Flashback: October 1982

Boy George recalls Culture Club's infamous appearance on Top of the Pops with 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?' - and the reaction it caused

We actually only found out we were going to be on Top of the Pops the night before the show. We were only asked because Shakin' Stevens pulled out. I stayed up all night trying to decide what to wear because Top of the Pops was such a big deal back then. I did use a lot of make-up at the time, and it really freaked people out. People couldn't deal with my sexual energy when they met me, and I loved that. It was my life's work.

There were newspaper headlines the next day saying things like 'Is it a Boy or a Girl?' but the reaction from the public was completely different to that of the press and the industry. I was in Notting Hill the day after and everyone came up saying 'You were great!' and being lovely. It was the press and Radio 1 who were like, 'What is that thing?!'

A lot of people thought 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?' was about S&M, but it was about Culture Club's drummer Jon Moss, my boyfriend at the time. Well, not just Jon, it was about all the guys I dated at that time in my life. I always had these awkward relationships, which only became awkward when other people became involved. Jon was fine shagging me until his mum met me. He lived in a posh house in Hampstead and I was invited round for dinner. His mum answered the door and went 'Oh!'. I ended up having to eat with the servants in the kitchen.

Although I famously said at the time that I'd rather have a cup of tea than sex, my sex life was actually really rampant. But I'd been brought up to think it was dirty and wrong, and not to be made public. So you're dealing with a lot of things - not just other people's opinions, but your own insecurities as well. In a way, nothing's changed. Things might have changed on the surface, but everyone's still as uptight.

· Boy George starts a residency at the Shaw Theatre, London on 23 January 2008.

In other news...

These charming men

On 4 October, the Smiths play their first ever gig at The Ritz in Manchester. Their set includes the song 'Suffer Little Children', about the Moors murders. Although it will be included on their 1984 debut album, they never play it live again.

Wild times

The classic hip-hop film Wild Style is released. Shot on location in South Bronx, it captures the emerging rappers, breakdancers and other hip-hop figures on the big screen for the first time. The film breaks all attendance records in Times Square.

Sticky end

On 29 October, the Jam announce that they will be splitting at the end of their current UK tour. Lead singer Paul Weller goes on to form modern soul sophisticates the Style Council, who themselves split in 1989, when Weller goes solo again.

The GuardianTramp

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