There’s a motif running through Boy George’s B-Rude fashion line. Items featuring a tweaked Sex Pistols logo (which reads “Some queens have it too easy”) and a “Free Boy George” fake mug shot simultaneously spoof the Culture Club fop’s original dreadlocked look and once-controversial arrest record. “It’s a piss-take on classic punk, because obviously all of us little punks have become middle-aged folks now!” he says, laughing. But the Grammy-winning British singer born George O’Dowd, 52, has aged well. He is a best-selling author with two autobiographies, a globe- trotting professional DJ and a soul stylist who sounds better than ever on his new album “This is What I Do.” He also has begun writing with his old Culture Club bandmates again.
You’ve changed in many ways. You’re totally thin now, with a groovy goatee. Oh, please. I’m not thin by any stretch of anyone’s imagination! But I’m not as big as I was. I met Patti Smith last year in a New York restaurant, and I really was like a 10-year-old — I was like “Patti Smith! I’m Boy George!” And she looked at me and said “You are?” She’d never seen me with a beard before, so she was taken aback.
How is the DJ thing going? Well, I love it, and it’s an amazing second career. Although I’m not sure how much of a crossover there is from people I play to in clubs and my pop audience. But it’s so unpredictable to DJ, especially when you’re traveling and you don’t know what’s gong to work or even what kind of people will be there. And that keeps it exciting. I did a gig the other night in Singapore, which was full of Brits, all older expats, but they loved what I was playing. Or they, uh, kind of surrendered to it.
You collect Bart Simpson merchandise. What’s the affinity? I love Bart. I like things that sum up life, like “Eat my shorts!” Do you know the old U.K. series “The Wombles”? Over the years, whenever anyone asks “What’s your philosophy?” I always say “Remember you’re a Womble.” But I would be really happy if “The Simpsons” could all go to a Boy George concert some day. I would love to be on that show!
And you seem remarkably grounded. Your new song “King of Everything” mocks anyone who covets street cred. It’s more about being a successful human being than being some pop star. It’s about when you get up in the morning, how do you feel? So the “crown” is more of a metaphor for just trying to keep track of your ego, really.
IF YOU GO
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Monday