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Steven Neary & Boy George

August 19, 2013

Steven is fascinated by the relationship between Boy George and Jon Moss, the Culture Club drummer. Steven is always keen to build up an extensive back story to a picture, song lyric or video clip. In the narrative of this Culture Club relationship, Steven has built up George as a demanding figure, expecting Jon to pander to his every whim (which may not be too far from the truth).

This all began after Steven watched the DVD of the Culture Club 25th anniversary concert. During the encore of “Bow Down Mister”, George looks across to Jon, and says: “Bring it down Jonny boy”. For some reason, Steven finds this line hysterically funny – even after 100 viewings. I’ve tried to explain what George meant but that only compounds his mirth. Wiping away tears of laughter, Steven says: “Don’t be silly Dad – Drums are noisy – can’t have quiet drums”.

I have a vinyl copy of George’s solo single, “Sold”. On the sleeve, George has blood on his neck. True to form, Steven invented a whole story for the picture, whereby George had cut his neck on some very sharp violin strings. And the dialogue in Steven’s story is: “Plaster please, Jonny boy”.

I found a copy of the 1983 Culture Club Annual in a charity shop. In it, there is a photo of a gentrified looking Boy George sipping a cup of tea, probably sending up his famous quote. Not only does Steven flesh out this photo with a full list of the foods that were served at this feast, but he casts Jon in the subservient role again with the line: “Milk and two sugars please Jonny boy”.

Last night we watched the video of “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”. In one scene, George emerges from a swimming pool, fully clothed. After much tut tutting, Steven ordered: “Trunks please, Jonny boy”.

I love these stories and Steven’s imagination. They bring a tiny ache as well as they highlight the two Stevens: the one that he really is and that everyone knows, and the Hillingdon version. In the many lever arch files I have of professional reports, these sort of stories never get a mention and yet they contain everything you need to know about Steven’s thinking, his humour, his communication – basically his world view.

Never mind – it’s their loss. “Valuing people, Jonny boy”.


From → Social Care

One Comment
  1. Karen permalink

    Cool and very interesting! The media has always portrayed the relationship in a quite different way with George being this innocent all loving all giving sweet person and Jon an uncaring monster. But even though I like his music, I’ve always found Boy George to be a kind of bully who is all about himself and expects everyone not just Jon to bow down to his every whim as Steve says.

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