Reason #3,875 Why The '80s Were Better: The Batcave!

I gotta hand it to my younger brother, as he occasionally managed to find a band or two that I know for a fact I would have otherwise not even noticed. Such a band was Specimen, whose four-song Sire Records EP, Batastrophe, was a brilliant mix of funk, glam and Rocky Horror Picture Show aesthetics that should have led to a full album, but never did.

Yet, for a time, Specimen and the Batcave collective were the hottest thing going on the London Underground, as evidenced by this mainstream media news clip.

Two regular attendees of the Batcave.
Now, its easy to dismiss such a clip if you are unfamiliar with the band Specimen, but I implore you to watch the entire clip from an archeological point-of-view if you must.

The thign I was most taken by was the background music used by the producers of the news clip, who thought nothing of using a Stray Cats track at the beginning, the bridge from Golden Earring's "Radar Love" and, later on, Bowie's "Heroes".

If you were doing such a thing nowadays, you'd just use a bunch of stereotypical goth anthems to set the scene, but, back then, THIS was goth and, thus, still very much in its infancy. Sure, they eventually became reasonably influential in their scarcity over the years, but, thanks to Cleopatra Records here in the States, a lot of folks finally got introduced to the music of Specimen via comps like In Goth Daze and Gothic Rock, Volume 2.

So watching this clip, which isn't so much about Specimen at all as the club and scene from which they originated. Singer Ollie Wisdom, who was the mastermind behind the Batcave, appears heavily in the news clip.

What's most refreshing is the interview footage with the kids who see the Batcave as an escape from their boring, work-a-day lives and a safe haven for expressing themselves. When the news crew interviews the father of one of the Batcave regulars, it's actually quite touching to see a parent that loving and accepting of something that brings his son true happiness, despite being completely foreign on every level to the father's sensibilities.

Just another one of the many ways life back in the '80s was just plain better.

(Now to track down one of those "kiss kiss bang bang" belts!)

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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