Culture Club Takes America By Storm Once More

Original Line-Up to Perform for the First Time in 13 Years

The English band Culture Club led the Second British Invasion when the new wave genre was at its peak in the early 1980s, and their music resonated with listeners in the U.K., the U.S., and worldwide. Nearly 35 years after they first formed, the Grammy Award-winning quartet have sold over 50 million albums, and even had a song inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a “song that shaped rock and roll.” They’ve blazed trails and made music history.CultureClub_copy1

Now, for the first time in 13 years, the entire original lineup of Culture Club is back in the limelight. They recorded a new album, Tribes, which will be released soon, and they are now in the middle of a nationwide tour. That tour will make its final three stops in Florida. Be sure to catch them in Miami at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre on Friday, August 14 at 8 p.m., in Madeira Beach at Madeira Beach Park on Saturday, August 15 at 3 p.m., and in Orlando at Hard Rock Live on Sunday, August 16 at 8 p.m.

ABOUT CULTURE CLUB

Lead vocalist Boy George formed the quartet Culture Club in 1981 with three of his friends: Mikey Craig (bass guitar), Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards) and Jon Moss (drums and percussion). The name “Culture Club” comes from the varied and markedly different racial, nationalist and sexual groups that represent each of them: Boy George is an Irish gay man who dressed as a transvestite, Mikey Craig is black and English, Roy Hay is white and English, and Jon Moss was raised Jewish.

Originally turned down by EMI Records, they found a home in the U.S. at Epic Records. They released their first two singles in the summer of 1982, but both failed to hart. It was their third single, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” released in September 1982, that became their breakthrough hit in both the U.K. (#1) and the U.S. (#2). Boy George immediately became a media sensation on both sides of the pond due to his outrageous behavior and style of dress.

Their first album, Kissing to Be Clever, was released in the autumn of 1982 and yielded two top-ten U.S. pop singles: “Time (Clock of the Heart)” (#2) and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” (#9). The group became the first act since The Beatles to have three singles from their debut album chart in the top ten. The group’s second album, Colour by Numbers, was released in 1983 and became the group’s highest-selling album to date. It spawned the mega-hit “Karma Chameleon,” which topped the charts in 30 countries, including the U.K. and the U.S. It would also produce two more top ten U.S. singles, “Church of the Poison Mind” and “Miss Me Blind.”

Their next two albums, Waking Up with the House on Fire (1984) and From Luxury to Heartache (1986) would both go platinum in the United States. Also during this time, Boy George participated in the Bob Geldof-produced track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, in response to the devastating famine going on at that time in Ethiopia. The song went to #13 on the U.S. pop charts and sold over a million copies during the holiday season in 1984.

CultureClub_copy2The band broke up at the end of 1986 due to Boy George’s increasing dependence on drugs. He would later become sober and he began a successful DJ career. The entire band reunited for an extensive world tour in 1998 and 1999, and again in 2002. In 2014, the original lineup reunited once more to record a new album and to embark on another world tour. Originally scheduled to begin in November 2014, Boy George was hospitalized due to a throat condition and had to postpone all tour dates. The tour finally began in Vancouver on July 17 this year.

In the years since Culture Club enjoyed its initial success, Boy George has become one of the most popular openly gay musicians in the world, although he was never explicitly out during Culture Club’s heyday in the 1980s. Many of the group’s songs were written by Boy George and, in later albums, were influenced by his secret romance with bisexual bandmate Jon Moss.

TICKETS

Tickets are available for purchase right now via LiveNation and Ticketmaster, depending on the venue. All ticket purchases can be initiated by going to Culture Club’s official website at cultureclub.co.uk. Ticket prices per person begin at $39.50 (Miami), $30 (Madeira Beach), and $55.50 (Orlando).

The Miami and Madeira Beach concert dates will be held outside; blankets and lawn chairs are recommended. The Orlando concert date’s general admission tickets are standing room only; for seating you will have to purchase a balcony seat ($113-$123 per person) or a table at the balcony ($148).

For more information about Culture Club, visit their website at cultureclub.co.uk. “Like” them on Facebook by going to the Boy George & Culture Club page at facebook.com/boygeorgeofficial. Follow them on Twitter @RealCultureClub.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.