Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gays in Metal

Good overview of gays in metal music, as well as punk, by Anthony Bartkewicz, in Decibel Magazine.

I was particularly interested in this observation: "punk rock has had its share of openly gay provocateurs, like the Big Boys' Randy "Biscuit" Turner [top picture], the Dicks' Gary Floyd [bottom picture, in center], and Martin Sorrondeguy of Los Crudos and xLimpwristx, who deliberately, often satirically, confronted or gay stereotypes in their lyrics and performances. The flamboyant Turner defied any homophobes in his audience by belting out hardcore in a tutu and eye makeup."

When I lived in Austin in the late 70s and early 80s, the Big Boys and the Dicks (who later moved to San Francisco) were an important part of the lively punk scene. I recall their queer provocations, and don't remember people reacting negatively. It's not correct, however, that the Big Boys were "hard core"--they were very funk influenced, their sound in some ways resembling the Gang of Four. One of their best songs was a cover of "Hollywood Swinging" by Kool and the Gang. I think my favorite Big Boys show was when they opened for Trouble Funk. (Biscuit, who was an incredibly sweet guy, died in August 2005.) The Dicks, on the other hand, along with another celebrated Austin band MDC (who also later moved to S.F.; MDC stands for, among other things, Million Dead Cops), virtually defined what hardcore stood for/stands for.

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