Here Come the Girls

Today marks International Women’s Day and we would like to celebrate the female music fans across the U.K who uploaded their memories to the People’s History of Pop.

Here are a few highlights from the collection..

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Original source:
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)
Original source:

My first gig, January 1978

The first gig you ever go to is something of a rite of passage. Perhaps you were, as I was, under-age and with tender ear-drums. Getting through the doors past the bouncer, in spite of being nearly four years under eighteen (and him being the size of a house), wasn’t a problem (perhaps because I was a girl…?) Even the process of buying a pint of cider at the bar was painless. Coping with the volume was something that got easier as the night wore on. But concealing my excitement at seeing a band I really admired up there on the stage, in all their real, raw glory, playing songs I’d only previously heard in session on John Peel’s radio show, was impossible. My first, proper gig was Siouxsie & the Banshees at a club called Triad in Bishop’s Stortford, January 1978. Cee

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA)
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA)


Ready, Steady Goer!

This goes way back to the 1960s when I was about 16 or 17 and regularly attended recordings of Ready, Steady Go. I was on the list of dancers for the programme and clearly remember dancing with The Hollies – great stuff. I used to go with my school friend, Stella and we just loved to dance and see all the pop stars. Once a floor manager grabbed a boy who was standing near us when we were dancing like crazy and he yelled at the poor guy, ‘dance with them, dance with them.’ Great memories’. Frankee



Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA)
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA)


Spice Girls birthday party

The classic birthday party of the 90’s… get four of your best friends together and each dress up as one of the spice girls! You were bound to be chosen to be a member in at least one birthday party a year! Hanna Benjamin.

Share you music memories at PHOP.CO.UK

A brief history of music & t-shirts

P1070759Your granddad might not have worn a Frank Sinatra tee, but once t-shirts became part of casual wear in the early 1950s, it didn’t take long for them to become the ultimate statement item. Like carrying a record around (but a lot easier), wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the name of your favourite band tells everyone on the street exactly what music you like and, of course, what tribe you belong to.

In the 1970s, designers like Vivienne Westwood tapped into the emerging anti-establishment mentality of British youth with slogans designed to shock. Billed as “the ultimate punk-rock T-shirt”, her design featuring a swastika and inverted crucifix under the word “Destroy” became iconic of a musical and social movement.

In fact it was Johnny Rotten’s t-shirt that first caught the attention of future Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren, in the summer of 1975. Walking down the Kings Road with the words “I Hate” scribbled above a Pink Floyd logo evidently displayed his potential to become the snarling face of punk rock.

In the 1980s, designer Katherine Hamnett used bold prints to fuse fashion with social issues. In their 1983 video for Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, pop band Wham! wore her print, “CHOOSE LIFE”, prompting millions of fans to adopt the slogan, which promoted an anti-drug and anti-suicide campaign.

The idea of using the humble tee to send a message caught on. In 1984 the BBC banned Relax, the debut single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood for its “explicitly sexual” lyrics. Inevitably it went straight to Number 1 and record label owner Paul Morley’s idea of printing “FRANKIE SAYS RELAX” onto white t-shirts turned millions of fans into protest billboards. The t-shirt was so iconic it is still one of the most popular slogans, long after the band’s career ended.

Do you still have your favourite band t-shirt? This Friday is BBC 6 Music’s Wear Your Band T-shirt to work day so show off your old tee by tweeting a picture using #tshirtday.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to upload your music merchandise and memories to or email

Missing the Sex Pistols for disco

The Sex Pistols gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976 was legendary, with the likes of a young Morrissey and members of what would become Joy Division in the audience. A lot of people have claimed to have been there, but we were pleasantly surprised this week to have a PHOP contributor resolutely admitting to not being there. Instead, user terri.web was at the Pips disco club, where he was a member, celebrating his birthday in the Bowie/Roxy music room. Here’s his tale:

“I joined in February 1976. Pips was a disco Club with three separate parts playing different music in each. Clothing was very specific. I generally went into the Bowie/Roxy Music part, hence the suit and narrow tie etc. I was at Pips the night The Sex Pistols played The Free Trade Hall. Very annoying in retrospect. It was my Birthday. Well that is my excuse!!”

All about the BOY


BOY Bondage Trousers by Graham Carr Jones licensed under CC BY-SA
BOY Bondage Trousers by Graham Carr Jones licensed under CC BY-SA


Graham Carr Jones bought these trousers from BOY LONDON on the Kings road  in 1978/79. The addition of a Tartan “bum flap” was inspired from Graham’s original bondage trousers bought in a shop near Brick Lane.

BOY LONDON was founded by Stephane Raynor and John Krivine in 1976 and became the go to place for cool kids, pop stars and pop artists to buy their BOY logo T-shirts and bondage gear.

“We just wanted to open a shop, call it BOY, start trouble”
Stephane Raynor. Source: Now or Never

During the 1980s the brand became linked to musicians including Boy George and the Pet Shop Boys which you can read more about in this Q&A with Stephane Raynor for Rolling Stone. 

This fun promo video from the 1980s shows that nothing can escape brand BOY.

“Everyone knew BOY was a joke,” says John Krivine. “But the kids from the suburbs were buying like mad.”  Source: Pretty Real 

In 2008, an original pair a BOY LONDON bondage tartan trousers and matching jacket was sold at a Christie’s auction for over £600.

The brand continues to be popular today with pop stars such Rihanna, Wiz Kalifa and Nicki Minaj all wearing the label.

Did musicians influence the way you dressed as a a teenager or the way you dress now?  

Where did you shop to recreate that pop star look?

Share your story at PHOP.CO.UK