The recent passing of one of Britain’s, and indeed the world’s, leading subversive figures in the world of pop has been rightly attested to by many in the past few days. David Bowie’s constant reinvention of his own sound and image has understandably left its mark on many musicians across many genres, one of whom, Boy George, wrote a touching tribute to his greatest influence.
A figure already legendary through his work with Culture Club, Boy George continued to build on his status in the UK music scene through his solo work, making the position of Boy George agent a very competitive one indeed. Famed for his androgynous appearance, Boy George’s iconic image was one inspired by a David Bowie he described as looking ‘alien’, commenting, “He looked so theatrical, so larger than life.”
Boy George hails not only the star’s appearance as having influenced his own image over the years but of course his fantastically versatile music, changing the image of rock music worldwide with his constantly evolving style and image. Described as a ‘magpie’ in relation to this unique ability, Boy George commenting further that, “His talent was to take the best and strongest things around him and throw them into the mix and create something unique.
went to start his own group, named Culture Club because of its diverse membership: Boy George a cross dressing Irishman, black-British bassist Mikey Craig, Jewish drummer Jon Moss, and ethnically English Roy Hay.
After the dissolution of Culture Club in 1986, Boy George launched his own solo career, although not without tribulations on the way. Struggling through drug addiction he went on to release underground hits in the 90s, as well as starting his own record label and pioneering another side to his performing talents as a DJ. More recently Boy George has signed as a judge on the BBC show The Voice.
Despite rising to high levels of fame himself, Boy George admitted to being still intimidated by Bowie, until they met for dinner in New York in 2005 where the amicable conversation between the two rambled through such varied topics as Russian art films, British tea and the Britisk,kh TV show EastEnders.