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September 2018 - Cover Story: Boy George & Culture Club

Lead signer of Culture Club, Boy George in a black outfit with a graphic extending his arms out.
Boy George is excited to be making a stop in Albuquerque

“Do you think we’ll have a great audience?”

I was surprised to be asked that question by Boy George, the flamboyant, soulful lead singer of the legendary band Culture Club. I mean, it's Culture Club! When we discovered they would land on the Sandia Amphitheater stage on September 27th, fans lost their minds. For many, Culture Club was a musical staple in the 80s. With hits like Time, Karma Chameleon, and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, it was not surprising to see the responses we were getting about people assuring us that they would be there to see him and the rest of the band live. The idea of performing together again isn't new for the band. "We have been performing on and off for a while now," shared Boy George. "We would take breaks to work on our own projects, then come together to perform at different gigs." While Boy George loved touring, others in the band didn't find it glamorous. "Jon is not a fan. He can't stand riding on the tour bus and doing all that. He can do without that part." But when it comes down to it, it's the love of the fans that keeps them going. "It’s wonderful to be on stage," says George. "The roar of the crowd is electric. There's nothing like it."

Culture Club started in 1981. The four men and the sound they wanted to create took on a mind of their own, but it all meshed well together. "You know, I was Goth," reminisced George. "My musical influences were Siouxsie and the Banshees. But we also loved Marvin Gaye, and music was changing from glam rock to punk rock, then electronic music. Soon, I was asking myself when it came to what we were creating, 'What is this noise?' But we were creating this unique sound - Jon, Mickey, Roy, and me - we were a potpourri of stuff we loved." That love has given fans a discography of hits. But even when fans might know what's coming, the band still surprises in their sets. "We always play the hits, but we also do cover and new songs. I sometimes find myself stepping on stage and saying, 'You don't know what we're going to do tonight.' It makes for an entertaining concert." So, New Mexico fans who wonder whether they will play the hits know the answer.

Photo of band members from Culture Club - (from left to right): Mikey Craig, Boy George, Roy Hay, and Jon Moss.
Culture Club (from left to right): Mikey Craig, Boy George, Roy Hay, and Jon Moss.

The band has traveled the world performing hits spanning over a 30-year history. When the band started, they didn't know where the road would take them, but as Boy George explained, he remembered when the band had that moment of accomplishment. "I could say it was the moment we landed in Canada for one of our first gigs, and fans were screaming when we took the stage. Or it could have been Australia. I mean, who's going to know us in Australia? But we still saw the same reaction. But I think the moment was when we played Madison Square Garden. That was when we stopped being a club band and became a stadium band." The band would go on tour supporting their albums, including Kissing to be Clever and Colour by Numbers. George looks back on touring and realizes that he will do things differently during his time. "I realized during the times we would tour and do shows, I wasn't taking time out for myself. People were recognizing us. Because of the way I dressed, I immediately stood out. Now I know I need to take those personal moments, like getting to your hotel room and realizing how comfortable the bed is. I realized that happiness is a choice, and if I want to be grumpy, I can also be grumpy. Being 57, I now take the moments I didn't take before."

Culture Club is on tour promoting their new album, Life, featuring new material in twenty years. The album will officially drop on October 26th, and pre-orders are available now at "We put together an amazing show filled with hits and fabulous memories," shared George. Even with their split in 1986, Culture Club continues to come together and bring the joy that many experience listening to their music. When Boy George thinks about their career - both with his bandmates and solo - the thought of legacy is a question George is not ready to answer. "I hate this question," expressed George. "I was with Dolly Parton when a reporter asked that question, and she handled it so well. I feel I'm still working on that legacy, which is why I'm still doing tours and projects. Ask me again in 30 years!" If the first 30 years of their career are any reflection, it's safe to say that he will still provide the world with more music in the next 30 years.

Boy George and Culture Club will perform at Sandia Casino Amphitheater on September 27th. For more information or tickets, visit


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