School’s out… 80’s vs Teenies

Woohoo! The Summer Holiday’s are almost here. For children and teens that means the best part of 7 weeks where you don’t have to study. For Teachers that means the best part of 7 weeks where you don’t have to spend your days chasing homework and your evenings marking. And for parents – well – that means reorganising the working week, or booking DD’s and/or DS’s into summer holiday clubs and even – if you’re lucky enough – a family holiday.

But let’s focus on the kids. It’s their break after all. So for this blog we’re stepping back in time 30 years and looking at what the mum’s and dad’s of today’s school children got up to in their summer off… and what the modern equivalent might be in 2015.

In Film

I gotta get back to 1985? Sound familiar? Probably because that’s the year that Marty McFly and Doc Emmet Brown began their time travelling escapades in the DeLorean. The first movie in the trilogy was released on 3rd July and quickly because the most successful movie of the year. Hundreds of thousands of children over the UK would have headed to the cinema to see it during the summer holidays.

For 2015 there’s more choice. Universal’s Minion’s movie is already smashing records, whilst Pixar’s Inside Out – due for release at the end of July (just in time for the first week’s of the holidays – is likely to be the season’s blockbuster.

Live Music

Festivals and big stadium filling concerts almost seem de-rigeur in 2015. Back in 1985 there was a harrowing famine in Africa and Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure had the idea of a fund-raising gig. The result – Live Aid – is now etched into music legend as one of the greatest ever gigs on earth. Technology coupled a day of non-stop music with the UK’s top acts at Wembley – with the best in the USA’s music business playing in Philadelphia. Even if you weren’t actually there you saw it, because it was broadcast live on just about every television in the western world.

This summer there’s nothing quite on the scale of Live Aid – but there is a pretty strong line up of music in London.

Recorded Music

In 2015 the kids are getting down to the sick beat of Taylor Swift – especially now she’s gained a bit more rep cranking Apple’s arm with their new Music service. Back in 1985 Madonna was the one making a similar impact – along with the likes of Duran Duran, Bruce Springsteen, Eurythmics and Dire Straits.

Back then, music was stored on a cassette – with 1 album to each tape. Being mobile meant clipping a walkman (other personal cassette players were available) onto you belt (think about five iPhone 6’s stacked one on top the other). You normally only had space for a couple of cassettes in your pockets. That’s why Mum’s and Dad’s of the teenies know the words to a specific collection of albums inside out. They’d have listened to the same songs all day – or at least until the AA batteries ran out).

In 2015 smartphones and streaming mean that virtually every track ever recorded is available on at the flick of a touch screen. That’s a powerful tool.

Making Music

If you wanted to record some music in 1985, you generally did it with a little microphone plugged into your cassette recorder – recorded ‘as live’.  Multi-track recording was the luxury of music studios, with sessions paid for by the music labels. So you generally needed to have a rich Dad, or be a reasonably established act – backed by a label.

Here in 2015 anyone can put a tune together. The likes of Garageband mean that you and your mates could spend the entire summer knocking up the autumns next best seller.

Gaming & Technology

Back in 1985 there wasn’t a massive amount of choice in gaming and technology. The Apple Mac was less than a year old, and Windows 1.0 had only just been released. You could get a few levels games on the Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum – titles such as Lunar Jetman or Manic Miner The big news in games consoles was the release of the Nintendo NES in October ’85.

In 2015 there’s more choice than most people can cope with – but this summers’  big blockbuster – despite some dodgy shenanigans by the real-world governing body – is likely to be FIFA 15.

Fresh air and activities

Back in 1985 the transport of choice for the discerning schoolboy or girl was the BMX – an abbreviation of Bicycle Motocross. They had no engine of course – but were designed to deliver offroad and freestyle potential to every driveway, estate road and residential street in the land.

BMX’s are making something of a comeback. Ask your dad – because who knows – he might have his old one somewhere in storage. You could have the coolest vintage ride to cruise around on. Something like the E.T. edition Kuwahara, Skyway TA or even (here in the UK) the blue and yellow Raleigh Tuff Burner.

The good news is that BMX’s are making something of a cult comeback – so hopefully we’ll see more kids out in the fresh air – rather than spending the entire summer in front of the games console.

Whatever you get up to over the break – stay safe and have fun.