The internet was abuzz yesterday at rumours that cultural icons Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle are to reform for a series of open-air gigs next summer. The crooning legends and part-time England footballers split acrimoniously in the late eighties blaming ‘midfield differences’ and have repeatedly sniped about each other in the press ever since. Their devoted fans – many of whom even dressed like their heroes in white chinos and woollen snoods – never believed they would see such a day when the pair were even on speaking terms never mind possibly release new material. Yet according to reports in certain newspapers, and social network sites that are awash with excitement, a press conference today somewhere in Chiswick will confirm precisely this.
During their heyday the duo forged a seminal career that is widely considered to have heavily influenced such acts as Westlife, Robson and Jerome, and Gazza’s ‘Fog on the Tyne’.
Their gigs could more accurately be termed ‘events’ and in 1987 they played to many people at Cobmarsh Island in Essex, a day that has since gone down in folklore as the ‘yuppie Woodstock’.
Their biggest hit ‘Diamond Lights’ was a socio-political ode to drug addiction, an uncompromising portrayal to heroin abuse that shocked the British public and Radio 1 DJs alike.
It was Waddle who is believed to have penned the song after seeing first-hand the devastating impact the more-ish brown stuff was having on the French port city of Merseilles. After witnessing the fresh corpse of an addict slumped in the street the mulleted Geordie wandered dazed to his hotel room, picked up an acoustic guitar, and strained out the first few lines in between sobs of despair.
‘Eyes that freeze like ice
Cold electric blue those diamond lights
You were hard as stone
Solid stone, for me’
After an infamous performance of the song on Top of the Pops, where they shared the billing with the Happy Mondays and further illustrated the international devastation of the drugs trade by dressing as Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice, another city synonymous with the evil skag, the Tory government was pressured into forcing through new, tougher measures to combat the drug’s widespread availability, particularly in certain inner-city areas.
Ex-junkie Brian Westley, whose addiction once sent him spiralling into a seemingly hopeless cycle of petty crime and offering his bottom just for another fix, now runs one of the pair’s many unofficial fan sites online. He admits to having mixed feelings about the possible reunion.
‘That song changed me man. I was at an all-time low, subsisting on dead cats and flat Tizer in my grotty bed-sit. Going out each evening to score another bag of crack-dope. Then one day I was in Woolies, about to rob a VCR, when the store played Diamond Lights. The words hit me like a sledgehammer to my heart. It literally knocked the air right out of me and I had to sit on the floor, in the aisle. ‘Darling I love you, my diamond lights. I’ll always need you’. It was like I was saying the words myself! From that day forward I vowed to turn my life around. And I owe it all to Glenn and Chris. I’m just a bit worried that they might be a bit shit now’.