10 (slightly cynical) Tips for Gay Tourists coming to London for the great summer of 2012



Because while free gay sheets like to tell you how "fabulous" and "rocking" everything is, all that glitters is not gold... (although it's possibly Pure Gold, depending which bar you're in) ...


Drinks are really cheap...

but so are most gays on the London scene, so don’t feel obliged to buy anyone a drink – and certainly don’t include strangers if you’re buying a round. Anyone earning between £15k and £35k in London lives in a state of pseudo-poverty because London is so expensive, and so buying someone a drink could piss them off as it means they have to buy you one when they were probably quite happy watching the video screen in their K-hole. It's not like Paris where buying drinks is a gesture of new friendship. Build a friendship in London based around money and you have to keep inserting coins every two minutes, friendships here are better built on bitching, background and fucking.

The English boy you offer a drink to will most likely feign an expression of carefree rapture while cackling their order of a double vodka ("and hey - let's do shots too!") and then they won’t buy you anything back. They’ll hold an empty glass for four entire songs waiting for you to go to the toilet before buying themselves the next drink, and if at any point you lift a hand as if to suggest they get a drink they will grab your hand and pirouette to Rihanna with it going "HOPE-LESSSS PLACCE!"

Luckily though drinks are so cheap in London (compared to drinking out in the rest of the world) that you can afford to buy them on a whim. Drinks aren't very strong here though. A vodka lemon in Barcelona is enough to get you standing on a chair slapping your dick in time to Will.I.Am. Over here you get childrens' party tumblers stacked with ice and hot dishwasher dribble, pumped with a squirt of watered down brandless vodka and a jerk of Matalan Cola-esque. 

Students have the most money here because it's all borrowed and they haven't stopped to consider what their early twenties are going to be like - a never ending smack in the face with a splintered plank. Old people have money too so it's quite safe to alternate rounds with them, but they labour over their drinks a bit so you might need to host your own private interval drinks, or get two old guys going at once. Old guys have the best stories about London too because they knew London when it wasn't a recession-strangled homogenised refrigerated sandwich of a city. 

Don’t get taxis from bar to bar...

It is almost always easier to get the tube or walk between bars. Taxis in central London will simply sit in traffic for fifteen minutes, asking you passive-interrogative questions and then take you to see Stonehenge in Wiltshire muttering something about "one way system loop road traffic closed road block need to head down here" then proceed to charge you £20.  If you're with friends then use night buses, London's are among the best in Europe and operate around the clock (so that immigrant cleaners can get into office blocks before the privileged wake up). If in doubt get a bus to Trafalgar Square or Tottenham Court Road – they’re really well connected central hubs for other buses. Never ask someone how to get a bus "to London", even if you’re in a savagely far-out district like Hackney, the people who live in those areas genuinely believe that they too are living in London. To you London is basically the bits you get inside a snow dome, but to us it's more of a state of mind and includes anything within a 500 metre radius of a Chicken Cottage. Don't fall asleep on night buses. There are loads of thieves and the CCTV footage almost always proves totally fucking useless. Also the drivers don't wake you up, even though you're wearing a party vest and are the only one left on the bus and there are herds of cows outside chewing grass in the smoggy light of dawn. He'll wake you up when he gets to the depot and then proceed to do a Sudoku with Heart FM on while giving you incoherent sneery half-answers, and take sick pleasure in knowingly ruining your weekend.

Don’t ask how much our flat costs...

Because most people in London are massively ripped off and pay extortionate amounts to live in a shit hole (also known as "maisonette", "studio flat" or "city pad"), and to make it worse these flats are usually around the corner from a tree-lined street full of gorgeous empty houses that are owned by foreign investors who come here for two weeks a year. Basically, whatever we earn at work we spend on living in London and the reason we drink so much is to momentarily forget the fact that once a month we effectively open our bedroom window and tip a bin bag's worth of quids into the street. It’s a hand-to-mouth game in London, and yes we know we could buy a 17 bedroom house where you live, and that it's always sunny there, but there aren’t any gay indie boys with radio shows, peanut M&Ms, toilet seats in bars, fulfilling careers or celebrity sightings there – so it’s swings and roundabouts.

