That's So '80s
08/04/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
the human league
"Years ago we wouldn't trust anyone who didn't wear eyeliner," says singer 47, of the kohl-eyed, gender-bending look he perfected for performing hits such as 1981's "Don't You Want Me." Now graying, he and bandmates Joanne Catherall and Sue Sulley, both 40, will go on tour this summer. "There was never a point that all three of us wanted to give up," says Sulley. "But I can't be still doing this in 10 years' time. We're just going to get a load of people to take our places, and we'll sit around and collect money."
With billowing shirts and military duds, "we were on the leading edge of fashion," says singer Simon LeBon, 44. "Miami Vice took its look from us." Crockett and Tubbs are gone, but the original lineup behind made-for-MTV hits such as "Hungry Like the Wolf" has reunited for the first time in 18 years to tour and record a new album. "We all needed to assert our independence," says bassist John Taylor, 43, wed to Juicy Couture cofounder Gela Nash-Taylor. While drummer Roger Taylor, 43, retired to a farm with his family and guitarist Andy Taylor, 42, made solo albums, keyboardist Mick Rhodes, 41, kept the band going with LeBon, who has three daughters with his model-wife, Yasmin. LeBon predicts longevity: "We've all got our own hair!"
a flock of seagulls
His crazy blond pompadour once looked like a Frank Gehry design, but these days Score, 50, is down to a simple ponytail. "I always wear hats," says the Liverpool-born hairdresser turned singer, who lives in Rockledge, Fla., with third wife Tara, 31. "Partly because I'm going bald, partly because I get burned as hell." The band fell apart in 1988 after hitting the top with songs such as "I Ran," but in 1995 he reformed the group with new backup. (And without his drummer brother Ali Score: "We don't talk that much.") He may some day abandon what's left of his rock flock for a passion he developed when his music career ebbed: boat carpentry. "There was a point where I was trying to buy a 50-ft., 50-year-old boat," says Score, who has a 30-year-old daughter from his first marriage. "I'd have rebuilt it and sailed off into the sunset."
The Bangles, who broke up in 1989 and regrouped 10 years later, are going on tour to promote a new album, Doll Revolution. But it'll have to be quick—over by homework season. "Once school starts, it's tougher," says guitarist Vicki Peterson, 45, referring to her sister, drummer Debbi Peterson, 41, who has a 5-year-old, and singer Susanna Hoffs, 46, who has two kids with her husband, director Jay Roach. Even if they never top 1986's "Walk Like an Egyptian," Vicki says, "we're much better, happier, more fulfilled humans than we were in the '80s."
fine young cannibals
Fifteen years after his sexy falsetto drove fans crazy with the No. 1 hit "She Drives Me Crazy," Gift, 42, still performs as Fine Young Cannibals, minus fellow members David Steele and Andy Cox: "I did a tour and wondered if people would think, 'This is a rip-off.' But it wasn't like that at all." Gift, who lives in London with his longtime girlfriend and their two children aged 9 and 12, also has a farm in New Zealand: "People get caught every now and again growing marijuana on it! I grow mostly trees."
men at work
Who can it be now? The Aussie band's 50-year-old singer, wed to singer Cecilia Noël, has performed on NBC's Scrubs and just released a new album, Man@Work. He recently dodged a ticket when stopped by an L.A. cop: "He looked at me and said, 'Flock of Seagulls, right?' "
In one essential way the 48-year-old singer-songwriter remains a child of the '80s, when he had his biggest hit with 1985's "No One Is to Blame." He still likes big, spiky hair. "I'll probably be dyeing it when I'm 80," he jokes. Crediting Buddhism for keeping him at peace, he continues to release albums on his private label Dtox, which he runs out of the home near Maidenhead, England, that he shares with his wife of 24 years, Jan, and their three kids aged 9, 14 and 17. Still recognized "on a friendly, not intrusive level," he recalls one high point of the hit years: performing for Princess Diana at a party in the '90s. "She had her arm on the piano," he says. "Blimey, that was special."
"We represented the '80s," says Martin Kemp, 41, bass player in the band remembered for 1983's "True." "As soon as the '90s hit, we were past our sell-by date." His own expiration date, though, almost came in 1995 when he was diagnosed with two brain tumors. Given a clean bill of health in '98 after surgery and radiation, he resumed acting, which he and his brother, guitarist Gary Kemp, 42, had both pursued after the band broke up in 1989. "I'm a villain in everything," says Kemp, who starred in the British soap EastEnders and next plays Dracula for TV. Neither Kemp talks to their old bandmates—Tony Hadley, John Keeble and Steve Norman—after several legal disputes, but "I love those guys," says Kemp, who lives near London with his wife, ex Wham! backup singer Shirlie Holliman, 40, and their two kids. "We discovered the world together."
While George Michael, 40, built a huge career after Wham! went blam in '86, Ridgeley, 40, flopped with a solo album. Wealthy from recording and cowriting hits, including "Careless Whisper," he retired to Cornwall, England, with his longtime love, Bananarama's Keren Woodward. Today he surfs and golfs. "The perfect lifestyle," says pal Peter Lascelles.