Tag Archives: Culture Club

➤ Boy George gives another interview about me, me, me and la-la land

Boy George, George O’Dowd,interview,The Observer,mother, sexuality,outsider,shame,drag,jail,

Boy George: still pouting. Photograph by Magnus Hastings for The Observer

❚ SIX THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED from today’s 2,000-word interview in The Observer Magazine:

1 — George O’Dowd opens his mind the way others open their front door. Not that he answers everything – but he has an unusual emotional honesty.

2 — He recognises the strange dichotomy of drag. “You are wearing a mask, but on the other hand trying to draw attention, so it’s a kind of Look at me, don’t look at me.”

3 — In 2009 he was jailed in Britain after a bizarre case involving the false imprisonment of a 29-year-old Norwegian male escort… Does he have an instinctive emotional response to the episode – perhaps regret or guilt or shame? “No, I don’t think about any of those specifics.”

4 — “When it was time to [leave jail] I was thinking: Oh my God, I’ve got to go out of here and deal with my life. I am not sure I want to leave!”

5 — George loves and admires his mum hugely but steered clear when he was messed up. She saw through him and he couldn’t take the scrutiny.

6 — Only after his father’s death did [his family] achieve a real unity. “I think his death got everyone back together… I think we are a better family than we have ever been. In the past, everyone would turn up for a crisis. Now, we all turn up for dinner.”

➢ Read Catherine Deveney’s full interview with Boy George
at The Observer online

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➢ Turn 2 Dust — a second package of reggae mixes, including this music video mix, is due to be released on Dec 12

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2012 ➤ Boy George reunites with Culture Club for New Year’s Eve — and a new album

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy Geoge, Mikey Craig,New Years Eve,Sydney Resolution,concert,video,interview

Culture Club on Sunrise this week: Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy Geoge and Mikey Craig

➢ Click the pic to view video interview with Culture Club on Sunrise, the breakfast show at Sydney’s Seven Television station

❚ HERE’S A PICTURE MANY SAID would never be taken: all four members of 80s supergroup Culture Club reunited. And a live concert imminent. In 1983 the New Romantic band with its gender-bending singer and unique reggae-based rhythms were prominent among the 18 new-wave bands who mounted the Second British Invasion of the US charts. In 1984 the band won the Grammy Award as Best New Artist and along with Princess Diana, Boy George became an international fashion emblem for the new Swinging London.

This week Boy George’s official website announces that the four original members of Culture Club have reunited for the first time since 2002 for a one-off concert in Australia on Jan 1. Before an audience of 30,000 at Sydney’s Glebe Island, overlooking the harbour, the band will play after the New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on a bill with The Pet Shop Boys, Jamiroquai and other Australian acts.

More surprising is that the photo shows Roy, Jon, George and Mikey in a London recording studio where George said “we’re in the middle of writing for a new album” with their original producer Steve Levine. This first pic of the reunited Culture Club is grabbed from Sydney’s Seven Television in an interview on Tuesday when George said they’d include a couple of new songs in the “hit-packed” Sydney show. When Jon was asked why a reunion has taken so long, an agonisingly long silence followed until he managed to answer “I don’t know!” This did raise the laugh we see above, then he added “I think we have a ten-year cycle. It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other.” Not a flicker of a smile from anyone. The six-minute exchange contained so many sidelong glances between the four and generally awkward body language that you might wonder whether they would survive the flight to Australia together.

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Romance blossoms: Drummer Jon Moss gives George a peck at Planets club in July 1981 way before Culture Club existed. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

Culture Club’s initial five-year career was blown apart after clocking ten Top 40 hits in the US, which included Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. By 1986, however, George’s addiction to drugs was making tabloid headlines and his secret four-year romance with Jon was growing ever more explosive. A sanitised TV dramatisation titled Worried About The Boy provided an extremely one-sided version of events when aired last year. From 1998 a band reunion over four years yielded two chart hits and a platinum compilation album in the UK.

