"For me, Bowie was a life changer. I’ve been watching his videos and it’s brought it all back. If you’re a kid living in an environment where you feel like an alien most of the time, and you suddenly see this guy on telly in a catsuit with no eyebrows putting his arm round another man, it’s incredible.
The ‘Starman’ performance on Top of the Pops was brilliant, but the most significant time for me was when he did ‘The Jean Genie’ [on the same show]. I was blown away by that look – there was one diamanté earring and the jacket he wore, and he had really bad teeth which I quite liked. I was particularly fond of his shoes – these fantastic slingbacks, sort of cork girls shoes, which I begged my mother to get me. I didn’t get them but I’ve got them now – I had them made about ten years ago.
I went to see Bowie in either ’72 or ’73 at Lewisham Odeon. It was my first Bowie concert and I must have been about 13. I borrowed my older brother’s clothes, and I got my aunt to do this haircut for me that turned out more Slade’s Dave Hill than David Bowie. And going to the gig and seeing all these amazing clones, who were the sort of Angie Bowie girlfriends. And thinking, ‘What a twat, I haven’t quite got it right, have I?’ After seeing that concert, nothing really ever moved me the same way. Also, I remember hearing ‘Five Years’ for the first time. That song was quite important because, prior to that, the word ‘queer’ was always something you heard in the school playground. It wasn’t said in an affectionate way, so hearing that in a song, it was like, ‘Wow, someone’s actually using that language in music.’
As for Bowie exploiting the idea of being gay, what he did was really important because he tapped into that sexual undercurrent of the time, and I think Angie was a lot to do with that. A lot of us were as much fans of her as we were of him. She introduced him to the whole New York thing, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and so on, which had an influence on what he did. I think she’s been written out of that period unfairly.
For me, the ‘90s has been about the revenge of the stylist and the stage school brat. I don’t think you’ll ever get anything else that has the impact of Bowie or The Sex Pistols."
Boy George. (March 2003) The Boy looked at Bowie. Uncut, p. 54.
“The most important [album for me] was The Man Who Sold The World by David Bowie. My older brother, Richard, was the only other person in our house who was into music when I was a kid, he was really into Bowie and Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper. At the time, I bought all the really poppy stuff that was on the radio like Yellow River by Christie and then I heard this record. I have always been into lyrics and words, ever since I was a kid; I would walk around the streets with a transistor on my ear and I would learn the words to every song that came out – that was my thing. And that record was the most unusual thing I’d ever heard. It was like, Fucking hell, what is this all about?”
Boy George, Q, June 1995