The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Dancing & Defiance - Paul Flynn's Soundtrack To 30 Years Of Gay Culture
Andy Thomas , July 24th, 2017 11:06

To mark the anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, Paul Flynn (author of Good as You: From Prejudice to Pride, 30 Years of Gay Britain) chooses 13 records that soundtracked his life, from ACR to Elton and Lil Kim to Sleaford Mods.


Elton John - Songs From The West Coast
My first London job was at the Daily Express, a proper baptism of fire. My second was at Attitude. My boyfriend at the time became mates with a rising star at Elton John's management company. He told us that Elton read Attitude, so we asked him if Elton would be interviewed for the magazine and he passed back a message saying when the time was right, he would. In 2001, I received a call while in Montreal on a job saying if I could make it to Ottawa the next day, I'd get an hour with Elton backstage before he played. I had $40 in my wallet and no bank account and somehow made it there anyway. He was about to release Songs From The West Coast. Gays had been excited about the record because of the involvement of peak Madonna collaborator Pat Leonard. Its best song is 'American Triangle', with backing vocals by Rufus Wainwright. Bernie Taupin wrote an amazing, clear lyric about the homophobic murder of Matthew Shepherd, turning the song into Elton's own, real-life 'The Killing Of Georgie'. Later, he cast escapee boy-band star Justin Timberlake in the video for another venerable song on the album, 'This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore'. At its centre is 'I Want Love', the gay addict's 'Imagine'. The album was just the latest in a string of stunning personal and professional achievements for Elton John with which, without question he changed the way the world viewed gay men.