T-Shirt Tuesday - Culture Club

If anything comes to your mind when I say "Culture Club", it's probably images of Boy George, hair tied up with colorful feathers and ribbons, his face painted with yellow eye shadow and strikingly bold eyebrows.

Or maybe you hear "karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon" like a skipping record in your brain that will probably never go away (sorry).

English New Wave band Culture Club was just as standard as it was groundbreaking. They released songs about love and heartbreak supported by soft, colorful music videos themed around normal settings with just a twinge of fever-dream fantasy. 

The band exploded with popularity; their debut album, Kissing To Be Clever, bore three Top 10 hits in America, making Culture Club the first band since The Beatles to achieve such an immediate success.

Along lead vocalist George, Culture Club was made up of keyboardist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig, and Jon Moss. The early 80s were a whirlwind of success for the group, but as the decade went on, infighting between George and Moss and Boy George's drug addictions led to the band's decline.

Counter to the norms of the time, Boy George identified as a man but dressed in androgynous and feminine styles. This confused some, endeared others, and definitely set all eyes on Culture Club. George's sexuality was widely speculated, and several interviewers, Joan Rivers and Barbara Walters in particular, asked him point blank if he was gay. He would often respond that he loved both men and women.

In some ways, it didn't matter who you were- you could find some aspect of Boy George to relate to. And there is nothing that people love more than relatable pop stars. 

Culture Club was an amalgam of ideas, identities, and musical styles. They represented pop, calypso, soul, gay, straight, male, female, inclusion, and everything in between. 

Despite any prior issues, Culture Club continues to record and tour together; their most recent album is titled "Life" and was released this past year.

Check out our awesome vintage Culture Club tees here!

Megan Sweeney
Megan Sweeney