Stephen Gately RIP

October 11, 2009

May Stephen Gately, singer of songs, gesticulator of joy, rest in peace. I’ll personally miss his clean faced, earnest jawed, approach to getting middle-aged women of Irish descent to buy records. I’ll also cement happy recollections of my memories of standing at the back of school discos, arms folded in nihilistic defiance of the musical policy. Clad in baggy jeans and a Nirvana hoodie that my mum bought me from Camden, I was the sole arbiter of taste at my primary school between 1998 and 2000.

I’ll never forget his performance of Father and Son on Top Of The Pops. While Ronan ‘Existential-tumble’ Keating sang and played the part of the father, Steven sang and played the sole of the son. It was a heartwarming moment, and I remember my mum quivering with glee at their clever use of staging and the semiotics of ‘standing up just before a key-change’. The latter feature of their performance, of course, was pioneering. It would later be turned into an art-form by Westlife.

Look at his seductive, if ominous, glare in this picture. It says ‘come and get me- for £6.79 from Woolworths’ like a shiny red price tag. He was clearly a role model- not just for aspiring singers, but for teenage boys (probably) caught in the struggle between their burgeoning homosexuality and Catholic identity. Entering into the life of Christ, Old Compton Street, and the hearts and minds of sphincter squealing young ladies takes guts. Steven Gately had such guts and a healthy metabolism for the pressures of stardom- no matter what ‘they’ told him.

Stephen Gately (1976-2009)


One Response to “Stephen Gately RIP”

  1. Sha Sha Says:

    although i have no idea who this Steven Gately was, my condolences on the passing of your teen idol. heh heh. oops, i mean there there.

    but seriously though… welcome back.

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