Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Another Musician Gone Too Soon

I have to stop looking up nostalgic things and people from my past on the internet. 

I looked up "Smalltown Boy" on YouTube, only to find that Steve Bronski of Bronski Beat died just a month ago in December of 2021. I must admit that I was initially confusing Steve Bronski with Jimmy Somerville who is more well known as the singer with the falsetto voice on the album Age of Consent. None the less...

"Legendary Bronski Beat musician Steve Bronski died in a fire, friend confirms. Steve Bronski, co-founder and keyboard player of pop group Bronski Beat, died after a fire in his flat, according to a friend. The musician's passing at the age of 61 was announced last week, but no cause of death was given at the time." Dec 14, 2021, PinkNews, UK.

"Steve Bronski, part of the 1980s British synth-pop trio Bronski Beat, whose members were openly gay at a time when that was uncommon and whose early songs unabashedly addressed homophobia and other gay issues, died after a fire on Dec. 7 at his apartment building in the Soho section of London."  NYT Dec 22, 2021.

I have been nostalgic of late and focused on remembering the most joyous times of my life. One of those was Disco.

There was the period just after I came out, late bloomer that I was, in 1984 when I would go to the clubs (a lot). The beat of disco music and I could not help but to dance - man, I loved to dance. The music, the beat, and dancing and the sea of sweaty men would get me high. 

I would be thoroughly elated, energized and exhilarated. As they say, "Those were the days."

One of the tunes that had a hypnotic beat and great lyrics was "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat. 

It was a gay anthem of sorts, a lament of sorts, the story of a kid who didn't fit in. It wasn't exactly my story, but I could relate. 

I have the tune in my iTunes library, on my iPhone, and on my Honda USBdrive along with most of the classic disco tunes of the era. I still love them all. I had been just listening to "Smalltown Boy" while riding my bicycle in the garage*.

Then I was curious to check out "Smalltown Boy" on YouTube. There were several videos and in the comment section I was seeing many people signing off with was the first I'd heard about Bronski's passing.

Here is an extended version of "Smalltown Boy" featuring Jimmy Somerville, in memory of Steve Bronski:

*doing my physical therapy routine for my bad left knee using a bike trainer stand; ten to fifteen minutes on a stationary bike is like an eternity in HELL; but music makes the medicine easier to tolerate.

1 comment:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, I heard this on CBC radio last month. "Smalltown Boy" got quite a bit of airplay for a couple of days as a result.


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