Don’t go to Vauxhall...

Under the impression that you will go somewhere else after. Once in Vauxhall you stay in Vauxhall until the night ends. It's like the last level of Sonic. But do go to Vauxhall – it’s very, very good fun.


Don’t tell us that...

You don't know who The Saturdays are, or Sophie Ellis-Bextor, or Nicola Roberts, or Barbarellas. This is who The Saturdays are:


This is Sophie:


And this is Nicola:


And yeah, fair dos, Barbarellas are a bit random.

Just let us enjoy our shaky assortment of odd pop stars and keep on living the beautiful eye-shadowed lie. If you're in a London gay bar and see someone on the video screen who you do not recognise then ask a straight girl. Straight girls are prepared to explain these things because they also liaise with straight boys who are equally as non-plussed about English pop stars who haven’t had tit jobs. If the straight girl doesn't know then it'll be Jodie Harsh. And when European chart hits occasionally come on, don't go overboard and knock everyone's drinks over. Alexandra Stan may be the poet laureate of your home town but to us she's a bit of cheap crap tat and we're only dancing to Mr. Saxobeat because we're a sheepish culture that does what it's told, secretly we despise the song and are using dramatic head-jerking dance moves to survey the bar for hot boys so that when Missy Elliott comes on we can put our hand on the small of their back and grunt into their ear "gimme some NU shit"

Mouth SELECT song lyrics...

But not the whole song, and definitely don’t sing anything. Song lyrics are a social currency among gays in London. Unlike Germany where you throw arms around each other and actually enjoy a sing-along, here in London it’s more about pretending you’re a solo artist. Only mime select words though, to prove that you know the song. Never mouth the whole song or else people might assume you left school at fourteen and that song lyrics are the equivalent of scholastic achievement for you and that you're a stupid bint. Stupid bints are the ones who even sing bracketed lyrics like: “I know you like me (I know you like me). I know you do (I know you do).” A slightly better bint will omit the brackets. A good gay will just occasionally go “Wrong. Like. Me”, ideally while exhaling smoke and squinting at something across the road. Don’t sing anything though. In London only Adam Lambert lookalikes and fat ladies sing. The London gay community are currently bracing themselves for the Glee generation coming of age. We're still not sure what we're going to do, possibly carry truncheons, or home-made razor-blade tambourines. Hopefully they'll all piss off to America and study there.


Don’t beat around the bush...

Because gay guys in London like simple clear messages. Most of us had to endure excruciating provincial adolescent years in which we tried to tell boys we fancied them by asking them if they needed anything from Londis or watching entire football matches with the hope of a mutual wank at the end. There’s no need for preamble. Life is so short and our looks are fading with each Madonna album.

SWAP: “So I think I have to get two buses to Bayswater, how long do you think that will take? How often does the N253 come? Are you going to another club after this?”

FOR: “Let's go back to yours”

Don't even try to figure out if they're a bottom or a top, most gay boys in London aren't even sure so they just drink enough to cover themselves.

The gay Londoner will almost always say Yes to a shag, or better, say "Let's go for a drink alone somewhere then back to mine", or EVEN better, they'll take you to Balans (a 24 hour uber-faggy restaurant on Old Compton St) for sugar-rimmed cocktails and chips, and THEN go home for a shag.

If they say No to a shag then they're a waste of time anyway because they're either in a straight-style relationship, shit at shagging (and so trying to waste as much of your time as possible before you realise this - in the faint hope that by that point you'll have fallen for them, which you'll soon snap out of when you realise that they're shit at shagging) or they're looking for a Will Young type boyfriend who wears olive jumpers that they can take home to their mother and napalm Instagram day trip photos of all over their Facebook to prove something inexplicable to people they hate from their school days.

All I'm saying is - don't expcet gay Londoners to act like Colin Firth. Have you ever heard someone say "Ah London - the city of romance" ? No, because we're loose shallow fuckers. Asking for a lighter is like reciting a sonnet to us. Don't over think things. Touch crotch.

Compliment us...

