Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Candy Shop #14




The One With The Friends Of Dorothy
by Nayt Housman


Was I turned “into” a gay by my dad’s taste in music?


Now The Candy Shop isn’t really a venue to discuss social development and the argument of “nature versus nurture” however when writing my top 90’s bands list I realized a lot of my music taste has been influenced by my parentals, much more than I previously thought and when thinking about it I realized my dad’s taste strongly reflect some of those cliché homo tastes we all know and love/hate.


Firstly there’s Madonna. A gay icon since the 80’s I first took real notice when dad brought home the album Bedtime Stories. It was like listening to a relationship acted out with greased up bodies writhing in a satin dressed bed with a half sucked bowl of chocolate dipped strawberries sitting next to leather bound handcuffs on the bedside table.


Bloated with innuendo and lyrics like “I could be your sister, I could be your mother, we could be friends, I’d even be your brother, but I’d rather be your lover, that’s right, I’d rather be your lover. Are you surprised?” I was surprised! Bedtime Stories is provocative, dark and sexually charged pop genius and it got me thinking. Why was my conservative, blue-collar father so into it? Maybe he has a secret kink fetish?




Celine Dion, where do I start? I’m pretty sure Celine has no heterosexual fans anywhere in the world or if she does they’re in the closet (closet Celine lovers not specifically closet homo (but probably homo)). I wouldn’t call myself a fan but the incessant playing of Celine did influence my love for a well-sung ballad and without trying to sell short her illustrious career, she did release at least three good songs. I was always moved by the song 'Falling Into You' and 'All By Myself' is a modern classic power ballad, right up there with the likes of Bonnie Tyler’s 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'.




Wendy Matthews is not exactly a gay icon however she is sort of like Australia’s version of Celine Dion (it’s a loose comparison and Wendy is much less of a crazy person) and around this time is when my love for Mariah was also large. Wendy’s album Lily was often on play at home. Then when I got my hands on it, I made sure it was on play regularly every-time we were on a road trip anywhere.


I’d describe Lily as perfect soul pop and Wendy’s voice has that smoky soul quality with beautiful clarity that draws me directly into the lyrics. Songs that really spoke to 12yo me were 'T.K.O.', which is a lesson in smooth soul pop, the beautifully gentle 'Quiet Art' and the somber, reflective 'The Day You Went Away'. Bliss.


 


If you read our 90’s countdown post yesterday you’d already know that Savage Garden is another band introduced to me essentially through my dad. So to avoid repeating the same story, here’s the link.


Other cliché gay icon notables include Cher, Kylie Minogue, ABBA and Queen, which when all included in one list make for a very homo friendly list of musicians and entertainers.


In the end I can’t make definitive claims that my dad’s music made me “light on my loafers” but considering most of the musicians he introduced me too are definitely friends of Dorothy, I think I have a pretty good case. What I wonder though is if I grew up on ACDC, Aerosmith and Rose Tattoo, would I be sitting here wearing a “wife beater”, drinking beer and watching footy? The mind boggles…

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