Orville Peck – Smalltown Boy

Wow.
I’m somehow on a roll of posts that throw back to the first month of Fearsome Beard.
We first posted about this song HERE .

Bronski Beat / Jimmy Somerville’s Smalltown Boy gets right to the deeply rooted feelings of rejection and misunderstanding of my youth. As was in my first post, I realized I wasn’t as rejected as others I knew. However I knew that feeling and it tore, and still tears, at my soul. The very core of my being, love, was wrong according to the family, friends and society to which I was supposed to belong. It was isolating and lonely.

One of my recent musical interest has been the incredibly talented Orville Peck. My mouth literally dropped open when I opened my YouTube feed this morning and saw this cover. I couldn’t click play fast enough. I then stopped my morning routine to post it here on Fearsome’s blog.

Orville Peck – Smalltown Boy – 2020

Thank you Orville for covering and bringing new life to one of the most significant pieces of music of my life. Beautiful!

Gay Anthems!

Is it possible to cry as one dances in the middle of a crowded dance floor? Yes.

John was the newly hired director of the newly established AIDS Foundation in my hometown. He was a handsome eligible bachelor, I was “on break” from my first lover relationship. He had invited me over to his place as we were on our first date and he was cooking for us. After he poured me a drink, he clicked on the stereo as we sat down on his sofa.

“This is the new release from Bronski beat” he said as I deeply inhaled the nostalgic antique smell of the large living room of his apartment on the second floor of a stunning old gingerbread Victorian home. I wasn’t yet familiar with Bronski Beat much less Jimmy Somerville. Jimmy’s voice enveloped us with a trancelike vibration. I was hooked even before the rhythms kicked in a couple minutes later. I remember wiping tears from my cheek as I listened to the lyrics that I understood all too well. John embraced me and I realized I wasn’t alone in my feelings.

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy – 1984

Above is the 12” extended mix that we danced many a night to in the clubs, below is the original 1984 video depicting the chilling story from the lyrics.

I don’t know what became of John. He sure was handsome. It was a confusing and scary time. We didn’t yet know how gay men were contracting AIDS and or who was going to be next. At that time it wasn’t if but when. AIDS in the 1980s was a death sentence and the deaths were miserably horrible experiences to live through. He was busy trying to set up the floundering new foundation to help area victims. I was young, scared and immature so I went back to the safety of my known lover. John continued his work and we drifted apart. However the memory is cherished.

Gershwin Wisdom

Rumors are running rampant today that Thursday may bring sweeping orders allowing religions to legally discriminate against me. Yes me personally if they don’t approve of who I love.

I’ve been discriminated against most of my life because of who I love. This is nothing new. Tides rise, tides receded. I’ll be contemplating how I will handle such ignorance.

Today I need not  fret, but think. I do have a message for those religious folks who wish to discriminate against me, to discriminate against anyone. That message is perfectly conveyed in the words of a tune made famous in a Gershwin number from Porgy & Bess…

It Ain’t Necessarily So
George Gershwin

It ain’t necessarily so
It ain’t necessarily so
The t’ings dat yo’ li’ble
To read in de Bible
It ain’t necessarily so.
Li’l David was small, but oh my!
Li’l David was small, but oh my!
He fought big Goliath
Who lay down an’ dieth!
Li’l David was small, but oh my!
Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo
Hoodle ah da wa da
Scatty wah!
Oh yeah!
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale
Fo’ he made his home in
Dat fish’s abdomen
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale
Li’l Moses was found in a stream
Li’l Moses was found in a stream
He floated on water
Till Ol’ Pharaoh’s daughter
She fished him, she said, from dat stream
Wadoo…
Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Dey tells all you chillun
De debble’s a villun,
But it ain’t necessarily so!
To get into Hebben
Don’ snap for a sebben!
Live clean! Don’ have no fault!
Oh, I takes dat gospel
Whenever it’s pos’ble
But wid a grain of salt
Methus’lah lived nine hundred years
Methus’lah lived nine hundred years
But who calls dat livin’
When no gal will give in
To no man what’s nine hundred years?
I’m preachin’ dis sermon to show
It ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t necessarily…so!

Dusting off a memory

Today I find that a familiar tune from the past is ringing in my ears. A year ago who would have ever thunk that this fabulous Jimmy Somerville diddy would suddenly become relevant.

Well Juanita it has.

This musical inspiration has suddenly become relevant again. It is a tune of inspiration out of oppression. Thus we are getting it down from the shelf, dusting it off and shaking our cute little tushy about the house. We are warming ourself up to get up, get out and stand up. Stand up for honest human values.

You go Jimmy. Get us up, get us going!

Don’t ever let us forget.

Read My Lips

Jimmy Somerville 1990

When one of us is oppressed we are all oppressed.

We’ve stood up for what was right before …and Juanita we ain’t forgot how!

Enough is enough is enough is enough.

A toe tappin’ weekend ahead

Geez that Jimmy Somerville looks as young as I was when I first took a twirl to this very version of this classic on the dance floor.

Well it’s because he was as young as I was the very first time I took a twirl to this one! Go ahead, click on the vid and enjoy this throwback to the 1980s. Go ahead and take a twirl around the room…ain’t no one watchin’ ….and so what if they is?

I most likely took my first twirl to this tune on the dance floor of The Copa Key West. I wrote about that dance floor HERE  and HERE and HERE. To say I loved The Copa would be making a statement of truth. However the first spin on the floor to this fabulous tune was several years before the trip that sealed my fate and moved me to the west coast. I guess you could say it was a warm up so I could impress him later when I met him.

The clip above I share simply to show Jimmy Somerville and the 1980s dance scene. That was the official video. However on the dance floor of The Copa of the mid 1980s you would have actually danced to this version:

Yeah, that’s the one! The remix that kept us on that floor ’till the sweat was dripping off the back of the shirts tucked in our waistbands. It’s a good thing that running the full length on each side of the massive dance floor that was The Copa, were long never ending cocktail bars. Therefore one never had far to go for a cold glass of refreshment. Damn that was a good club.

With this new found remix from my past it looks like all weekend this aging, but still young, ass will be busy twirlin’ around the house!