Six 80s pop acts who wish they'd planned better for their retirement

THE doyens of the Smash Hits era are now in their 60s, with many still forced to crank out the old hits on punishing 80s retro tours. Could these acts have prepared better for their twilight years?

The Human League

Phil Oakey could write a good tune, so they just needed to move with the times. In the 90s they should have ditched the synths, got some jangly guitars, and hey presto – The Human Britpop League. It would have been great to see The Lebanon (Dance Mix) trouncing Wonderwall in the charts, and Susan Ann Sulley telling Liam Gallagher to learn some bloody manners as if she was his mum. 


He could be coining it in, doing a few gigs a year in December with the reunited Smiths and spending the rest of the year with his feet up watching his Coronation Street box sets with a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea in a Union Jack mug. But no, Morrissey had to spend his dotage in LA ruminating on what a terrible place Britain had become since reggae was allowed in the charts. 

Shakin’ Stevens

That Shakin’ Stevens is on the brink of releasing a new album aged 75 is a sorry tale. It would have been better if he’d retired aged 21. Not from his financial standpoint, he’d be eating own-brand baked beans on a basic state pension, but for the cultural health of the nation generally.

Boy George

Instead of spending his savings on smack and having to do I’m A Celebrity, George could have reinvented himself as ‘Man George’. He would have been as respected a public figure as Sir David Attenborough, but his insistence on sticking with an outdated moniker left him languishing on the sidelines. That and kidnapping a rent boy and chaining him to a wall which, to our knowledge, Sir David has never done.

Adam and the Ants

It’s reported that when Adam Ant received his first major royalty payment, he spent the money on 48 Harley-Davidsons, which, as any accountant would tell you, represents 48 instantly depreciating assets. Had he changed the name of the group to Adam and the Accountants in the mid-80s, with a change of sartorial style and more prudent financial approach, Adam and his fellow dandy highwaymen would be quids in today.

Andrew Ridgeley

The exception that proves the rule. Andrew looked after the royalties and devoted the last 40 years to pure pleasure and self-indulgence, declining to set foot near a recording studio and besmirch Wham!’s good name with mediocre vanity albums. F**k, don’t we all wish we were less-talented, nose-jobbed pretty boy Andrew?

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'Want to go for a drink?' and other phrases that could possibly mean 'Fancy a shag?'

THINKING of making idle chat? Be careful. If you use any of these phrases, you might inadvertently be asking someone if they’d like to have sex.

‘Want to go for a drink?’

The sexual subtext couldn’t be any more obvious. Drinks lead to being drunk which leads to sex. While useful when talking to someone you fancy, this phrase makes the request of a platonic pint somewhat difficult. You can’t follow it up by saying ‘I don’t want to bone you’, even if it would sensibly avoid confusion.

‘Are you free this evening?’

There are a few ways this could go. It could be a romantic interest sniffing out the opportunity for a quick bang, or it could be your boss asking if you’re able to work overtime. Don’t get your hopes up that it’s your hot boss angling for a shag in the stationery cupboard though. That only happens to porn stars and your more attractive colleagues.

‘Have you been working out?’

This is a polite way of saying, ‘Wow, you’re not as fat as I remember!’ But it could also mean ‘I want to ride your bones until you forget what day of the week it is!’ If the person who said this is amorously stroking your chest and doesn’t look jealous of your new toned physique, you might be in there.

‘We should get dinner sometime’

A meal is a great way to catch up with a mate, but it could also be a first course of foreplay before the f**king commences. When asking someone you’re not attracted to if they’d like a meal, it helps to be curt and direct, eg. “Dinner? Tomorrow, 7pm, two-for-one deal at Pizza Express. Bye.’ Although if they’ve been single for yonks they’ll think that’s the most romantic thing ever.


When said by a man, this is a straightforward if somewhat camp greeting. But when said by a woman, this is her crafty feminine way of scoping out a shag. Unless it isn’t. It’s hard to tell with them and depends on how desperate you are. Assume they’re not interested until they’re forced to awkwardly spell it out by saying ‘I would like to have sex with you’, and even then it’s a good idea to double-check and get written confirmation.