This is the first of what I hope to be a weekly feature – blog posts that cover each year of my life since my birth in 1987; mainly the things that interest me that happened/were released or conceived that particular year. This will include happenings in the world of music, video games, literature and television that are of particular importance or nostalgia to me. I’m hoping that this will give my followers a better idea of where my interests and passions in life lie 🙂 So we begin with this entry with 1987 – for I was born on January 30th of that year. So join me now on a journey to 29(!) years back in time…
In the news:
- June 11 – The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, led by Margaret Thatcher, is re-elected for a third term at the 1987 general election.
- June 12 – During a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
- October 11 – The first National Coming Out Day is held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
- October 15–16 – Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane-force winds hit much of southern England, killing 23 people. – (Being only 9 months old at the time, apparently I slept right through this!)
- January 30
- February 22
- March 28
R.E.M. : It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (Document, 1987)
1987 saw the release of R.E.M.’s fifth studio album, Document (one of my favourite bands), which included this famous track. The lyrics are delightfully nonsensical – from the sharp, venomous ‘You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light’ to the fluffy delight of ‘Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom’. They may have some kind of deeper meaning, however – according to Wikipedia:
The track is known for its quick flying, seemingly stream of consciousness rant with a number of diverse references, including a quartet of individuals with the initials “L.B.” (Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs). In a 1990s interview with Musician magazine, R.E.M.’s lead singer Michael Stipe claimed that the “L.B.” references came from a dream he had in which he found himself at a party surrounded by famous people who all shared these initials.
I’m just a little bit obsessed with The Simpsons – a die-hard fan, I suppose. Admittedly I have stopped watching new episodes, as I personally believe (as do many others, evidently) that the show has gone rather downhill in recent years, and that I wouldn’t be sorry to see it cancelled now (The next season will be the 28th!!!) However, it will always be a show very close to my heart – I grew up watching repeats on Sky One, and Seasons 1-8 are near enough flawless. I was not a fan from the very beginning – given that I was only three months old when this short first aired – but I saw this particular short, ‘Good Night’ many years later, as it was shown in a Season 7 episode of the series proper (that was essentially a glorified clip show). Yes, the animation is rather crude and the family is not quite as we now know them, but this short is still somewhat humorous – it was the humble beginnings of what would become a global phenomenon, essentially. There were 48 of these shorts in all, and then it was commissioned as a full, half-hour series two years later in 1989 (which we’ll talk about when we get there)
So if you’re curious – here is the introduction of our favourite family to the world!
In Video Games:
Shenmue: One of my favourite game series of all time (and finally getting a third game!), Shenmue, is set mainly in 1987, beginning in late December 1986 – whether you see 1987 in the first game depends on how fast you progress through the story, but the second game takes place entirely in that year. The 80’s flavour is seen everywhere – from our protagonist Ryo’s fashion sense to the games seen in the local arcade, and a small town in Japan in the late 80’s is a unique setting for an adventure/RPG game. The first game was released in Europe in 2000, so I’ll be talking more about the game in detail when we eventually get there 🙂
August 22nd: The Legend of Zelda released in America and Europe
I actually didn’t get into the Zelda series until much, much later – the first one I played was Twilight Princess when I got the Wii in 2006 (and I am currently playing through the HD re-release on Wii U). This was because I was mainly a Sega boy growing up – indeed, the Master System was also released in Europe a month later in September -it was only when they ceased producing hardware after the Dreamcast (Shenmue, mentioned above, was released for that very console, neither the DC or the game doing particularly well, sadly), that I began to purchase Nintendo consoles. I have attempted to play the first NES game, but I fear it is a little too intimidating for me – this was back in the days where you were just thrown right in, with very little hints or clues as to what to do – its apparently possible to get so far in one of the game’s dungeons, only to find out you can’t progress because you don’t possess a certain item obtained elsewhere on the game’s map – this can even happen to you if you get to the final boss! – but I thought I would include the anniversary of the franchise’s debut here. I’ll talk about the games in the series I have played as we get to them 🙂
So that wraps up for 1987! Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. See you next time!
Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M