Boy George, Martin Fry, Nicki Clarke and Spandau Ballet were among the stars who turned out to pay their respects to New Romantic icon Steve Strange at his ‘deliberately flamboyant’ send-off this afternoon. More than 300 mourners, including some of the biggest pop stars from the eighties, came together at All Saints Church in Porthcawl, South Wales, to bid an emotional farewell to the late Visage singer.
Boy George, Martin and Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet and their bandmate Steve Norman were among the pallbearers who carried Strange’s colourful coffin – which was plastered with pictures of the singer from the eighties – into the packed church.
Fellow Spandau Ballet bandmates Tony Hadley and Steve Norman, as well as hairdresser Nicky Clarke, were among the guests who attended the lavish ceremony.
Others who turned out included Martin Fry, the frontman of new wave band ABC, and world famous milliner Stephen Jones, whose first job was to make a hat for Strange out of a gold braid for £75. Strange also helped Jones set up his first store, which led to a globally-successful business.
The cortege had been led by a marching jazz band wearing maroon and navy suits who played I’m the King of the Swingers, as fans crowded the streets around the church. A stirring orchestral version of Visage’s biggest hit Fade To Grey was then played as the coffin was brought into the church.
In a tribute that met with thunderous applause, Boy George wrote a poem paying an emotional tribute to his friend, describing him as a ‘punk rocker and a fellow freak.’
POEM FOR STEVE STRANGE :
“LIFE ASKED DEATH ,WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE YOU BUT HATE ME
DEATH RESPONDED ,BECAUSE YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL LIE
AND I AM A PAINFUL TRUTH GOODBYE STEVE
PART TIME NEMESIS ,ROGUE ,GLAM ROCKER ,PUNK ROCKER ,NEW ROMANTIC ,OLD ROMANTIC,FIRST CLASS SHOW OFF ,FELLOW FREAK ,BEAUTIFUL GAY MAN ,SEMINAL POP STAR ,WRECKING BALL ,COSTUME BALL ,MASKED BALL ,FIREWORK ,FUTURIST,FASHIONISTA ,BLITZ KID ,BLITZKRIEG ,WELSHMAN ,WILD CARD ,WEIRDO,SISTER ,SINNER ,SAINT ,WHIRLING ,SWIRLING ,IN YOUR WARPAINT,
IF YOU PRAY, ALL OF YOUR SINS ARE HOOKED UPON THE SKY,
PRAY AND THE HEATHEN LIE WILL DISAPPEAR, PRAYERS THEY HIDE THE SADDEST VIEW,
BELIEVING THE STEVE STRANGEST THINGS, LOVING THE ALIEN”
Steve Norman, the saxophonist for Spandau Ballet, also gave a eulogy, recalling how Strange took him and Martin Kemp under his wing during the 1970s, praising his friend’s ‘massive heart’.
He said: ‘We did not have any money back then, and Steve would always pay for our drinks and whatever we wanted. He was a generous and caring human being with a massive heart.
‘A lot of great stuff has been said about Steve since his passing – about how he shaped the 1980s – and it is very much deserved. I just wish a few more people had told that to him when he was around … he was a sensitive soul who needed that affirmation from people.’
Norman also recalled the last time he had spoken to Strange just before Christmas and took comfort in telling his long-time friend how much he loved him.
Afterwards, there was a rousing performance of the Welsh hymn “Myfanwy” by the Bridgend Male Voice Choir, before Visage performed at the wake, which was held at the beachfront Hi-Tide pub in the seaside town where Steve and his family have lived for years.
Among the floral tributes in the hearse next to Steve’s white coffin was one describing the colourful chameleon as ‘the quintessential peacock’.
Steve Strange, a style icon, died aged 55 following a heart attack while on holiday in the Sharm el-Sheikh resort in Egypt.
Steve will also be remembered for being a prominent face on the London club scene in the early 1980s, as well as leading an era of freedom of expression through fashion.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2991701/1980s-stars-Boy-George-Martin-Gary-Kemp-pay-respects-funeral-New-Romantic-icon-Steve-Strange.html#ixzz3V28tNw1W
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