Stop Kicking My Heart Around: Remembering Pete Burns

   Pete Burns, the lead singer for the British glam punk pop band Dead or Alive, died Sunday, October 23 at the age of 57 from a 'massive cardiac arrest'. 
   I felt hollow while listening to DJ Hit that Button by Dead or Alive Monday night. Though I wasn't alive during their prime, the band Dead or Alive has shaped my music taste into the patchwork quilt it is today.  

I've listened to Dead or Alive since I was 8 years old. I discovered them just as most Americans do, through You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). The music video, to an 8 year old me, was so confusing, glamorous, and bizarre. But that was the point wasn't it? Glamour. Oddity. Fashion. Pete Burns confused the hell out of me as a child. I bought Evolution, a CD I still listen to regularly today, shortly after discovering the band. I was confused as to why the man on the cover of the album, Pete Burns himself, had a bright red mo-hawk and a safety pin in his cheek? Glam punk pop. That's why. 


      Yesterday, in preparation for this post, I watched a two of Pete's interviews: one from the 80s at the height of his fame, and one from 2006. Pete is unlike any person I've ever met or read about. He was so comfortable with himself and was very matter of fact while speaking to journalists, even at the beginning of his career in music when most people are unsure of their image. Instead of making himself into a pop star personality, he remained true to himself. He also was a clever lyricist that makes me giggle every time I pick up on one of his puns. 
"Well I used to have what I would call a very limited vocabulary, and the only two words I could wrap my tongue around were "I" and "me". But now I feel so clever that you would swear I ate a dictionary, and the new word that I've added brings up my words to three. What am I gonna do, word number three is "you"." 
  Those lyrics are from "I'd Do Anything" by Dead or Alive, a song I always crack a smile at.  

Isn't It a Pity That I'm Not the Prettiest Girl In the World?

Pete Burns post surgery

  One of the things most noted about Pete Burns was his extensive cosmetic surgeries through the years. I can't imagine my plastic surgery over shining my music and talents.

  Pete Burns started to undergo plastic surgery after his rise to fame. Pete wanted to become the physical example of perfection. In my mind, he reached his goal. The surgeries stabbed him in the back when a lip injection spread throughout his face and into his liver and kidneys. Pete had to undergo countless reconstructive surgeries to fix the injection-gone-bad. 

 Personally, I've always found Pete Burns to be a beautiful man circa the 80s, before any major cosmetic alterations. 
  Pete was such a lovable person with enormous amounts of talent. I think he was turned into a bit of a spectacle, a freak show attraction even, as soon as his face started to look unnatural. We got to know Pete Burns through his voice and music, and remember him as some plastic surgery addict...?
How wrong is that? This man was an artist. Most people don't remember Van Gogh as the man who cut off his ear; they remember him through his work. That should go for Pete Burns, or any artist, as well.  

2016 Stop Taking Our Icons!


   Prince, David Bowie, and now Pete Burns, all androgynous symbols have been lost this year. A popular phrase accompanying the "RIP Pete Burns" messages on social media is "2016 stop taking our icons!". All three are super stars were some of the largest artists of their time and a large inspiration to many people even today. Pete introduced a new style to the world, one all his own. On the internet, people are comparing the loss of Pete Burns to the loss of David Bowie, another style icon to artists around the globe. Though I've never gotten into the world of David Bowie, from a young age, I admired Pete. I didn't understand why he dressed the way he did but it emanated confidence, and that's what I liked most. 
  In a way, I think Pete Burns is one of the lucky ones. Though he will be duly missed, he got out before all hell broke loose. Who knows what the future holds for the world? Who knows what will happen after the American Election? I don't even want to think about the world tension. Pete, you're free, rest in peace. 

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