Out of the ashes of the London punk scene of 1978 rose a new style of club. It started in Meard Street, Soho, on a Tuesday night at a club called Billy's. DJ Rusty Egan and Steve Strange provided the setting for a mixture of art students, hairdressers and fashion designers to become precursors for the New Romantic movement which defined the next style in music - a cross between the emerging New Wave (Ultravox, Gary Numan, etc.) and an escape from the reactionary image of punk. Three factors contributed to the success of the club: the music was sophisticated and danceable (Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, Human League and David Bowie), there was no violence, and the participants ultra-chic appearance. Billy's became too small and Tuesday nights moved across town to Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, in 1979, Blitz became the new location for these early rave parties and the yardstick by which all other clubs have been measured. Club for Heroes became the place to be seen in 1981. When everyone else started to do it, the duo raised close to a million pounds and transformed an old cinema (The Music Machine) into the first "full-time" club location called Camden Palace in April 1982, "Slum it in Style" on Tuesdays was the place to be. Where did Steve Strange fit into this picture? Starting out as a shop assistant at PX, he became the doorman (notorious at Blitz for letting in David Bowie but not Mick Jagger) in the early days and hosted Club for Heroes and Camden Palace. He also designed Visage and described the music as Futuristic.
Born in Wales, educated at Oakdale Comprehensive School and expelled for dying his hair orange. He was invited to London by Billy Idol. Missed out on becoming a member of Gen X after hesitating on the move. Instead he did artwork for the bands posters, advertisements and album covers. After a short lived existence in a band called the Moores Murderer's and a band called the Photons, he met up with Rusty Egan of the Rich Kids - the rest is History. On March 5th 1986, at the London Hippodrome, Steve Stange unveils his new band, Strange Cruise, which features former Photo's singer Wendy Wu on vocals. The single "Rebel Blue Rocker" was released on 24th February. He resurfaced in 1989 organising club nights around Scotland and giving interviews about how he conquered his heroin addiction.
"When we started Billy's the only music there was the Human League, the Normal, Bowie and Roxy. The Rich Kids were about to split up and had some studio time they knew they weren't going to use, so we decided to record some music we could play at Billy's - that's how Visage started." "The meaning of Visage, apart from being French for face, is that the Vis is for the visual side of the band, the Visa...well, although we canít tour at the moment, as itís impossible to get everyone together, we will do, and like (Spandau) Ballet we wonít do run of the mill stuff, it'll be select gigs - that Visa is going to take us throughout, even if it's only me and Rusty itís going to take us to America or wherever, and the Age is the new age in dance music. That's how I see it."
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