And you’ll get exactly what you want out of a gay Londoner. Some jaded tourists fall into the trap of complaining about how rubbish England is, how fat everyone is, how rude we are, how tired we look, how expensive everything is, how we’re America's bitch, how stuck up we are, how we wage illegal wars, how Gwen Stefani doesn't even live here that much. Look. We know we're the baddies right, but there's nothing we can do about it. More than 1 million of us marched outside Westminster saying “don't obliterate Iraq”, but it doesn’t work. Our way of coping with this is having a league of half-baked socio-political journalists who write alarmist rants for left field news websites, a bit like George Orwell's two minutes of hate, and then we head off to Starbucks with our iPads feeling aware, while the half-baked journalists tweet about themselves, nurse their precious two paragraph Wikipedia page and email links to their Mums who secretly will always wish that their son had become a lawyer like their friend Valerie's son Hugo anyway.

Instead of reminding us how much we all suck and that for every Leona Lewis charity single there's a massacred town in the Middle East somewhere (I can't be more specific because we're only taught about Nazis and ox-bow lakes in school to prevent us from realising that we're the baddies and our nation's best-selling newspapers are full of largely fictitious shit), instead just tell us how you like our voices which are like Hugh Grant in Notting Hill (which incidentally there is no point visiting while you're in London, it's bland as fuck), how our eyes look all babyish and like a puppy's, how you love Absolutely Fabulous and Fawlty Towers, how our shops are so much better than yours.

Basically, tell a gay guy in London that you really like his aftershave on a Saturday night and you’ll have your own set of keys by Tuesday. We're pathetic egomaniacs. It started aged eight when we put on lavishly imaginative plays for our friends' parents at collection time and danced privately in our bedrooms pretending to be Kim from Vengaboys.

All we want is to be loved. English gay men are so under-loved that if you write one a thank you card following a dinner party they will keep it on their mantle piece until Christmas.

Don’t ask for a phone number...

Because there’s nothing worse than receiving drunk and badly-written second-language texts from unsaved numbers while holding your friend’s jacket while they piss behind a wheelie bin, looking out for the police AND trying to remember where the next bar is exactly so that you don't look like a fool in front of the boy you just picked up. We don’t organise and plan our nights out in London just like we don't go to church or the dentist that much. We're pagans, we just sort of fall into town and see where the pinball wizard flips us.

The best bet is to add a boy on Facebook, catch them on Facebook chat around 7.45pm while their bath is running or their pizza’s in the oven, and make a note of which bars they roughly plan to go out in.

Then simply turn up at those bars bringing as many boys as you can meet along the way, from tube carriages, escalators, cash machine queues. If you really want to impress a gay guy in London then turn up with more boys. There can never be enough boys. Even twinks understand probability, even if they couldn't explain it. Lots of London gays will ask you for your number, this is a habit from their school days, they haven't yet realised that having someone's phone number on a night out is fucking feckless. If we're not underground on the Tube then we're dancing to Timebomb or punching our PIN into a cash machine or arguing with a bouncer. There's no time for phones. London's gay scene breaks down into districts and each district is smaller than you think - you'll find the boys from last night eventually. Relax. 

Know your gay saunas...

If you get completely lost in London on a night out then just go to a gay sauna like Chariots near Old Street or Pleasuredrome by Waterloo. They’re open 24 hours, warm, hilarious, sell coffee and you can read soggy copies of Boyz magazine until daylight is your friend again. It's a misconception that gay saunas are seedy. Elements of them are cheaply candid yes, but come on - we're all adults - what are you so afraid of? If you go with friends though then don't stumble around giggling and chatting loudly to each other. Saunas should be treated like chapels of rest, as if Stalin is lying somewhere behind the jacuzzi in an open coffin.


@jackcullenuk

Gwen Stefani in the Settle Down video

Since blogging about No Doubt's new tune Settle Down I can't stop watching the video. Directed by music video demigod Sophie Muller the basic concept is each band member of No Doubt drives a truck from a different part of the globe and then they meet somewhere for a rave. This storyline takes a backseat in the video though and it's mainly about Gwen Stefani rocking about the place looking hot and terrifying.

