“You’re the voice, try to understand it. Make a noise and make it clear! WOOOOOAAAAHHHH OOOOHH WOOOOAAAHH OOOH WOOOOOOAAAAHHH!”
That’s how I remember John Farnham’s 1986 hit. I mostly remember it being played in every roller skate rink in the country for many years after it was released. I think it was actually 1987 that we travelled to WA to visit my mum’s sisters and I first had a go at roller skating in Perth’s giant rink at the age of 3. I loved skating. I’m still rather good at it, I just don’t do it much any more. The other song I remember from 1986, becaues it was played all over the place all the time, was Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al. Graceland got high rotation in my house that year.
Things what did happen in 1986
It was a sad year, 1986, full of things going wrong and blowing up.
In April that year, the Space Shuttle Challenger launched and exploded, killing all seven crew. It was watched live by millions, because one of the crew was Christa McAuliffe who had been picked to be the first Teacher in Space and the first woman. Although I don’t remember it myself, I do remember my mother talking about what a huge shock it was and how it put everyone off space travel for a long time.
It was also in April that the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, releasing radioactive contamination into the atmosphere and making Chernobyl a household name for all the worst reasons.
The thing that’s stuck in most people’s heads about the nuclear disaster is the on-going effect it’s having on the children born near the area since 1986. I grew up with stories about deformed children and children dying of cancer due to exposure to the radioactive atmosphere. It doesn’t make me a fan of anything nuclear, that’s for sure.
In much smaller exploding news, the Russell Street Police Headquarters in Melbourne were bombed, killing Angela Taylor, the first female police officier to die on duty in Australia. It was huge news in Australia, a place not known for it’s bombings. Four men were arrested and found guilty of murder, among other charges, and the case left a psychological scar in Victoria for many years to come.
1986 was also the year that saw the People Power Revolution in the Philippines achieve its goal by ousting Ferdinand Marcos as president and returning the country to democracy.
It’s all about me
I can’t think of anything particularly interesting happening in my little world in 1986. It was just a year of music that sticks in my head and stories that will last with me for all the wrong reasons for the rest of my life from places far away.