Skip to main content


It came as something of a rude shock to learn that this week marks the 30 year anniversary of the release and banning by the BBC of 1984 hit single 'Relax' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.  Songs age and track and trace and mark us, of course, and I have around 66 songs that I cannot do without, but this one is special.  Firstly, it appeared when I was 17 and exploring my queerness (my bisexuality).  At the time I had a boyfriend, and this song, which has since been seen as the first openly gay number one hit, really moved and thrilled me.  It shaped my apprehension of a wilder, more flamboyant, aesthetic, a camp style best exemplified by my beloved gay Uncle Jack, and Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote, - somewhat dated figures - suddenly updated into the midst of 80s culture, which was generally quite camp anyway (one thinks of singles of Tina Turner's 'Beyond Thunderdome', or 'Tainted Love' by Soft Cell). Anyway, as the NMe noted this week, Madonna was a huge fan of Frankie, and her own, later, queer-friendly and taboo-breaking videos were clearly empowered by 'Relax'.

I was enthralled by the video, especially the way Holly Johnson moved, mimicking the scene from Citizen Kane, where the light beams mark the way the reporter moves his arms.  I learnt all these moves, and it was my favourite song to dance to (it still is), down to the finger-pistols and bucking, climaxing hips.  However, my Frankie experience was more up close and personal still.  Frankie's hit caused a problem for the band's management, because suddenly they had to tour a band that had little road experience; so in early 1984 their first North American gig was in Montreal.  And yes, I went.  And, more to the point, they asked me to take them to a good club, so I went with Frankie to the Gay Village, and - guess what? - we all danced together to 'Relax'.  That was a fan's dream come wildly true, and while I didn't do the band, I went home a very happy camper.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!