Friday, February 06, 2009

Big and Strong

In the 1980s, this vaccuous piece of pop nonsense made the charts.

I was about 16 when it came out, and despite becoming aware of my own sexuality, the gaudy naffness of the song and video didn't do much for me. This wasn't the case for my friend Peter, who years later confessed that he had loved So Macho. With his big bouffant hair and big round glasses (it was the 80s after all), Peter, who was about as unfashionable as they come and never listened to chart music, somehow obtained a copy of So Macho on tape and played it on a loop in his car on the way to work - the lyrics becoming like an anthem to his life (and the years of cottaging that came later).

If you have any doubt about the gay subtext of the song, then consider that the B side was called Cruising.

Bizarrely, the song was co-written by one George Hargreaves - a fundamentalist preacher who unsuccessfully stood for public office. He challenged MSP Patrick Harvie at the Scottish elections in 2007, calling Harvie, who was re-elected for the Green party representing the Glasgow region, a "gay fundamentalist."

Hargreaves is now back in the news - he's paid for adverts to go on buses that say "There definitely is a God. So join The Christian Party and enjoy your life."

If there's ever a stranger story, I'd like to hear it.

In the meantime, I'd like to thank Mr Hargreaves for providing my friend with such a deliciously low-brow and quick route to discovering his sexuality. His jolly, if somewhat tacky song really brightened up his formative years. And I do hope that Mr Hargreaves manages to resolve the demons he seems to be struggling with.

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