Deflowered My Life in Pansy Division

Review :

I first read about Pansy Division back in the mid nineties. Green Day mentioned how great they were in an interview and I remember Tre Cool wearing one of the band's t-shirts on their MTV Live and Loud special that I religiously watched every day for about a year when it aired in 1995. Of course I had to check this band out. I don't actually think I did until a year later. The album 'Wish I'd Taken Pictures' had come out and I thought it was the most wonderful cover and I actually had no idea about the intense gayness of the song lyrics or the stance of the band at all until I got back to my little room at the holiday camp in Bognor Regis that I was working in at the time. Of course, from the opening alarm clock bell that preceeds the excellent 'Horny in the Morning' till the final bars of 'Sidewalk Sale', I just fell in love with the band's music. The humour, the charm, the sheer openness of their sexuality was all packaged in this wonderful 30 odd minutes of camp pop punk. What I found extremely enjoyable about the music was how accessible I found the music, being very much the hereosexual and made me question my personal politics and the morals and belief system that I was brought up with. Not that it was anything overtly anti-gay or anything, I just saw other people's lifestyles in a truly different way and gave me a definite better understanding of others. Especially when I actually got to meet the band on a sunny day on Brighton promenade. I'd made the journey across Sussex for the gig and when I went to find the venue earlier in the day, I came across three wonderfully friendly and beautiful guys who emitted that San Francisco divine openness and kindness I have since fallen in love with and appreciate in some of my very closest friends today. The gig was in this tiny pub that no longer exists and the atmosphere was of just real positivity, fun and explicit naughtiness that you don't sadly see every day in the UK very much. All of this is truly celebrated, personified and represented in the very welcome memoir by guitarist and singer, Jon Ginoli. 'Deflowered' is a testament to a very kind, generous and funny man. From his upbringing in the less conservative birthplace to his journey and proud action to the creation of the band, not for personal gain but to provide and make a very brave statement is quite well crafted. Extremely enjoyable and really reminded me why I fell in love with their very different and powerful message and why I chose to admire and adore all that they stand for. A triumph.


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