Queer as Punk
Another chance to hear Jon Savage exploring the frequently overlooked story of the effect of LGBT+ culture on the early days of punk and how queer punks went on to influence Eighties music.
We'll hear how the impact of Bowie and Lou Reed's public assertions of bisexuality created a catalyst for radical LGBT+ culture to emerge from the sidelines, (including trans superstar Wayne/Jayne County in New York) & led to queer becoming the new cool for a generation of music lovers with attitude who converged in the only place they were safe, as strange-looking outsiders from the mainstream: gay clubs. In the mid-Seventies traditional lesbian nightspot Club Louise became a refuge for the Bromley Contingent led by Siouxsie Sioux, the gang from the Sex shop inc McLaren and the Sex Pistols alongside every key member of the fledgling punk scene. Similar scenes were springing up around the country including at gay club The Ranch in Manchester, a home from home for Buzzcocks and The Fall. In Liverpool queer punks like Holly Johnson and Pete Burns were converging at Eric's.
Taking it's fashion inspiration from gay and fetish wear, these cultural crossovers are key to understand the true spirit of punk.
As punk went mainstream, the queers went underground to clubs like Billys and The Blitz and regrouped to create the next big cultural moment - New Romantic.
We hear from those that were on the frontline of this cultural confluence, from Pete Shelley, Jayne County, Jordan, Tom Robinson and Pete Burns to those who worked at gay punk clubs such a DJ Princess Julia and Ranch barman Steve Shy.
First broadcast in July 2017, as part of 6 Music's Loud and Proud season, marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.