Tag Archives: Boy George

Pride 50

On June 28, 1969, what was supposed to be a routine raid on a gay bar by the New York City police turned violent when patrons at the Stonewall Inn fought back, thus setting off the gay liberation movement. That pivotal moment was recognized one year later with a gathering in New York’s Greenwich Village, where the Stonewall Inn is located, and Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago. The following year, Gay Pride marches sprang up in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin and Stockholm. The Pride movement grew with each passing year, and it continues to expand to this day.

Tunes du Jour celebrates 50 years of Pride with today’s playlist. Be seen. Be heard. Be proud. Celebrate. Love.

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Not Your Typical LGBTQ+ Pride Playlist

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Tune du Jour celebrates with this playlist consisting of two hundred songs by and/or about Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts and Qs. Happy Pride!

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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 33: One ‘Mo Christmas

The fourth and final Xmas playlist for 2015. Have a happy!

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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 30: Christmas

Don you now your gay apparel, for this week’s installment if A Hint of Mint consists solely of Christmas songs performed by artists from the LGBTQ populations, including Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp, and Boy George and Antony.

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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 19: Religious Freedom

Today a woman is sitting in a jail cell in Kentucky because her religious freedoms were trampled upon. She says her religion calls for her to get paid to do a job without actually having to do the job. Her employer, the state, disagrees. She says her religion forces her to break the law and that breaking the law shouldn’t be illegal. Again, the state disagrees. She is sitting in a jail cell, maintaining that laws should not be enforced and people should get paid by their employer regardless as to whether or not they do their job, for her belief system tells her this is so. This is called religious freedom.

Religion inspired this week’s playlist of songs performed by artists who can legally wed in the United States of America, of which Kentucky is one. Each song and each state has a hint of mint.

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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 4

Some news you may have missed:
– Tom Hardy will portray a famous singer/songwriter/pianist in the upcoming film musical Rocketman, though he admits he’s not a singer.
– A documentary about that late, great British songstress who in 2011 died way too young from alcohol poisoning opens this July.
– The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 wrapped up. The winning entry came from Sweden, who are no strangers to winning this competition. In 1974 a Swedish quartet won with a song called “Waterloo.”
Twin Peaks is returning with David Lynch’s involvement!
– Taye Diggs is joining the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
– The star of Funny Girl, The Way We Were and Meet the Fockers announced her autobiography will be published in 2017.
– On May 21 Boy George was honored at the Ivor Novello Awards for his outstanding contribution to music.

Inspired by the above, here is the latest installment of A Hint of Mint. It also includes a minty tribute to Bob Dylan, who turned 74 on May 24. Did you know Bob wrote the theme song of the television series Absolutely Fabulous? Listen and learn.

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Make The Yuletide Gay

Today is December 24. It’s the date when people around the world celebrate Ricky Martin’s birthday. What’s the first thing you think of when someone says Ricky Martin? Gay? I thought so. Hold that thought.

Christmas Eve is tonight. Many people around the world celebrate that as well, possibly almost as many people as the number that celebrate Ricky Martin’s birthday. He’s turning 43, by the way.

Anyhoosle, I decided to combine the two celebrations. Tunes du Jour hereby presents the gayest Christmas playlist ever. Fifty songs that will bring you cheer and fabulousity and get you arrested if you listen to them in Russia.

Have a festive day!

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In Which I Ask Boy George The Meaning Of One Of His Songs

Down the street from my first full-time job at CBS Records was a bookstore. Two blocks down from that bookstore was another bookstore. Around the corner from my office was a Sam Goody music store. Often these stores hosted book/record/CD signings. During my lunch hour I’d wait on line to buy the new release from someone I admire and get them to autograph it at the same time. I met former Supreme Mary Wilson, David Johansen (as Buster Poindexter), and Liberace. I guess it wasn’t always someone I admire. While she was signing her latest CD for me, I told Sandra Bernhard that we had met once before. She responded, sarcastically, “Who could forget?”

When I got to the front of the line to meet Joan Rivers and was face to face with her, I said “Oh, it’s you. I thought I was here to meet Joan Collins.” She responded something to the effect of “Sorry. You got me.”

