David Bowie Made Me Gay

David Bowie Made Me Gay
100 Years of LGBT Music
Darryl W. Bullock
Price: £
  • Hardback
7 Sep 2017
  • Music, Film & Theatre
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The definitive book revealing the influence of LGBT writers/ performers on the history and evolution of modern music

This revealing and timely book is a must-have for anyone passionate about music. LGBT musicians have shaped the development of music over the last century, with a sexually progressive soundtrack in the background of the gay community’s struggle for acceptance worldwide. With the advent of recording technology, LGBT messages were for the first time transferred from the cabaret stage and brought to the homes of millions.

David Bowie Made Me Gay is the first book to cover the breadth of history of recorded music by and for the LGBT community: How have those records influenced the evolution of the music we listen to today? How have they inspired whole generations of disenfranchised youth? How could we ever have the Scissor Sisters or Lady Gaga without Billie Holiday, Disco and David Bowie?

Through new interviews and contemporary reports, David Bowie Made Me Gay uncovers the lives of the people who made these records, and offers a lively canter through the scarcely documented history of LGBT music-makers. Bullock discusses the invaluable influence gay men, lesbians and bisexuals had on the growth of Jazz and Blues; looks at the almost forgotten world of gay life in the years between the two World Wars when many LGBT performers enjoyed a fame and freedom that would not be seen again until the 1970s and ’80s; explores the emergence of Disco and Glamrock that gave birth to today’s most legendary out-gay pop stars: Elton John, Boy George, Freddie Mercury, George Michael; and asks where we are today.


‘Lovingly detailed and exhaustively researched – easily the most readable and comprehensive guide I've seen to this fascinating hidden history’ Tom Robinson, musician, broadcaster and long-time LGBT rights activist.

‘An excellent book’ GayStarNews

'Darryl W. Bullock leaves no stone unturned in his analysis of this crucial part of LGBT culture' Men 24 Magazine

‘Probably the best title I’ve seen all year; this is a chronicle of the lives and impact of LGBT artists, both well-known and obscure. It’s really fascinating’ Wilde on My Side

‘A fascinating chronicle [and] a necessary and hard-hitting reminder that there is still progress to be made… a comprehensive and compelling work, in terms of its extensive discussion of music, history and, of course, a human struggle for tolerance, acceptance and respect’ Nudge Books

'A great read that reveals how the marriage of music and sexuality can create new and exciting horizons' Sean Dickson, Hifi Sean

'A history that digs deep' R’n’R (Rock‘n’Reel)

'A fascinating book, a fascinating subject – oh to have a look around [Darryl's] record collection!' Grant Stott on the Janice Forsyth Show, BBC Radio Scotland

‘Utterly engrossing… a deep and dense history, examining in rich detail the progression of artists and their musical expression, following smoothly from period to period’ Dublin University Observer

‘Follows the history of LGBT music, discovering well-known artists and a huge number of forgotten, often-declared LGBT performers who were active far before Stonewall’ XXZ Magazin

‘Starting at the birth of jazz in New Orleans and the touring troupes and cabaret groups, through the swinging sixties with icons like Dusty Springfield, to the infamously tortured experience of LGBT artists in the 1980s, the book arrives in the present day having charted the journey culture has taken’ Bristol 24/7

A comprehensive look back at a century’s worth of queer artists’ Gay Power Couple

'A highly comprehensive history of LGBT music, spanning a century from early jazz and blues to today’s most recognizable pop stars out of the closet. Bullock meticulously chronicles the LGBT community’s vast influence on music through a historical lens, revealing how society’s oscillation between acceptance and persecution has shaped what we listen to today' The Washington Blade

'Well-researched and brimming with intrigue, Bullock's comprehensive study not only makes the work of scores of musicians sing anew; it also demonstrates how the pendulum of acceptance can swing from era to era' Kirkus Reviews

'Recovers the lost history of music made by, and for, the LGBTQ community. Bullock touches on artists as unalike and historically far-flung as the flamboyant ragtime-era pianist Tony Jackson... [whose music], decades before Lady Gaga’s gay-positive song 'Born This Way' hit the airwaves, gave hope to fearful, isolated LGBTQ kids' Publishers Weekly

‘Bullock’s comprehensive look at a century of LBGTQ music and musicians is concise, informative, life-affirming, and just damn good reading’ Library Journal

'Bullock's sensational reference guide uncovers a lot of fascinating and unfamiliar queer history and shares it in an entertaining and breezy style’ Shelf Awareness