I think teally the song is about hitting middle age, the peer pressure to set down and the rock star flame within saying "No! Keep partying!"

Here are some screengrabs of Gwen Stefani in the Settle Down video that I found on Google images:









"I'M A ROUGH AND TOUGH. I'M A ROUGH AND TOUGH. NOTHING'S GONNA KNOCK THIS GIRL DOWN" - Gwen Stefani, 2012

No Doubt - New Song 2012 - "Settle Down"



B! A! N! A! N! A! S! The video to No Doubt's new single Settle Down is finally on YouTube. The intro shows the boys in the band driving a truck enroute to a rasta rave. They're wearing a bit more mascara in their middle age now but generally look happy to be back in business with Gwen.

The song is a fun chilled out party anthem, classic No Doubt, whiskey distillery guitars pinning down a high-pitched girly chorus, Gwen leaves her solo ego behind and re-acclimatises into the No Doubt whines and wiles that we originally fell in love with. Still, she brings the lessons of her solo project into the mix (hinted at perhaps by a Harajuku girl who peeps out from the back of the truck) - the video is confidently long, there are several dance routines and there are commercial deals too for lip gloss and plastic watches. The intro's strings are reminiscent of  Love Angel Music Baby's song Serious, and Gwen's thing for oriental strings is still alive and at large.

It's Gwen Stefani's lioness features and megawatchable body that holds the video together, not to mention her speaks-a-thousand-words eyeballs. I've always thought she could have been a killer silverscreen actress. (That second in the Cool video where her eyes somehow switch from pleased to pissed off without even doing anything?!)

Like her Los Angeles ex-pat pal Shirley Manson, who also has a new album out with her 90s mega group Grabage, it looks like the kids are gonna have to walk themselves to school - the mums are back in town and want to dance.

Without wanting to go into the inevitable Gaga debate, I will just say that No Doubt place music and melody over image and ego here, as if to show their disinterest in pop power games. We all know that Gaga learnt a few tricks off Gwen, or shall we say one Stefani learnt a few tricks of the original Stefani. Thing is, Gwen's got nothing to prove. She's a bonified rockstar with a family, and by the looks of things she just wants to dance her days out and cook up some cash along the way. Those Alice In Wonderland hedge mazes don't trim themselves.

I love the light-up rasta-colours drum kit in this video too.

Looking forward to the album.


@jackcullenuk

Techno's Youngest: Happa



This kid is getting a lot of attention online, 15-year-old Samir Alikhanizadeh from Leeds who now goes under the artist name Happa. i-D magazine just released this track Boss onto Sound Cloud:



Stripped down techno that reminds me a little of Wolfgang Gartner. Naturally not as accomplished as that yet, but well on the way to being perhaps. And to think I get depressed by Rihanna being one year younger than me. Let's hope he stays away from the wrong side of parties and focuses on developing his gifts.

Here's Happa's remix of Beyonce End of Time, which he made last year when he was fourteen:




And here's Happa's track Freak:



Reminds me of Flatbeat a bit, and Azzido Da Bass.

Here's Wolfgang Gartner with his incredible Killer:




@jackcullenuk

A-Z of Boy George



Boy George was the biggest pop star on earth during the early 1980s. On Friday he is headlining at super-gay-club Fire in Vauxhall for their World Pride party. In honour of him the special night is called Boylesque, yet there’s a sizeable chunk of boys on the scene now (those who turn 18 this year were born in 1994) who don’t really know who Boy George is. Culture Club's hits don’t get played that much compared to other 80s anthems and unlike other 1980s gay icon contemporaries Madonna, Prince, Kylie and George Michael the production line of new material stopped long ago for Boy George.

The press have always loathed George for being different and he’s been fighting them savagely for decades. Watching old interviews on YouTube you quickly gather how hard it was for George. Relentlessy ridiculed by chat show hosts over his appearance, London’s paparazzi were desperate for shots of him looking bad or off-duty, and journalists set to work trying to take away his achievements as quickly as they'd been won.

