Posted by: martinworster | January 23, 2009

148. BYE GEORGE

_dsc0086What a sad day for Boy George, judging from the recent photos in The Sun I just saw as he was sentenced to 15 months porridge. Someone had taken a photo with a camera phone of George in his cell signing his autograph for a fellow inmate. Another photo shows George on his way to court looking extremely podgy, like a 10 pint a night builder with multiple chins,  a million miles away from the effete waif cross dresser of the early 80s I know and loved. Today he’s more Boy Gorge. I guess the moral of the story is don’t sniff coke and chain up Norwegian male escorts in your flat against their will. It’s hard not to see some poetic justice in the latest twist in this characters life. In trying so hard for gay sex he’s now in an environment where buggery is a daily occurrence – ‘can you pick up that bar of soap please Mr George!’ For the Karma Chameleon I guess it’s the ultimate what comes around goes around. Or in the case of George’s daily prison shower, what goes in must come out…

I’ve always been a fan of George but in a life that’s seen more than it’s share of, ahem, ups and downs, this latest episode sinks very low. George first burst onto the scene in the 80s with perfect reggae pop of ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ (probably when chained to a raditor) and a major vocal slot on Live Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’. His unique tranny white rasta look spawned a whole army of copy cat teenagers who’d seen him on the cover of Smash Hits and the Culture Club superstar was born.

Then came the battles with drugs and tabloidism. The darkest hour came when Michael Rudetski died from a drugs overdose after partying in George’s Gothic mansion on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Cleaning up he flirted heavily with the Hari Krishna religion and started the More Protein dance music label (with MC Kinky’s excellent ‘Everything Starts With An ‘E”).

In terms of pop music he never really reached the heights of success he first experienced. I did see him at a London music industry launch party for his solo album in the early 2000s and he was fantastic.

In the 90s he became a major house DJ playing all over the world, Ibiza, London, releasing mix CDs for Ministry of Sound. I had the pleasure of interviewing George in early 2000 for dotmusic (RIP). He was excellent company – very witty, entertaining, kind, funny, caring and warm. If I may say so myself it was an excellent interview – even his manager commented afterwards that I’d gleaned some revealing information from him, helped by the fact that I know quite a lot about him. That reminds me, I must hunt it out – we actually videoed the interview. I bumped into him a few years later in Ibiza (at about 6am at Manumission) when I moved in Z list circles. The musical about his life Taboo was also funny documenting the birth of the New Romantics and the whole host of characters – Steve Strange, Philip Salon, Marilyn, Leigh Bowery – who moved in those early 80s London clubland circles.

A few years back George had another run in with the law after getting done for cocaine possession in New York. He was sentenced to community service which included cleaning up the city. Excellent photos circulated of George sweeping the streets whilst smoking – looking defiant, anti establishment, the ultimate maverick who did things on his own terms with a two fingers to the law. The latest photos show a different George, incarcerated and lost looking – it’s hard to be defiant when you’re banged up. His autobiography is called ‘Take It Like A Man’ and this latest debacle will certainly put those words to test. Good luck George.

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Responses

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