➢ NY Eve concert tickets are priced from $198 at Sydney Resolution

➢ Update: Boy George’s first live concert in ages, scheduled for Dec 8 in London, has been cancelled without explanation

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2011 ➤ Boy George hits the big Five-0 and he now says, yes, he has ‘lots of regrets’

Boy George , 50th birthday,interview, Here And Now 2011,

Boy George at home: 50-up but when will he stop pouting?

❚ ON TUESDAY JUNE 14 George O’Dowd celebrates his 50th birthday with a few select friends at the Vauxhall nightspot, The Lightbox. Yesterday an interview in the Daily Mail reunited him with Spencer Bright, the co-writer of his 1995 autobiography Take It Like A Man, which proved more cringingly honest and fuller of nasty settlings of scores than any popstar in their right mind should attempt. For that reason it was — and remains — a compulsively readable milestone in the endurance course that is Boy George’s life.

In recent years, interviews have been marred by self-serving psychobabble and improbable mysticism, but yesterday’s talk with Spencer Bright finds George momentarily on a more even keel. Finally, finally, Spencer elicits an astonishing confession from him: “Now, I can actually say that I do have lots of regrets.”

Boy George, 1987, Gabor Scott

“Junkie George”: Gabor Scott’s © 1987 photograph

George had always been among the more highly visible of London’s style-setting Blitz Kids. By the mid-80s he had become one of the biggest popstars of the decade and his “blue-eyed reggae” band Culture Club was among Britain’s half-dozen New Romantic supergroups dominating world pop charts during the second British invasion of the US. Culture Club’s first two singles Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? and Karma Chameleon reached No 1 in several countries during 1982–83, and the band won a Grammy Award in 1984.

After four albums, songwriting had made George a millionaire several times over but he had also fallen prey to heavy drugs and at the age of 25 his band dumped him. He began squandering his life away, as outlined in Ex-jailbird George here at Shapersofthe80s, and fully documented at Wikipedia. A much sanitised account of his teen years was broadcast last year as the TV drama Worried About The Boy, after which ex-Blitz Kids gave their verdicts at Shapersofthe80s.

➢ IN YESTERDAY’S DAILY MAIL, SPENCER BRIGHT WRITES:

At one point it didn’t seem as if Boy George would make it much past his 25th birthday. Yet here he is, about to celebrate his 50th next Tuesday, and the transformation from the boy popstar to man seems astonishing. No one could be more pleased than me. George and I have a long history, from the days when, as a newspaper reporter, I used to follow him on the club and music scenes. In the early 1990s I helped him write his autobiography Take It Like A Man. We’ve been through a lot together. The book took four-and-a-half years, with much shouting and screaming, mostly from him at me, and moments where he’d crack me up so much I could hardly stand up.

GEORGE IS DESCRIBED AS A SOUGHT-AFTER DJ, PRODUCER, SONGWRITER AND PERFORMER:

People know me recently for lots of drama. For being arrested and going to prison. I’ve got my work cut out to remind them what I actually do.

The Mail interview airs various optimistic hopes which, for somebody with George’s track record, are a hostage to fortune. After claiming to have kicked many of his vices, we’re told he gave up smoking cigarettes six weeks ago — but ask any smoker how many times that gets said in a lifetime! “There are hopes of soon working with top producer Mark Ronson on a record with a reunited Culture Club, and an arena world tour next year.” But no mention of how his criminal records will bar entry into a significant number of countries.

GEORGE CONCLUDES:

I’ve never been a bad person and always had quite good morals. I cherish the moderate life now: I don’t want drama or complication.

➢ Read the full Daily Mail interview with Boy George dated June 9

➢ George performs with other 80s stars in the 2011 Here And Now summer tour from June 17. The single Sunshine Into My Life by Funkysober featuring Sharlene Hector, written and produced by Boy George, is out now on his own label, VG Records

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