CHRIS LOWE, the British musician (Pet Shop Boys), was born today. For those in a cave the last 3 decades, Pet Shop Boys are an English synth/pop/pop music/electronic music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant who provides main vocals, keyboards and very occasionally guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards and occasionally on vocals. The duo write the vast majority of their songs and have also written songs for other artists.
They are considered one of the most creative and successful song-writing teams of the last 25 years and are long renowned by electronic music DJ’s and fans as pioneers in synthesizer based music, in part for helping bring it to the mainstream audience. Neil Tennant is out Gay, although he refused to confirm rumors about his sexuality in the 1980s until finally coming out shortly after the release of 1993’s Very in Attitude, a UK Gay lifestyle magazine. Lowe, meanwhile, has remained tight-lipped on the subject. The duo are sometimes incorrectly assumed to be a couple (in the 1990 biography Pet Shop Boys, Literally, Tennant recalls that even their ex-manager, Tom Watkins, was under this impression for a time).
Pet Shop Boys are seen as significant figures in Gay culture for such songs as “Can you forgive her?”, “It’s a sin” (for which Gay director Derek Jarman produced the video), “New York City Boy” and their cover of Village People’s “Go West”. They have written a song about a young male fan spending a night with a rapper, based on Eminem, called “The night I fell in love” and a song about coming out, “Metamorphosis”.
The boys met Dusty Springfield at her lowest ebb and reinvigorated her career. Chris was a huge fan (“Dusty in Memphis”) so they took her back into the studio and recorded with her. Famously “Nothing Has Been Proved” for the film Scandal about the Profumo affair
Their 1990s single “Being Boring” dealt with the Gay experience and the devastation wrought by the AIDS crisis; the song (and its supporting video, filmed by Bruce Weber), remains one of their most popular. However, Neil Tennant has stated many times that his lyrics are not specifically Gay. Many of their songs are written from an ambiguous view point that can be taken any way the listener perceives it, and this goes some way to explain why a large segment of their die-hard fans are heterosexual.