Thursday, 8 October 2009

Icon #29 Boy George

Before some of you start wondering what on Earth is going on I should probably clarify why I'm writing about Boy George tonight. Jen chose the topic as 'iconic rock star fashion disasters' and the response on twitter and weirdly on my real facebook wall, not the fan (gulp) page, was really strong.

So it's not that I believe Boy George to be truly iconic but as a fashion disaster it would be hard to argue other wise. Would he have been my choice? Hmm maybe not, I did have someone in mind but although he did get mentioned it wasn't in the right context and we couldn't have @moviegrrl winning two weeks in a row could we? I'll leave you to wonder who I would have written about.

Boy George then... what a Muppet. He was, however, back at the start of his career, a genuine one off. I can vividly remember his first appearance on Top of the Pops in 1982 when I was nine and looking at my Mum for answers. I think she was fairly certain he was just an unattractive woman. The following days papers were full of George O'Dowd and a nation woke up to a guy, dressed as a woman (even now I'm not sure that's what he was really going for or whether that's just how I remember it) and in full make up. But he could sing, beautifully and he could write a decent tune. Well until the drugs took hold.

One of the themes that goes through a fair few of the suggestions I've had today is the messed up star who's burnt the candle at both ends and lost the plot. But Boy George really lost it. Some drugs seem to make you think that what ever you put on make you look like a God when in actual fact you look like a twat.

That's not to say that I didn't like Boy George or Culture Club they were just part of that New Romantic movement that was born out of the fashion disaster that was the early 1980's. I think lots of those bands suffer historically because of what they wore as part of that scene. But, despite the rest of culture club looking no worse than any other band, George stood out more than any other.

There is credit to be given though. Despite looking appalling, most of the time, George was openly gay when it really wasn't acceptable to be in the mainstream, so massive kudos for that. There was also, certainly in the early years, a knowing look that told you that George knew exactly what he was doing with his 'look'.

In all honesty, with the recession in full swing, expect the next Boy George around the corner. Misery and disillusionment seems to encourage the glam in Britain. Weird lot aren't we?

'I can do anything, in GQ I appeared as a man.' Boy George.

Tonight's post is dedicated to @FionaKyle @Jeemie (who got his suggestion in just as I started writing it) and of course Jen for the topic.