Under The Influence // Duane The Teenage Weirdo
In the latest edition of 'Under The Influence', Duane The Teenage Weirdo talks us through five songs from five artists/bands that have influenced his music in some way. With such a bold look and sound, it will come as no surprise that Duane's choices would reflect that. From Bowie to Madonna by way of Klaus Nomi, he sure has great taste.
Madonna: Like a Virgin
This is my favorite song of all time. And I mean it. Madonna (particularly years 82'-85') is like a a serious religion for me. I have read and devoured just about every little shred of information I can find about her and her music from this period. Absolute obsession. Her whole life story filled with ambition and adventure and drive is just beyond inspirational. I have listened to her first two albums more than any other records I've listened to. VHS tapes, concerts, Youtube vids of old news stories, old newspaper articles, just anything I can to find out more about this woman and her sound at the time. I've stuidied and this song right here, and particulary this well known performance is just a ultimate definitive statement for her and this period. Amazing...
David Bowie: The Jean Genie
David Bowie is the best songwriter ever, period! Sll of his songs are so fascinating just filled with mystery, he writes like he truely is a man from mars. It's so hard for me to pick just one of his songs as a favourite, but 'The Jean Genie' is just so riveting and it really jumps right at you instantly. It took me a while to get into Bowies stuff when I was in high school, but this was the one song I really felt right away from first listen. Mick Ronson's heavy guitar work, Bowies absurd talent for story telling are the highlights of this great record. The live version available on his Live from Santa Monica concert album is even more powerful.
Klaus Nomi: Lightning Strikes
I like weird things. Abnormal characters that truely do seem to come from another place and time that not just any ordinary person can get into, and Klaus Nomi is the perfect example. I actually found out about him after I started performing and making music (2 years ago), so I was greatly surprised that I hadn't heard of him long before now. This song and video is so camp and strange, that when you watch/listen to it, it's not like any other average music experience, you have to actually be pulled into the mind of this strange creature, and having that great artistic ability to create another world to pull an audience into is something I long to have.
Jobriath: Rock of Ages
Another unusual and short lived act I found out about just rexcently. Jobriath was basically Americas version of Ziggy Stardust that apparently we weren't ready for. He came onto the mid 70's rock scene proclaiming to be the first openly gay rock star. A very bold statement to make now. I can't even imagine the results of someone doing something like this 40 years ago. He has a big gravely traditional rock n roll voice, but with a very blatantly camp presentation. He was so dramatic on stage and his costumes were professionally constructed moving pieces of art. I think its a shame such a unique talent went so unnoticed at the time. I've read a few comments by people on my videos calling me a"black Jobriath". A comparison I don't really mind at all...
Nightmares In Wax: Black Leather
I don't really listen to a lot of bands...most of my big influences are solo artist with big personalities and fantastic images to match. But if I had to name my favorite band, it would be Dead or Alive. DOA is more known in america for that one big 80's hit 'You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)' but if you really get into them you'll learn that they were a goth/punk band in the late 70's under the name: Nightmares In Wax. 'Black Leather' is a gothic rock mixed with punk with a slight disco beat. The sound is raw and distorted and the lyrics and Pete Burns singing style is very camp and flamboyant. A couple years ago I used to listen to this song on my mp3 player on full volume as I walked down the hallways in my senior hear of high school. I couldn't hear anything but that song it was so loud.