- Election of Ronald Reagan as US President in 1980 heralds a shift to the political Right and the ascendancy of the ‘Moral Majority’. Reagan’s ‘War On Drugs’ not a complete success.
- Launch of ‘lifestyle’ mags The Face and i-D in UK.
- John Lennon murdered in NYC, 1980.
- 1981: MTV airs; IBM introduces its Personal Computer (PC). Apple brings first icons, mouse and ‘pull-down’ menus with its Macintosh in 1984. Microsoft follows with ‘Windows’ in ’85.
- Spread of feminist principles brings rise of ‘Ms’ and more women retaining their own surnames after marriage. Meanwhile Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles July 29, 1981.
- Identification and naming of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (A.I.D.S.) in 1982.
- Introduction of CD, 1982.
- Space Invaders invade; followed by Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros as video and computer games take off.
- DJs in Chicago experimenting with a Roland TB-303 synthesizer-sequencer (as one does) create the core ‘squelch’ sounds for Acid House in the mid ‘80s.
- PROZAC anti-depressant licensed 1987. In the same year the Fender company opens its ‘Custom Shop’ for unique, one-off guitars – indicative of increasing demand for individual, personalized
products in all areas.
- Writing in the September 1987 issue of Vancouver Magazine, Douglas Coupland labels those born between 1958 and 1966 as ‘Generation X’.
- Fall of Berlin Wall, 1989.
By the end of the 1970s, as the excitement of Punk began to fade, journalists throughout the West launched a frantic search for the next youth ‘cult’. What should have caught their attention was the B-Boys (the ‘B’ standing for breakdancer) and the Flygirls (‘fly’ meaning sexy, fashionable, hip) emerging in the Afro-American neighbourhoods of New York City. Adopting and extending the ‘rapping’ or ‘MCing’ techniques brought to NY by Jamaican immigrants (together with their ‘sound systems’ and interest in street parties) a new generation of Black American musicians, dancers and visual stylists were taking streetstyle and youth culture back to its roots in the 1940s – when the jazz loving Afro-American Zooties were strutting their stuff in NYC.By the end of the ‘80s Rap or Hip Hop would be seen as a if not the key development in youth culture, music and streetstyle during this time but at the start of the 80s what all the journalists were looking for was something altogether less threatening – ideally it would involve fairly harmless white kids in amusing fancy dress, preferably, as with Punk, in London.