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Whispers at the No.1 party

No.1 is 1. You are invited to the first birthday party of Britains best selling pop weekly at Busbys, Tottenham Court Road, on Tuesday, May 1, 7.30 till late.”

Thats what the invite said — and thats where most of Britains pop people were to be found last week. As some wit remarked, if youd put a bomb under Busbys on Tuesday youd have wiped out the entire music business at a stroke.

Who was there? Easier to say who wasnt — those stars who either werent in the country or were out on tour. And even some of them made it…

Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet actually flew home from Germany especially to help No.1 celebrate, while The Shillelagh Sisters hammered back from a gig in Birmingham only to arrive at the clubs door just as it was closing around 2.30!

Meanwhile The Thompson Twins, on tour in the States, kindly sent a specially inscribed silver disc (for ‘Into The Gap) in their place!

But the full cast list in attendance that starry night — deep breath — read something like this:

Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Nick Heyward, Wham, The Belle Stars, New Order, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Tom Robinson, Captain Sensible, Blancmange, Helen Terry, Animal Nightlife, JoBoxers, Haircut 100, Imagination, Sade, Bourgie Bourgie, Orange Juice, Jerry Dammers of The Special AKA, Depeche Mode, Shirlie Holliman and Dee C. Lee, Spider, Thor, Jocelyn Brown, Freur, Blue Rondo, Mari Wilson, Marillion, The Truth, Modern Romance, Matt Bianco, Edwin Starr, Helen And The Horns, Phil Fearon, Yvonne French, Steve Strange, Pat Nevin of Chelsea FC… and that was only the ones we spotted in the ladies room.

No wonder No.1s pneumonia-struck Paul Simper climbed out of his hospital bed to boogie on down!

Nick Heyward was looking cute in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, and shocked us all by actually laughing and chatting with Haircut Les Nemes.

The Wham boys turned up covered in mossy bites after shooting the video for Georges ‘Careless Whisper (not about us, surely?) in Miami. Turning up at all was quite a feat — theyd only got off the plane at Heathrow that morning, and were still going strong after a 30-hour day!

Miranda Belle Star spent the evening canoodling with Frankies teen idol Mark OToole, while Paul Rutherford generated the heat on the dance floor.

Siouxsie arrived late, nattering away to Animal Nightlifes Andy Polaris.

Bourgie Bourgie left early — they had an LP to record in Bavaria.

Martin Kemp was looking a bit worried in case he got mobbed by star-spotting hacks. But at least he was there.

Poor old Steve Norman got left behind in Munich after Spands manager Steve Dagger put his foot down and wouldnt let him leave the recording studio. Never mind, Steve — well buy you a bevvy next year!

Blancmanges Stephen Luscombe got all tetchy, as did Chelsea dribbler Pat Nevin, complaining because no one recognised him and then desperately trying to get New Orders autographs.

As strong drink took its toll, various people disgraced themselves (a big hi to No.1 photographer Neil Matthews!).

Meanwhile onstage Gary ‘Motormouth Crowley marshalled an impressive array of guest performers.

Dee C. Lee gave notice of her intent to hit the top of the charts with a dynamic performance of her next single ‘Yippi Yi Yo, backed up by Switch presenter Yvonne French and Boy Georges make-up artist Lynne Easton.

American heavy metal heavyweight Thor stunned the rabble to silence by blowing up a hot water bottle until it exploded! Top pop stars all around were seen going pale with terror.

Phil Fearon of Galaxy decided not to risk breaking his neck with a backflip off the tiny stage, but delivered a rousing version of ‘What Do I Have To Do, while Matt Bianco were spied ‘Sneaking Out The Back Door.

But the star of the show turned out to be soul veteran Edwin Starr. His new single — ‘Marvin a tribute to Marvin Gaye — brought a tear to the eye, while his brilliant original version of ‘War brought tears to the eyes of an awestruck gaggle of Frankies, whove just covered it for their next B-side.

Finally at 3.00am, Busbys manager Vic Sparrow gave his verdict: “That was the best party weve had here since John Travolta came down for the premiere of Saturday Night Fever.”

That night, Robert Stigwood gave every guest a magnum of champagne each. No.1 editor Phil McNeill settled for lager and limes — but he did promise that next year well have a real party…

A clash of the titans (well, they chinked glasses anyway). Thor prepares to kick ass onstage while No.1 editor Phil McNeill threatens to kick ass lithe staff arent in on time next morning.

Dee C. Lee, make-up artist Lynne Easton (left) and former Switch presenter Yvonne French (right) do the locomotion. Meanwhile out on the dance floor theyre breaking (their necks, that is).

So thats what friends are for! Nasher, Ped and Paul from Frankie Goes To Hollywood support each other. What a nice girl like Helen Terry was doing with this lot we cant imagine. And we never did identity the jolly mustachioed gent on the end. Perhaps he was Frankie.

Gary Crowley, DJ of Capital Radio and Earsay, amazes partygoers with his ability to spin discs, introduce PAs, conduct three different conversations and spot someone who isnt dancing — all at the same time.

Orange Juices Edwyn Collins takes the salute for the passing out parade.

Thor and Dee C. Lee demonstrate the musclemans method of picking up girls at parties.

Making up is hard to do. But head Haircut Les Nemes was later caught chatting to his old friend and foe Nick Heyward.

In the absence of Bryan Ferry, Bourgie Bourgies supersmooth socialite Paul Quinn does a passable imitation.

Oooh, he is awful. But we like him anyway. And so does Helen Terry, judging by the way shes snuggling up to Blancmange bad boy Stephen Luscombe…

Tim Parker and Graham Smith, No.1 (piss) artists, take over the disco turntables.

Romance in the air. Modern Romance, that is. They werent in the air actually. Everytime we saw them, they were at the bar…

Were getting married in the morning… amazing what 15 cans of lukewarm light ale and a few party streamers can do to a chap, especially when hes not too Sensible. Phil Fearon supports the blushing bride…

Mari Wilson, bereft of beehive but with a beaming drummer boy.

Well, what would you do with this lot? Phil Fearon surveys the dance floor and seems to be having second thoughts about taking the stage. (Photo: Terry Beasley)

Were not sure what caused Blancmanges Neil Arthur to look so choked. But we think hed just sampled the No.1 cocktail — a venomous puce-coloured blend of very strong spirits.

This has to be the stuff that soul legends are made of. Sixties Motown veteran Edwin Starr (left) meets up with young British soulboys Phil Fearon and Imaginations Leee John. Making up the quartet is disco diva Jocelyn Brown.

When youre young and in love… you dont want a photographer sneaking in on your romantic moments. Mark from Frankie and Miranda from The Belle Stars look suitably startled as Tony Mottram catches them in the act…