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Futura, London, 1980
(price: 90p; 192 pages)

The blurb on the back:

Four girls who shared a summer, the last delicious, fragile and bittersweet summer before womanhood. It was a time of excitement, anticipation and love.
With the Hollywood Hills so full of promises and dreams, it was a time for living. Until living was no longer a game.

It's been more than two decades since I saw this film about a group of adolescent girls in Californ-i-a, so I could be many miles wide of the mark when I say that I remember it as being fun, fun, fun. Unarguable however, is the fact that the cast was hugely impressive - even more so in retrospect - with Jodie Foster, Scott Baio, Randy Quaid, Adam Faith, Laura Dern and, best of all, Cherie Currie of the Runaways. In addition it marked the directorial debut of Adrian Lyne (later to give us trash classics like Flashdance, Nine and a Half Weeks and Lolita) and it was soundtracked by Georgio Moroder. In short, subtlety wasn't its strong suit, but - as I recall - it was cheap & cheerful, loud & proud. It may even have helped set the tone for subsequent teen flicks.

The screenplay was by Gerald Ayres and the task of turning it into a book was entrusted to Dewey Gram (who's still working on novelizations, with Gladiator a notable recent triumph). It has its moments. You wouldn't want to read it for the story, but the endless descriptions of clothes are so perfect for the period that the Victoria & Albert Museum should invest in a copy. Here's some at random:

... tight new straight-leg jeans rolled at the ankle and black spike heels ... man-styled oxford cloth shirt and OshKosh B'Gosh bib overalls ... (p.14)
... a T-shirt that had 'TOO MANY MEN, TOO LITTLE TIME' printed on it ... a burgundy Danskin ... a pair of pleated white linen pants ... an old blue and grey Hawaiian silky ... a pair of tan zoot-suit pants ... (p.56)
... cocoa-coloured satin shirt ... black-on-white Mao ... white pants and a burgundy camisole ... red Indian gauze harem pants stuck in high-heeled Andrew Geller boots, a pale salmon Dior silk blouse open to the navel, gold hoop earrings and about a pound of hanging jewellery ... (p.64)

There's more, much more, where that came from: an interesting social study of the Valley Girl in her early prime. There are also some curiously drooling portraits of 15-year-old girls: 'Annie, with her fluffy white-blonde hair, her full lips, round hips and round breasts, was a lovely child-woman, a basket of fruit.' (p.10) A basket of fruit? Really?

And just for the record, Emmylou Harris does not spell her name Emmy Lou Harris.

Appeal for information: Having not seen the film for so long, I've forgotten if there's a worthwhile answer to this, but one of the scenes involves the girls going to a gig by some punk-type outfit named Creature, with a lead singer named Sludge (at least in the book). Does anyone know who played the band?


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