BOY GEORGE'S 1970s: SAVE ME FROM SUBURBIA (2016)
Boy George journeys back to his formative years for this documentary, the centrepiece of BBC Music’s My Generation season looking at the 1970s.
He looks back to September 1982 when an unknown George Alan O’Dowd - aka Boy George - appeared on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops with his group Culture Club, singing Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
The next day, the British press went wild. Totally bewildered by his appearance, they asked ‘Was he a boy or a girl?’ in hand-wringing horror. British teens on the other hand loved it and sent it to Number 1 in the charts; the rest of the world would soon follow resulting in Number 1’s in 23 countries. To date, Boy George is a Brit and Grammy Award-winning artist who has sold over 100 million singles and in excess of 50 million albums. He is also the author of two bestselling autobiographies, a fashion designer, a Broadway producer and, arguably, single-handedly the public figure who did most to usher in a new era of sexual tolerance in Britain at a time when being gay was not widely accepted.
In this film George recalls, revisits and assesses how the 1970s moulded the person and artist he would become. This was his musical, social and sexual coming of age, when he discovered the power of his own sexuality before setting about turning that persona into a popstar. Set against a backdrop of social discord, disenfranchisement & sexual repression – the seventies was also conversely the decade that revelled in colour and creative chaos giving the world glam rock, disco and punk… and the young George O’Dowd was at the birth of them all.
Boy George says: “I think of the ‘70s as being this glorious decade where I discovered who I was and discovered all these amazing things… punk rock, electro music, fashion, all of that. And yeah of course there was that dark side to the '70s, the rubbish, the strikes, the poverty and I’d get chased and confronted for the way I looked. But I was a teenager. I didn't have any time for misery I was just having a great time with my friends. My ‘70s were all about Bowie, Bolan, dressing up and going out, I think of it as the last bonkers decade, and I loved every second.”
The documentary includes contributions from contemporaries like Martin Degville (Sigue Sigue Sputnik), Andy Polaris (Animal Nightlife), DJ Princess Julia and pop star Marilyn this is, as George said “the last ever bonkers decade”, and it totally and completely shaped him. (00:59:05)