talent by continuing to act as
spokesperson for Paul Masson, a wine
that is barely a step above airplane
fare. Remember Citizen Kane, Ors?
We do ... Furthermore, the Rolling
Stones gave chutzpah an impassioned
effort with Undercover of the Night, a
truly awful album with titillating cover
art that promised more than it
delivered. Mr. Jagger played up his
40th birthday to the proverbial hilt, but
if the signs are all accurate, this might
be the proper time for Mick to begin a
home computer school course.
Brooke Shields' admittance to Prin-
ceton, they of the ivy-encrusted
trellises, rated a flaccid-chutzpah on
the meter, as did, I've heard from
secret sources, Brooke's first-term
grades. Yikes!
What a year, eh? We could blanketly
award a number of films for superior

chutzpah - like Risky Business
or Cujo. However, it's easier to
attack the rash of whimpy-chutzpah
flicks, most hyped by big-budget
studios who didn't realize what turkeys
they had on their hands - The Star
Chamber, Twilight Zone, Lovesick,
Brainstorm, Flashdance, The Big Chill.
And speaking of the latter: alumnus
Lawrence "Larry to his pals" Kasdan
pulled the ultimate instance of reverse-
chutzpah by dumping The Big Chill on
an otherwise unwary world, out for
yucks and bucks but devoid of emotion.
As for judgmental chutzpah, The
Day After, TV's controversial depresso-
showcase of nuclear fallout blues, takes
the cake for impact on both sides of the
coin. What other film could prompt
both Bill Buckley and Ted Koppel to be
so whacky?
And en the front of future chutzpah
- the decline and fall of the video em-
pire seems not-quite-here yet, but
maybe Michael Jackson's obscenely
overpriced ($1,200,000 for 14 minutes)
.video of "Thriller" will signal the
demise of a troublesome and
economically monstrous industry.
Just a few examples, all falling under
the column heading of tedium chut-
zpah: all-denim outfits, turned-up
collars, and Walkmans. As to chut-
zpah-to-come, we predict that
knickers will be back in '84.
On the local front, we have the arrival
of Ann Arbor's latest Diag demiurge,
Stoney Burke. Burke has made many a
day of adroit preaching, military one-
twos, and otherwise plain doldrumness
more than bearable. For that, hats off,
and a sincere inner-chutzpah notation
to the Stone-man.
For reverting back to Judaism - or
maybe even plain ol' atheism - Bob
Dylan deserves a chameleon-
chutzpah pat on the back; Al Haig's
word-in-edgewiseness gets a temper-
men tal/tolerant-chutzpah reading;
Karen Carpenter, some diet chutzpah;
and Pizza Bob's on State St. a mega-
chutzpah for adding Diet Coke to their
soda machine. Talk about buckling un-
der the knuckles of oppression . . .
Locally, the Progressive Student
Network deserves some sincere-chut-

Spandau Ballet: Pas de cinq
mixed versions of tunes from this
album, an innovation for the entire
world of white syntho-pop music at that
time. "At first we didn't play very
much,' we promoted our records
through 12-inch singles, which is one of
the big things that's changed the (rock
'n roll) business," Keeble says. "We
were the first white band to make the
extended 12-inch dubbed mix of a single
and nowadays it's very much the norm."
Their experimenting with the 12-inch
single also led them into musical ex-
perimentation, the result being their
second LP Diamond, released in 1981.
The album was split into two distinct
parts with a mode of hybrid funk on side
one while on side two the band ex-
perimented with Oriental instruments
like chengs and tablas. Unfortunately,
songs from this LP again went
unrecognized, being played only on
late-night neo-rock public radio stations
here in the U.S.

True was recorded last year and was
a step in a much different direction for
the band. Now the group was co-
producing with Tony Swain and Steve
Jolley, best known for their work with
Imagination and Bananarama. "We're
not a band that needs heavy production
or lots of production ideas because
we've got quite strong ideas about how
things should sound," says Keeble of the
tightly polished production on True.
"We arrange everything before we go
into the studio and now True is a more
accomplished part. We know our way
around the studios now and we know
exactly what we want," Keeble ex-
plains. "And also Gary's (Kemp) songs
are the strongest he's ever written by- a
long way."
The production department isn't left
behind when Spandau Ballet hits the
road either. "We've got quite a big.
stage production-lots of backdrops,
lots of rises. It's pretty lively onstage

