Like Punk Never Happened
I heard a Boy George (not your father's Elton John) song this morning and remembered there was a book about him called Like Punk Never Happened: Culture Club and The New Pop. I thought he wrote it but it seems it was from one Dave Rimmer, who writes travel guides. Every time I read that title I groan the groan of the consummately annoyed. Culture Club and Duran Duran were in a hot race to see who could destroy new wave as a viable music form. Culture Club was to punk what fish are to bicycles. When you put punk and Culture Club in the same sentence the universe should collapse into an infinite mass. Or something. Like punk never happened....oy....
Thankfully Publishers Weekly hated the book. There's hope for the universe yet:
Rimmer intends here to compare English New Pop bands of the '80s with their predecessors, the punk rockers. Although he documents the lessons New Pop musicians learned from the punk bands (more artistic control, better business acumen), he rarely quotes from the punk movement about the new bands. Likewise Rimmer is strangely silent about Culture Club, with whom he traveled during a tour of Japan. Apparently he conducted no extensive interview with Boy George and did not get cooperation from other members of the band. In the end his comments are limited to his own observations and a few other similarly limited ones from others. A typical statement comes from promoter Miles Copeland, who defines New Pop by saying, "We're not in the music business. We're in the commodity business."