Culture Club is back! Lead singer, Boy George took some time out of his Saturday morning to speak and laugh with Equality 365. He has made headlines on stage, DJing, in fashion and in life. Now, he is leading the charge with his original band and bringing some of our favorite hits to Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington. Their hit catalog includes “Karma Chameleon”, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, “Church of the Poison Mind”, and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”. For many of us, these songs were an anthem to growing up and developing our own lives and styles. Most of us could never compete with Boy George’s daring fashions but it didn’t stop anyone from trying. Culture Club is a major part of 80s music and culture. Don’t miss this chance to see them all together again and live! Get tickets here!
Earle Dutton (ED): How is the tour going so far?
Boy George (BG): It is great. It is long though. I was away for four months doing some dates with Cyndi Lauper. So, I have been away since April and that is a long time to be away. I love it though. I am having a great time. On tour, you have these moments when you are having a great time, then you get homesick, then by the end of the tour you don’t want to go home at all.
ED: One question I am sure you are tired of answering but I have to ask anyway. How is it being with the old band?
BG: It is pretty normal. I get asked that a lot and I don’t really know how to answer it. I have known these people for most of my life. I think the trick is just to let people be who they are. If you have issues, you just have to try to have intelligent discussions about it. If that doesn’t work, then you just get management to deal with it. I think it is really about choosing your battles. There is no way I would go on tour or take a long trip with anyone I didn’t like. I have so much fun doing what I do. When I hear of bands who hate each other going out on the road, I just think ‘No, just no. I would never do that.’ I can’t think of anything more hideous. I think it must translate to the crowds as well. You just know when people aren’t having a good time. We have fun on stage. We have thirteen of us in total. We have the band and additional musicians, singers and all of that. We have so much fun!
ED: How was the tour with Cyndi Lauper?
BG: Cyndi is great. I have known Cyndi forever. It was a lot of fun. I love her voice. I love her set. The set she did with me was great. You are just reminded of how wonderful her voice is. She has this amazing voice. She still sounds the same in some ways. Then there are some of the songs that I forgot about like the Prince cover, “When You Were Mine”. You forget about things that she has done and they are just so nice. I think we are going to do some more stuff together. I really like Cyndi.
ED: Could you tell us a little about the show you are bringing to Seattle?
BG: As I said, we have thirteen people on stage. It is a Rock’n Roll show. We are playing our hits. There are not a massive amount of special effects or anything. It is really about the music and my hats, of course. I try to engage the crowed as much as I can and that seems to be working very well. People like it when you talk to them and draw them in. Actually, we are very lucky because we have quite an affectionate audience. Our audiences are not hard work. They are always kind of willing and open to our music and show. You are always going to have a great night as long as you put on a good show.
People come to a show to have a good time. No one comes to a show to have a bad time except critics (laughter). There was one the other day that said that we have no hits. Well, the first five songs are massive hits. It was obviously someone who was too young. We open with “Church of the Poison Mind”, we go into “It’s a Miracle”, then we go into “I’ll Tumble For You” and it is just relentless! (Laughter). It is what we call a high class problem. Hmm, what are we going to sing?!?! It is a fun show. We have had amazing reviews. We never used to get those back in the day. I used to read the reviews and wonder why these people hated me so much (laughter). Now, we seem to have quite a good reaction across the board. People really enjoy the show. I don’t think people really know what to expect at our show. People in America don’t really know me. They aren’t really sure of how I am going to be. I love to surprise people.
ED: Have you had any fashion reviews during the tour?
BG: (Laughter) No, not really. I have had some pretty good comments. My whole thing is really about wearing things that other people wouldn’t wear or having stuff made that is especially for me. I am not really into fashion. Fashion is about money. Fashion is about prestige, isn’t it? My thing is more about personal style.
ED: Are you guys working on any new music?
BG: We do a couple new songs on the tour. We have most of an album recorded. We are looking to do maybe a couple more tracks with someone in America. The record will come out when the time is right. It is about creating the right platform for us to put out a new record. I am always kind of looking for a new way to do it. I love what U2 did. I think it is great and wish we could all do that. Music is all about accessibility. The difference between a hit and a non-hit is repetition. That is it. If you play something on the radio, then people will buy it. It is that simple. For a band Culture Club, we aren’t guaranteed air play. Our old stuff gets played on the radio but any new stuff doesn’t really have a shot. You have to put records out in a new way. I don’t know how that will happen but I feel like there has to be a way of doing it. The old method of going radio and putting a record out in the traditional way is just a waste of time. It is a waste of all of your energy and effort. If there is another way of doing it, we will find it.
ED: Would you ever consider doing another Broadway show?
BG: If it was the right thing, I might. I mean, I was offered “Chicago” very recently but it just didn’t work out. Theater is just hard work. It is eight shows a week. It is really hard work. It makes you really appreciate the people in the ensembles. They work so hard for so little. It would just really have to be the right thing.
ED: In closing, do you have a message for LGBTQ youth?
BG: In a funny sort of way, we felt we did in the 80s but we are back to this weird time in history. I guess life is really cyclical in that sense. We thought we had come so far back then. Now, I really sense animosity. It is an “Us and Them” sort of mentality. I have always said that there is still work to be done. People will have a go at me but just because things are great in London, New York or LA but that doesn’t mean they are great everywhere else. I think I have been proven right. There is a lot of work to still be done. I think we have to send out a message of positivity.
We have to encourage young gay people to really own who they are and to love who they are even if they don’t have the support of their families. When I hear about people being rejected by their families, that is when it is really tough. That is the most heartbreaking thing of all. I am lucky that I have always had my family. They have always supported me. I feel my message has always been the same. Love who you are and take care of yourself. Protect yourself and don’t take risks. Be aware that there are people out there who are frightened and that make people pretty dangerous sometimes. I think you have to more alert now, really. I never really thought of myself as a role model, when I was younger. You just don’t think that way when you are nineteen. I think since I have grown older that have developed this kind of awareness of my position in the world and what I have to say. One of the things that makes me very proud is when someone comes up to me and says that I am the reason that they came out. To me that is a huge accolade. I consider myself to be a proud gay man and I try to carry that message wherever I go.
Don’t miss this chance to see them all together again and live! Get tickets here!