I met Tipper Gore at a signing of her then-new book Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society, or something like that. There was literally nobody there to meet her. Nobody except me. Perhaps it was obnoxious of me to say “Nice turnout, Tipper,” but this was back when she was campaigning to have warning labels put on records, an idea I found silly. She was a good sport, though. We ended up chatting for about ten minutes, each explaining his/her viewpoint. After our chat she asked “Are you going to buy my book now?” I told her no, and she said “Take it out from the library. It’s cheaper,” to which I replied “You’re a great salesperson, Tipper.” She laughed.

I don’t remember what I said to Prince when I met him, but I do recall him looking at me as if of the two of us, I was the weirder one.

I couldn’t speak when I met Tina Turner. Her skin was so smooth and flawless it left me dumbfounded.

Years later I met Kathy Griffin a a DVD signing that was immortalized on her reality show My Life on the D-List. The show did not exaggerate the situation – only eight or so people showed up.

I was excited to meet Boy George when he published his autobiography in 1995. I’ve been a fan of his since the first time I heard Culture Club’s first US single, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” The group’s fourth album, From Luxury to Heartache, included a song called “Gusto Blusto.” A DJ played it on the radio and then said “I can’t tell you what Gusto Blusto means on the air.” Finally I had the opportunity to ask the song’s writer what that expression means. I asked George. He laughed and said “I don’t remember.” Thanks, George!

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Yesterday Boy George turned 53 years old. Here are ten tracks of his you should know.

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Just Say Yes, And…

Last week I gave a speech about improvisation and how the elements of this art form can be applied to other parts of your life, leading to better health, greater wealth, and stronger relationships.

Among the things I discussed is improv’s most fundamental concept, that of “Yes, and” – accepting your scene partner’s idea and building upon it – and how this idea can be applied to one’s work life.

There is an improv game called Conducted Story. We get a title from the audience; then the conductor points to someone who starts the story, then someone who continues, etc. You want to progress the story and have it make sense. Yes, and.

As the head of the licensing department at Rhino Entertainment, I often did conducted stories in staff meetings. Not literally, but as music sales slipped, we looked for new ways to increase revenue. “We could license to other media besides CDs” “such as greetings cards” “which Hallmark would sell and pay us a royalty” “and we can suggest licensable songs for each holiday” “and expand that into other things sold at Hallmark shops, such as gift boxes and Christmas tree ornaments.” Despite CD sales plummeting during the second half of the last decade, my licensing department’s revenue rose each year.

For those of us who have struggled with shyness, performing improv, even in a classroom setting, increases self-confidence. It worked for me. I used to be shy. Incredibly shy. Painfully shy. Music was my best friend. While other kids were doing Little League, I’d be home listening to my Four Seasons records. I went to therapist after therapist, but they didn’t help me get over my shyness.

Once people got to know me they would tell me “You know you’re very funny.” That gave me an idea. I’ll overcome my shyness by becoming a stand-up comedian. I’ll stand in front of strangers and express my thoughts and feelings, and they’ll have to listen, as I have a mic and a spotlight.

For me, the stand-up helped. I wrote out my sets and memorized them, word for word. I got laughs and more gigs, but was still shyer than I wished. A fellow comedian suggested I take an improv class.

Studying improv gave me the courage to get on stage with topic bullet points memorized, but not each word. It freed me and took my stand-up to another level. An agent liked my set and represented me. I got more bookings and made a little money.

Mind you, my goal was not to become a famous stand-up comic. It was to gain self-confidence. Within five years of starting improv, I went from this shy music geek making a meager salary to a Vice President at a major record company, Warner Music Group, where I made a six-figure salary and negotiated complex deals with artists and attorneys.

Over the course of my music biz career I’ve met many of my favorite all-time artists, including Prince, Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz of Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads, Art Garfunkel, Jack White, Kate Bush, Smokey Robinson, Tina Turner, Donna Summer, Rufus Wainwright, Boy George, Joan Jett, Frankie Valli and Chaka Khan.

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Today’s playlist is in honor of one of those, Frankie Valli, who celebrates his 80th birthday today.

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World AIDS Day

Today Tunes du Jour observes World AIDS Day with a playlist of diverse genres – pop, hip hop, rock, dance, r&b, gospel and whatever you call what Ween does.

Thematically there are songs of reminiscence, reunions, safe sex, politics, pride, goodbyes and whatever you call what Ween does.

Give it a listen and let me know what songs you discovered and if there are any great ones I missed.


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