George turned to drugs for an answer, giving the media what they were looking for. A downward spiral commenced leading to the demise of his career as a singer. In 2009 George went to prison for imprisoning an escort in his home – a story that sounds horrifying on the outset but when looked into more closely is perhaps less controversial than it at first sounds.

Today George is a changed man. Changed in a good sense – he is a sucessful DJ and runs his own fashion label B-Rude. Changed in a bad sense - People say he’s difficult to work with, he is at once both a feared and ridiculed figure and public opinion of him is truly tinged now by his run-ins with the law.

George hates people writing about him. Of journalists he once said “They’re dumb, they just talk about rubbish, they're jealous and they say silly words like ‘quintessentially’ that don’t even mean anything.”

So. Sorry George. Here is my A-Z of Boy George, covering all the quintessential touchstones for one of England’s most interesting pop stars:

A

Androgyny : It defined Boy George at the start of his career. Middle-aged gays all have this shared coming-of-age story that goes like this: They were sat on their parents’ living room floor in 1982 chewing their big sister’s Princess Leia doll when suddenly this “Boy George” came on the telly box, but he didn’t look like a boy, and they were like “Wow. Who’s she?” and their straight friend fancied Boy George before realising it was actually a boy and so therefore everyone has the potential to be a massive poof, and blaefghrrghhhhh. Pioneering pop genius, or confused student drag queen on a budget? The tide is out. 

B

Blitz: A supa-trendy 80s haunt in Covent Garden ran by Steve Strange (from peripheral 80s band Visage). George got a job here working in the cloakroom, allowing him to leave shop jobs behind and become a creature of the night. George was really kooky and sometimes worked barefoot. People make out like this was some golden era of high art. My definition of high art is Botticelli, and possibly Rihanna, but Blitz was definitely very cool. These days Covent Garden doesn't get any trendier than Roadhouse, a club full of office works drinking pints with one button undone on their shirt. 










C

Culture Club: After a few failed attempts George finally got a band together. Bisexual drummer Jon Moss became George's great gay love affair. He would revisit memories of their relationship in his writing for years to come. Things didn’t work out though and he’s married now with three kids. The name Culture Club refers to the scope of ethnicities and backgrounds in the band. Not the coolest band name ever. Not exactly Blondie or The B52s or Psycho Fags In Bin Bags is it?

D

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me: Sang the starving escort sitting in his own shit tied to a radiator. Well-written ballads were few and far between in the 80s. It’s hard enough filling a box-set in hindsight let alone living through the entire decade in real time. It must have been fucking awful. DYRWTHM was the Someone Like You of its day. Now you only really hear it in the freezer aisle of Lidl.

E

Eye shadow: George gets through a lot of make-up. It keeps him looking like a pop star and prevents him from looking like a truck driver ordering a chip batty at a roadside diner in Stoke. George has always said he is nothing without make-up, and this self-deprecating side to his personality played a big part in shaping his fan base of alternative 80s kids, the parents of Gaga monsters.

F

Fashion: George dictated major fashion trends throughout the 80s. He invented baggy white shirts. He invented black hats. He invented hair. Camden market sold replicas of anything he wore. It was as if before Boy George people just moped about in medieval tunics waiting for the sequin to be invented. Britain was in a post Glam rock lapse and although the New Romantics and punk had kicked in, George's look carved out much needed queer territory that magically questioned identity as well as enforcing it. Not all of his trends took off though. The gimmick of painting the face entirely yellow never really made it beyond Lego. He’s had a thing for wonky top hats for quite a while now. George is quite chubby these days. Volunteers in Hampstead charity shops have started mistaking him for Jo Brand. Still, the fashion continues. His technique for hiding the double chin is to paint it entirely black. This year he's taken to wrapping himself in sequined shrouds. Do take a look at George’s very cool boutique called B-Rude.










Above: A Lego parody of Boy George relating to his time serving community service in NYC.