and I think we're a lot rockier live than
people expect us to be," Keeble reveals.
"I don't know what sort of preconcep-
tions Americans really got about us
'cause I think a lot of people will come
to see us to hear 'True' and think it will
be quite a low-key show, but that
couldn't be farther from the truth.
We're probably one of the most
energetic bands in the world today."
The odd meaning of the band's name
hardly depicts their distinct style of
music. "Actually just some friends of
ours saw it (Spandau Ballet) written on
.a toilet wall in Germany. It sounded
good at the time and actually there's no-
real reasoning behind it. I think ac-
tually it was a ballet company but
they're now defunct," Keeble says.
Let's be happy that Spandau Ballet the
band didn't go in the same direction as
Spandau Ballet the dance company,
which went down the drain, so to speak.

Brooke: F
zpah for t
peers, the ]
was ill-bal
edge bet%~
comedy. 1
The Unive
research g
stagnan t-
the, splittir
the rate
suffering f
for nothing
The Ghoi
quality has
And 1984
chutzpah w
same place
the breeze.

Stew Art.
AS t



& flops
THERE'S NO WAY you can look at
TV '83 and call it just another
season.' After all, the networks were
practically jumping out of their skin to
save those precious few viewers who
weren't defecting to Cableland, and to
do it took more than just another cop
show or The Love Boat Goes to
Chad. For once, a substantial amount
of viewers didhave another choice, and
the stakes rose accordingly.
You can break 1983 into three basic
categories - high concept, great trash,
and relentlessly horrible. High concept
is any show that still makes you think
minutes after turning off the set. Great
trash is anything to do with nasty,
backbiting families (a la Dynasty), and

the relentlessly horrible is something
we've all become so accustomed to in
TV (and in real life, for that matter)
that it's hardly worth mentioning. But
lets take a look, shall we?
No discussion of TV '83 is complete
without mentioning the farewell
episode of M*A*S*H. The most highly
rated single program in television
history, this weepy farewell finally
layed to rest the most transparently
"serious" bleeding heart liberal
program since man crawled out of the
slime. Full of "relevance" and
"humanity," Alan Alda's home movies
massaged our hearts and minds to the
breaking point. Gee, war is hell, isn't
High concept was the sophisticated
buzzword of 1983, with programs like
Hill St. Blues and St. E1sewhere in-
troducing the previously film-only
techniques of overlapping situations,
sloppy camerawork, and seemingly
improvised psychodrama. Certainly a
commendable acheivement by any
standards, these shows hit you in the
stomach andin the head.
But there's more to high concept that
documentary realism. 1983 was the in-
troduction of Dabney Coleman as Buf-
fallo Bill, the most uncompromising
S.O.B. in the history of television. Ar-

chie Bunker had his confused, humane
values as an audience escape valve.
Who could hate such a man? Not so with
Bill. He doesn't seem selfish, uncaring
and manipulative - he is. Bill is the
side of ourselves we don't often like to
acknowledge, and it's groundbreaking
Need we go into this? We all have
favorites. Without a doubt, though,'83
was the year of Dynasty. Who can
forget the poison paint, or all those
great outfits? Joan Collins as Alexis
(also 1983 Bitch of the Year) could
grind J.R. to dust with a delicate touch
of her seven-inch spiked heels. These
shows are superanuated soap operas,
chock full of concentrated menace,
passionate sex, and men (and women)
who will stop at nothing to get what they
want. In short, it's real life without the
boring parts in between.
Oh, where to begin? This year there's
Trauma Center, which proved that Lou
Ferrigno was better suited as the In-
credible Hulk, and We Got It Made,
almost single-handedly keeping sexism
alive on American TV.
Hands down winner, though, has to be
Manimal. You know - the private
detective who can change himself into
any one of God's creatures. You'd have

Great food, gorgeous setting. girl talk, or "just plain talk."
Try the fettuccini shrimp. For For lunch or dinner, "this is
k. cnc ~t the nla-c1

business taIK,

3150 S. Boardwalk (near Briarwood)
Ann Arbor " Phone 668-1545

II p~ c;W.

Alda: Pset
to create a
- say, low
since gone
use it as
bothering %
TV '83. A
better (or,
answer is -

100 Weekend/December 2, 1983W

3.; Weekend/December 2, 1983'

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