Culture Club’s Boy George: the original gender-fluid pop icon versus the modern world
08 Nov, 2018
story of the day
As frontman of Culture Club, Boy George became one of the most famous faces of the '80s. Now reunited with his bandmates following a wide-ranging career that's included solo projects, club DJing and talent show panel-ing, he's still on his fieriest form, finds Dan Stubbs, as they ramble through people on phones at gigs, politics, the offended generation and the queer pop revolution
A midweek afternoon in a central London PR agency office. When Boy George hears I’m here from NME, he seems to prickle a little. It’s the day after Richard Ashcroft ceremonially burned a copy of NME on his Instagram in response to a two-star review, and – as ever when meeting those with a storied career – it’s worth checking to see how and when NME predecessors have annoyed them. But not Boy George, apparently.
“I’ve had more bad reviews in NME than I’ve had hot dinners, but I don’t bear a grudge,” he says. In fact, there was a time when he used to pop into the office on the reg. “I was promoting this band called Theatre Of Hate and I used to go in, ‘You should write about Theatre Of Hate’. I was a right little busy body.”
And with that, Boy George is thumbing through his phone to find the file, and blasts out a track in which, yes, he duets with Gladys Knight. He’s in full CEO mode at the moment, promoting the album, heading out on tour. Just like a rake, Boy George will keep popping up for the foreseeable.
‘Life’, by Culture Club, is out now. The band are touring the UK.