G

Gay Icon: George is most definitely very, very, very gay. He makes George Michael look as gay as David Jason. It’s great that George is an out-and-proud gay man but some members of the LGBTQI community rightly reserve their thanks. On a bad day he’s a lethal criminal, on a good day he paints his forehead pink and makes you feel like you can’t be gay unless you channel the soul and psyche of a pissed flamingo. DID YOU KNOW: Not all gays are like this. If you want you can just be a lazy carpenter gay and eat Pringles a lot. If you want you can watch Ice Road Truckers with a Red Stripe in one hand, your balls in the other, and an ash tray perched in your lap. Anything is possible.

Still, in the 80s George’s appearances on television helped a gay generation to drum up confidence and seek social independence.

H

Heroine: George left home when he was 16 and moved into a squat. At some point, only he knows when and how, he became addicted to the killer drug heroine. Steve Strange at the Blitz was also a user. Not fun. Have a sandwich instead. Get naked and dance to some Daft Punk. Go for a swim. Just stay off the heroin. If you’re reading this blog and plan to be a pop star one day – when the night comes that a shady friend of a friend offers you heroine definitely say no. It is beyond me, when looking at the reel of heroine related deaths, that celebrities still turn to the drug, no matter how alone they feel. Take up sky diving, or pottery smashing, or hire 34 escorts and make them play human chess, anything, just DON'T SHOOT HEROINE!

I

Icky Journalists: They just couldn’t handle George. Those who tried their best to be accommodating came across as old-fashioned and pigeonholing. Nowadays no pop star would be scrutinised and dissected in the way George was. Luckily theough George has always been very eloquent and intelligent when answering questions, not to mention witty. George's natural talent for performing transcended into the interview chair, every one of his TV appearances was uniquely entertaining. Unlike many intelligent pop stars he rarely paused to gather his thoughts either, in the early days he just flowed and flowed with interesting ideas and viewpoints. Take a look at this 1984 interview and see how expertly he casually rebuts labels while resisting the temptation to be rude or pass judgement. George had a rare media persona that was at once confident and shy. Sadly the media got their claws stuck into his vulnerable side. Over time the sweet core of George faded from view as he was forced to build a suit of armour around himself in middle age:





J

Jokes: As a result of his ill-lubricated life path George is the brunt of lots of jokes. A personal favourite is this Rock Profile sketch by Matt Lucas and David Walliams in which Boy George and Marilyn peer pressure Jamie Theakston into stealing Malibu from an off-licence:





K

Karma Chameleon: The other Culture Club song that people know of. It’s a pain to dance to. The Labour Party used it in their anti-Cameron ad campaign in 2006. Deep. Karmakarmakarmakarmachameeeeeleonnnnn. I bet aged New Romantic primary school teachers are making kids in Brent Cross sing it right now.

L

Long Hair: Time is cruel. It was good while it lasted. These days George sports a bald look. He told Joan Rivers once “I don’t see myself growing old gracefully” to which she said “Do you ever go out not in drag?” and he said “No. Do you?” – George has always maintained that what he does isn’t drag. “I just don’t see the point in looking like a sheet of paper”

M

Marilyn: An intriguing and faded 80s transvestite who dabbled with a pop career. George and Marilyn used to live in a Warren St crack den squat (with artist Grayson Perry interestingly). Marilyn, real name Peter Robinson, used to date rock star Gavin Rossdale who is now married to Gwen Stefani.

Marilyn now lives with his mother in Borehamwood, and is apparently both an agoraphobic and an alcoholic. A real shame considering how bright and vibrant he appeared in the 80s. Blitz club owner Steve Strange said you had to be careful when Marilyn was about though, turn your back and your hairspray would be gone.

Here's George's squat buddy the very sexy Marilyn in his prime:


And here he is looking like Marilyn Monroe at the Blitz Club. Understandably the cameras were wild for him:




I found this cute blog post about how Marilyn the man is prettier than Gwen Stefani the woman: here. Let's not be horrible though. Sexual expression and liberation is a good thing, and so is Gwen Stefani. Amen.


N

Non-Conformity: George told Michael Parkinson on his show in the early 80s “I’ve always hated the idea of joining in. I’ve never been driven by that fear of alienation that kids have. At school I used to look around and think God how boring you all are, I didn’t want to talk about cars” George has a gift for being as alternative as possible while still holding a mainstream audience. A formula for success that others have copied since.

