Wonderful video of New Wave dance club in the 1980s


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/19/wonderful-video-of-new-wave-da.html


My childhood! I am hugging the monitor and weeping!


I would just like to say that in Part 5, I found Neil Gaiman’s Death dancing to Go! (Club Mix) by Tones on Tail. And if these were from 86-87, that’s at least two years before she showed up in his comics.


Death has always been the most fun one out of all the Endless.


Imagine this crowd not as well dressed and that’s my junior high right there.


Sure are a lot of white people in these videos. In fact, some are so white they’re almost invisible.

I can practically smell the clove cigarettes…


I’m dancing right now.


Would love to find an archive of old episodes of New Wave Theater, hosted by Peter Ivers. I remember channel surfing in the early 80’s and coming across it as part of the Night Flight segment on USA Network. Really opened my eyes to music outside my life in the suburbs.


I signed up just to comment on this thread. I spent many a night hanging out there when there wasn’t something better at the Jockey Club. Thanks for the memories!


Holy smokes. This is just a few miles from my parents’ place (I did not go dancing here nearly as much as I would have liked).


What a weird mix. Most of the clubs here were heavily segregated by style/music. You wouldn’t see such a mix of preps and goths and wavers in the clubs here during that period.

Other thoughts: Did not see anyone smoking an obvious clove, IIRC the Djarums were all dark brown or black. Also didn’t see anyone smoking Sobrane pastels or Black Russians, and finally I did not see anyone dancing with themselves in front of a mirror. Seriously, nobody looks like they are tracer-dancing/pulling-taffy/goth-fencing at all.

/Had I been at a club being filmed at this time that light would have resulted in some asocial behavior.


This was a 17+ club, with occasional all-ages nights; I don’t remember specifically if smoking was allowed inside (like I said, didn’t spend a ton of time there–not least of all because once I turned 18 I started going to Tijuana instead), but I’m going to guess no.

It is quite a mix of people! My recollection is that even people who weren’t part of any particular scene would enjoy at least some of the same music. And for under-21s there just weren’t that many places to go; I imagine this is still a problem, because how do you make money on a club if you can’t sell booze? People would come from miles around to go to this club. Hell, I’d go there now if it still existed; I’d dance to every one of those songs.

I know I’m going to watch every one of these videos, just to see if I can spot anybody I knew.


Portland had a shitload of clubs considering how small our population was. IIRC we had 2 rap clubs, remember that PDX is, even today, not a very ethnically diverse city and at the time rap was only just breaking big time with white kids, two new-wave/goth clubs (there may have been a third but I was on so much acid for so much of the time then that memory isn’t terrific in some details), and one gay club that had a dedicated goth/industrial room.

I know for a fact that one of the clubs did not make money from the door or concessions but the owner had a successful retail operation and the club was primarily run at a loss and as a harem for the owner.

There is no way you could run these places now, downtown is too expensive. Even Old-Town (the last real in town vestige of blight) is being gentrified, we lost the longest running open mic in the city tonight because of it.

There will never be another generation of cool downtown kids in my city ever again.


Yeeeeaaaahhhhh, I was wrong–cigarettes aplenty. But just normal ones, looks like. And soooooooo much hairspray.



And mousse.

I graduated high school in '85. What with all the cigarettes, it’s amazing nobody’s hair went up in flames during that era. Well, maybe 'cept Michael.


Living it up, it’s a big kick, it’s good for you.


New Wave was huge in the minority communities of the 1980s, I’m not sure why only white people would have shown up.


I used to go there all the time in high school - it was a blast. I actually spotted myself in some of the videos. What a flashback!


Growing up in Wichita, the only new wave dance club I would have possibly been able to frequent would have had a maximium attendance consisting of me, my friend, and a couple of our high school’s foreign exchange students.


Look, Ma! Fwaggles!!

Dance your cares away <clap - clap> Worries for ah-nah-ther day-oh-ay!