Victims - Culture Club & Boy George - 1984

Culture Club & Boy George


Culture Club & Boy George

Source: biography.com

Boy George's band Culture Club released their debut album, Kissing To Be Clever, in 1982, and their third single, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" was a huge hit, reaching 

the No. 1 spot in 16 different countries. The band found quick success, but George's drug habit started to show in 1985. Although he has released solo albums, George's personal life has been the focus more than his music.

Singer Boy George was born George Alan O'Dowd on June 14, 1961, in Eltham, London, to parents Gerry and Dinah O'Dowd. George grew up in a lively household with his four brothers and one sister. Despite being part of the large working class Irish brood, George claims he had a lonely childhood, referring to himself as the "pink sheep" of the family.

To stand out in the male-dominated household, George created his own image, which he came to depend on. "It didn't bother me to walk down the street and to be stared at. I loved it," he later reminisced.

George didn't exactly conform to the typical school student archetype, either. With a leaning more toward arts rather than science and math, he found it hard to fit within traditional 

masculine stereotypes. With his schoolwork suffering, and an ongoing battle of wits between him and his teachers, it wasn't long before the school gave up and expelled George over his increasingly outlandish behavior and outrageous clothes and make-up.

Suddenly George found himself out of school, and without a job. He took any work he could find that paid him enough money to live on including a job picking fruit; a stint as a milliner; and even a gig as a make-up artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he picked up some handy techniques for his own personal use.

By the 1980s, the New Romantic Movement had emerged in the U.K. Followers of the New Romantic period, influenced heavily by artists such as David Bowie, often dressed in grand 

caricatures of the 19th century English Romantic period. This included exaggerated upscale hairstyles and fashion statements. Men typically wore androgynous clothing and makeup, such as eyeliner.

The style became a calling card for George, whose flamboyance fit their beliefs perfectly. The attention the New Romantics attracted inevitably created many new headlines for the press. It wasn't long before George was giving interviews based purely on his appearance.

George's outrageous style caught the attention of Malcolm McLaren, the manager of the infamous punk group Sex Pistols. McLaren was also managing a group called Bow Wow 

Wow, which was fronted by Burmese 16-year-old Annabella Lwin. McLaren felt he needed someone to give Lwin a bit more stage and vocal presence, so he arranged for George to perform with the group.

George made a few appearances to much audience acclaim, and inevitable friction between the two big personalities began to surface. However George, by now, felt inspired to form his own group. The answer came in the form of The Sex Gang Children. Bassist Mikey 

Craig and drummer Jon Moss were next to join the group, followed by Roy Hay. The group soon abandoned their original name, instead settling on Culture Club. The name was a joke in reference to the group members' various backgrounds: George was Irish, Craig was Jamaican and British, Moss was Jewish and Hay was an Englishman.

Success came early for the band. They signed with Virgin Records in the U.K. and Epic Records in America, releasing their debut album, Kissing To Be Clever, in 1982. It was their 

third single from that album, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" that scored a huge success for the group. The song reached the No. 1 spot in 16 different countries.

Culture Club already had the distinction of being the first group since the Beatles to have three songs from their debut album become top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The 

group's second album, Colour By Numbers (1983) was also a success, with the single "Karma Chameleon" rocketing to the No. 1 spot in numerous countries including the U.S., where it stayed for four weeks.

George soon became a household name, making him a natural choice for one of the lead vocals on the Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1984. However the pressure of fame began to take its toll, and by late 1985 George had developed an 

addiction to heroin. Culture Club began to lose their way musically. Work on their fourth album From Luxury To Heartache (1986) proved to be a headache as recording sessions dragged on for hours.

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