Karma Chameleon Boy George tells TNT what he misses about the Eighties, his days of partying hard and why he’s going back to jail.
Congratulations on placing 80th in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ poll this year.
Yeah, it’s been a while cos I have been out of action. I’ve only been DJing again for about seven months so I’m impressed.
On your recent single Pentonville Blues about your time in jail, you sing: “If these walls could talk … would they scream?” Sounds like it left quite an impression.
It’s a Victorian building. You can imagine the amount of things that have happened in there, the people that have gone through there. I do think buildings have an energy and Pentonville definitely has an energy, not necessarily a pleasant one.
Are you still in touch with any of the inmates?
Yeah. I’m actually going to be playing a gig at Pentonville. I went back about three months ago to visit a friend who’s still there.
I was pretty nervous about going back, but actually it was alright. They were really nice to me and I suppose their attitude is “you’ve been to prison now, so you’re fine”.
Did you get in touch with George Michael following his recent stint in jail?
I did write to George, yeah.
Tell us about working with Mark Ronson on his new album.
It’s a song called Somebody To Love Me that I do with Miike Snow, who’s another great performer … He’s a very nice bloke Mark, very sweet, very polite, very professional. It’s been fun.
The BBC made a drama about your life, pre-Culture Club, called Worried About The Boy. What did you think of it?
I thought Douglas Booth did a pretty good job of it. The acting was great and I thought the look of it was brilliant.
There were a few errors in terms of the story but I’m not really precious about the past and it’s all open to interpretation. They got certain aspects of it really spot on and other things they really didn’t get right, but I was really pleased it was made. It made me laugh when I saw it.
You’re a bit of an 80s icon. What do you miss most about the era?
Nothing at all really … I’ve been DJing for nearly 20 years and I do my own music and have a pretty healthy career so when I do the Here And Now concerts next year [a tour with other ‘80s singers], I feel comfortable because I have so
much variety in what I do.
I’ve kind of reclaimed the ’80s in a way and I’m a bit more comfortable to dip into it without being horrified.
Your 50th is around the corner. You used to party quite hard back in the day. Did you ever think you wouldn’t make it this far?
In the early days of Culture Club, my career was my life. I didn’t drink or didn’t really do anything. I’ve had a couple of difficult periods but for the bulk of my life I haven’t really partied. It’s just when I did it, I did it hard [laughs]. I don’t drink, I don’t take drugs anymore.
Sometimes things are written about me that make me out to be a junkie for 30 years but it’s not true. For a lot of my career I was completely on-the-ball and professional and didn’t use to go partying. I did it [partied] kind of late [in life] really.
What song is guaranteed to get you on the dance floor?
At the moment it’s a track by Evil 9 called Stay Up. It’s a thumper.
Tell us your guilty pleasure?
Your biggest phobia?
I’m not comfortable with telling people things like that because you make it more important than it is.
» Boy George features on Mark Ronson & The Business Intl’s new single Somebody To Love Me, out on November 29. He will perform at the Here And Now concert at 02 Arena, London on July 1, 2011.
– Natasha Vuckovic