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Exclusive interview with Boy George
Boy George, with his ears still ringing from his triumphant DJ sets in Ibiza, sat down with us for an exclusive interview for TiaMaria.com website. We met George on Sunday 15 July at the Italian literature and music festival ‘Collisioni’ (Collisions), which this year featured important authors like Don DeLillo and music icons such as Bob Dylan.
Boy George, tell us about those nights at the Blitz Club in London where, with Steve Strange, you gave birth to the New Romantic movement.
We were just a bunch of guys and girls who wanted to escape the homogenous look Punk had left us. We wanted to emphasise our individuality. It was a form of rebellion. We wanted to be “glamorous”, inspired by the Glam Rock of the early Seventies. It was a reaction to normality. The Mohican and safety pins were by now more or less a tourist attraction. Instead we wanted to go on a fantastic voyage, drawing our inspiration from sources as diverse as the Victorian times.
The artistic encounter that changed your life?
Only one. The first time, as a teenager, I heard David Bowie. His songs had all the sensual ambiguity that would forever mark my life and career. It’s no coincidence that the first nights of the Blitz were ‘Bowie Night’. His influence on the sound of the 80’s, and the relationship between music and fashion, was monumental.
Where did the name ‘Culture Club’ come from?
I had the idea of forming a multicultural group, a kind of club which would represent the different cultures on the streets of London. This was why my typical look included rasta dreadlocks. It was my homage to the Jamaican community which with its reggae and dub had a central role in the new music coming out of England.
Did Culture Club give us Club Culture?
Sure, the club scene, the ‘One Nighter’, is a New Romantic thing. The ‘Bowie Night’ took place on a Tuesday evening in a night club in Soho which changed its look for the occasion and audience, just as clubs do today.
From live music to the life of the mixer.
To dance, to express your body, go crazy on the dance floor. When that happens, it’s like reliving those Blitz nights.
Interview by Pierfrancesco Pacoda