O

O.D.ing: The drugs stopped being fun when keyboardist Michael Rudetsky was found dead in Boy George’s home one day. Michael’s parents launched an enquiry but the horse had bolted – their son was dead. Others in George’s inner circle have died of overdoses over the years. Somehow George always survives.

P

Prison: George spent four months in HMP Edmunds Hill in Suffolk because he unlawfully tied a male escort to a radiator and kept him as a slave effectively. He spent a further five months with a prison tag on. He’s also served community service in New York for lying about a robbery. You see, if he’d written more good songs this could have all been avoided. Claiming royalties on two hits isn’t enough to have sex slaves and cheat insurance. Heather Small doesn’t have these problems.

Q

Queen: George has a tendency to be quite queeny, and rightly so. Several DJs and former collaborators have stated that it can be difficult working with him. George has always said that he is a fighter and he won’t give up his crown lightly. “When you’ve worked so hard getting there you can’t relax”. Perhaps George’s dissent into drugs was an attempt to find breathing space in a world of chaos and competition?

R

Religion: George got into Hare Krishna at some stage, a low-ranking religion on the wacko celebrity religion scale. I don’t know the first thing about Hare Krishna, nor can I be bothered to Google it. But there’s a Hare Krishna man who stands outside G-A-Y Late sometimes giving out evangelical flyers to boys in the queue and I read one of them once and it didn’t look all that great.

S

Solo Career: Apparently

T

Taboo: A musical about his life and the early 1980s London scene that is actually really, really good. Taboo premiered in 2002 on the West End. Chat-show host Rosie O'Donnell paid for a Broadway version but it closed after only 100 shows and she lost her $10milllion investment in the project. Bring it back!

U

Underground: Sometimes George releases acid house remixes under different names like The Twin.

V

Very good songwriter: Marilyn said in an interview once that those years were defined for him by “trying to get as much attention as possible for the most minute scrap of talent”. For George it was a different story as could actually pen pretty good pop songs that were of the time. If only he’d steered clear of drugs, we might be dealing with a much bigger back catalogue of hits. I like this forgotten 90s gem Same Thing In Reverse:




W

Worried About The Boy: A BBC2 dramatisation of George’s early years starring the impossibly cute actor Douglas Booth. Mathew Horne played the boyfriend, obvs. Mark Gatiss played Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.

Here's Douglas:


And here he is playing Boy George (amazing likeness!):



X

X: The brilliant tenth album by Kylie Minogue. Nothing to do with Boy George but what else was I going to put. X-Rated perhaps? “Xstasy” ?

Y

YouTube: Although George is now mainly a club DJ, we can relive the glory of his heyday and the brilliance of pre-drugs mind thanks to YouTube:





Z

Zebra print: Not a great look. If I was George’s friend I’d have said “George honey, I see where you’re going with this, but, it’s a bit DFS Christmas sale?”



Follow me on Twitter:
@jackcullenuk

Why does Twitter's homepage have three blokes playing cricket?




Just a quick blog post to say that I don't get this photograph on Twitter's homepage. It shows three boys in mismatched clothes playing cricket on a stretch of barren wasteland with what looks like an Indian temple in the background. Near a mountain range, at sunset.


Possibly the most removed situation imaginable from the world of Twitter, apart from perhaps a photograph of a naked nomadic tribe roasting tropical frogs in the jungle.


Like, I get it - Twitter is a window into other worlds, the whole world is connected, we're all one global village etc etc.


But you're hardly going to Tweet if you're an Indian bloke knocking a cricket ball around with a few mates one evening. Or would you?


The Twitter homepage should have something that touches all the bases of its heart, so Fashion, Opinion, Attention, Misery, Observation, Desperation, Deception, Stubble, Fabulousness.


Something like this -





Image source: "Front Row People" by The Pet Fanclub


If those Indian boys are on Twitter then I apologise and I will happily check out their feed.

You can find me on Twitter @jackcullenuk . Like me. Love me. Follow me. Make me feel cherished as we all kill time until death.