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August 2017




  

"Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache- How Music Came Out"
Book Review By: Jimi LaLumia




If there is one 'must own' book of 2017, it is Martin Aston's brilliant pop music history tied to LGBT artists, composers and stars; he had me from the moment , in the introduction part of the book,where he describes his life changing, when he first saw glam era David Bowie on UK tv performing the single "Starman"; he describes that moment in his young life as similar to that moment in "The Wizard Of Oz" when the film changes from black and white to Technicolor; the glam revolution of the early 70's had a similar change of life moment for me.Aston cites the early Supremes and early Marvel Comics as similar doses of fabulousness in his life, again almost entirely similar to mine. It's amazing how pop culture was, and continues to be, a salvation for so many of us.

We get a century's worth of gay artists, recording and performing, in drag and in suits, male and female, decade by decade, providing so much information from the early 1900's, the 1920's and 1930's, leading through 50's pop and 60's rock,and the full fledged assault led by MainMan and the T.Rex glam invasion; Bowie, Bolan, Gary Glitter, Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Roxy Music, and more, all present and accounted for. Jayne County, starting as' 'Wayne', finally receives the credit for being,in Aston's own words, "the first out gay and drag,and transgender, rocker'.. there is exhaustive coverage of the 70's and 80's new wave, Pete Burns, Boy George, Holly Johnson,etc, and the book carries right up to this current moment in time.

At over 500 pages of reading material.,and with loads of gorgeous pics, many of which I've never seen before, you certainly get your money's worth,and then some; you get additional validation, something we can never get too much of. Aston recently appeared in the TV documentary, "Pop, Pride & Prejudice" on British tv's Channel Four ( I also appeared in this one hour feature) dealing with the book's subject matter, and hopefully Showtime or HBO will pick up the rights for a U.S. broadcast; in the meantime, get yourself a copy of "Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache"..you won't regret it.