That was the year: 1980

Among other things 1980 saw a young U2 release their debut album Boy. © Martyn Goddard/Corbis

We delve back into the GT archives and annals of history to look at a year in guitar playing, music and world events. This time…


Double-neck guitars return to the Carvin catalogue with two models now in production. The DN612 couples six- and 12-string hardtail guitars with twin pickups, ebony fingerboards, pearl dot inlays, chrome hardware and individual inputs.

The DN640 features standard guitar and four-string bass with the same features as the DN612. Both are available in natural or black finish.

Burns reintroduces the Marvin guitar as part of their gradual comeback. Although not a faithful reproduction of the original it's still a great instrument.

For the budget side they also produce the Magpie. Available with one or two pickups it's a bargain at about half the price of the rest of their ranges.

Vigier makes the very first production line fretless guitar as part of their Arpege series featuring a Delta Metal fingerboard. Others manufacturers have experimented but never produced anything commercially.

Andy Summers of The Police champions the fretless but he would choose a Hamer custom model. Much later Adrian Belew uses fretless guitar on the King Crimson track Sleepless, from the band's Three Of A Perfect Pair album.

National economic gloom as the UK slides into recession, the sixpenny piece is withdrawn from circulation and the Marlborough diamond is stolen in London.

Although the thieves are arrested in Chicago the diamond is not found. The Queen becomes the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican. James Callaghan resigns as leader of the Labour Party and Michael Foot takes over.

Radio Caroline ceases transmission due to the sinking of the ship on which it is based. The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe is the new Douglas Adams novel. Everyone wants to see Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and play the Pac-Man arcade game. British Aerospace is privatised and Hercules the bear is recaptured after going missing during the filming of a TV advert on a Scottish island.

Albums of merit: Iron Maiden's debut album, Head Games by Foreigner, Back in Black by AC/DC, Ozzy's Blizzard of Ozz, Never For Ever by Kate Bush, Journey's Departure, Yesshows and Drama by Yes, Motörhead's Ace Of Spades, Boy by U2, Rush's Permanent Waves, British Steel by Judas Priest, XTC's Black Sea, Arc Of A Diver by Steve Winwood, and one of the many Peter Gabriels.

Final curtain for John Bonham, Bon Scott, John Lennon, Tim Hardin, Steve Peregrin Took (T. Rex), Ian Curtis (Joy Division), Bert Kaempfert, Keith Godchaux (Grateful Dead).

Entry from the wings for Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Ashanti, Vanessa Carlton plus Brian McFadden, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan all from Westlife and F1 World champion Jenson Button.