Posts from 2nd April 1999

Apr 99

Deviant Glam

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Velvet Goldmine and the Erotics of Pop

So here’s what I liked about Velvet Goldmine: there’s a moment when teenaged glam fan Arthur gets home after buying the new ‘Brian Slade’ record. He puts the record on the player and then lies on the bed, basking in the music, gazing raptly at Slade’s airbrushed, marbled body on the glossy inner sleeve. The scene is charged, muskily hormonal – you expect Arthur to flex like a whore and fall wanking to the floor (and don’t you worry, he does later) – but it’s not just Arthur’s inchoate sexual awakening that gives it this kick. For Arthur is writhing in the grip of a joyous deviance more specialised and just as potent, the fever of the pop fan as they listen to a record for the first time.