My Vinyl Tiger Eighties - is a trip back to the pop world of the eighties.
In case you don't know, Vinyl Tiger is the story of Alekzandr, the great queer popstar I had to invent because, well, we still haven't really got one after all these years.
Of course we've had our fair share of gender benders, and in real life, nobody did the masc/fem butchery better than our bonafide icons pictured above.
They are commonly known as pop's Holy Trinity: the three artists whose worldwide domination and unprecedented creativity made them the eighties' true pop royals.
Sure, there were a handful of artists who were almost there, or up there briefly (Whitney Houston RIP) but theirs is the music that captured the sound of that decade, and perhaps more powerfully, the images that defined the Raegan years (RIP MTV).
Back in 2009, the pop world was devastated by the death of Michael Jackson. He'd fallen out of public favour years earlier, though his genius was never questioned.
The murky circumstances surrounding his death had us scratching our heads wondering how it was possible that such a light could be extinguished by the people who were supposed to protect him.
In 2012, we were similarly shocked by the downfall of Whitney Houston- undoubtedly the owner of the 80s greatest voice. Another light gone too soon in circumstances so tragic that many still have trouble reconciling how someone with the voice of an angel could be driven to such depths and not be protected or helped by those around her.
Most eighties acts owed some form of debt to David Bowie- their pop ancestor- and certainly in the case of the holy trinity, the visual, musical and social torch that Bowie passed them as he moved on to other things certainly helped them move pop culture forward.
But as 2016 was ushered in we lost him and the outpouring of grief across the world came, as it did with Michael, and as it did with Whitney, after a prolonged period in which we took Bowie's existence and immense talent for granted.
We've just lost Prince, arguably the most innovative musician of the last century, and although the circumstances are as murky as they were initially with Jackson and Houston, as with their losses and the loss of Bowie, the avalanche of grief that we are experiencing comes after more than a decade in which we simply took him for granted. Gone too soon. But where was the love?
The empire of the eighties is crumbling my friends. Is it a matter of metaphysics that the Rolling Stones have outlived Jackson and Houston?
And, I know what you're all feeling, because I'm feeling it too. Worse than Ebola, worse than Zyka or any pathogen that can enter our system, 2016 is turning out to be a killer and it has a predilection for our greatest ever pop stars.
Today, the only remaining member of the holy trinity is Madonna.
She's weathered a lot in recent years, including a sustained press campaign against her- waged largely by the Daily Mail- which seems almost as lethal to pop acts as 2016 is proving to be.
She may have wound up her acclaimed Rebel Heart tour without anymore Capegates but she was routinely shot down by the press for her late curtain calls and for a teenage wardrobe malfunction.
Who cares if she was late on stage!? She's Madonna. And we have abandoned her in recent years. Certainly not to the level that we abandoned MJ, Prince and Bowie to, but she's been paying the price with lots of nastiness and pettiness being heaped upon her that none of her royal ilk have had to put up with.
Well, let's collectively learn from our mistakes. Let's begin to appreciate somebody BEFORE they're gone.
Let's not allow the eighties to disappear off of our maps and into the collective obituaries of the world's press.
We still have one living (for love) member of 80s pop royalty and, she is TheGreatestLivingPopStar.
So, what are we going to do to #protectMadonna?
We'll start by encouraging her to stay home for the rest of the year. She can write songs from her New York mansion and can start promoting them on January 1, 2017 when the coast is clear. She's rebellious by nature and is not going to appreciate the grounding we have to give her. So, if you see her on the footpath or crossing the street, you need to get all Boy Scouts on her ass and safely accompany her back home as part of operation #protectMadonna.
If you sense danger, you'll know it: operation #protectMadonna's theme song is Rescue Me.
If you don't sense danger but hear one of her songs you best applaud the beyish and remember that she is an international #livingtreasure
For the next eight months we have to #protectMadonna from 2016: sworn enemy of pop stars and the 1980s.
Let her do her Kabbalah thing. Let her talk about fame and how she's a single mother of four*. Let her make videos that make it seem like the mid 90s Madonna is still with us. Because now that we've lost Prince, Bowie, MJ and Whitney Houston you know that Mariah Carey is going to start trying to take credit not only for the GreatestLivingPopStar title, but also for the 80s as well- and you know she has nothing to do with either of those things.
And incase you think I'm overstating just how amazing the eighties were, watch the video below of Prince making a clean sweep at the 1984 American Music Awards. The nominees! The "black" categories.
You can have your frigging Drake/Taylor Swift/Ed Sheerhan world. I want the world in the video back- and if that's not possible, then I want us to all protect what little of it remains.
Project #protectMadonna starts now.
Dave Di Vito
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Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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