Friday, February 21, 2020

"Boom Boom (Let's Go Back to My Room)" by Paul Lekakis

Song#:  3050
Date:  03/07/1987
Debut:  73
Peak:  43
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Dance, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  Born in upstate New York, Lekakis quickly learned as a teenager that his good looks could open doors for him. He dropped out of school and after turning 17 he made the move to NYC. He basically became a club kid and floated around. At one point he met a fashion photographer who ended up snapping some test shots of Lekakis. These led to Lekakis signing up with modeling agencies in New York and Milan. While most of the modeling work he did was low-key, he did score a couple of major jobs including one for Emporio Armani. While in Italy, he continued to frequent the clubs and one night he met a record producer who thought Lekakis might have the goods to record some dance tracks. A demo of a song called "Boom Boom" was done and it got Lekakis a deal with XYZ Records. The song was officially recorded and released and it began to make waves. In the US, the song filled club floors and it eventually got to #6 on the Dance chart. It then crossed over to Pop where it nearly cracked the Top 40. It put Lekakis in the spotlight and he wanted it to continue. He came back to the States hoping to secure a contract with a major label. None bit until finally Sire Records decided to take a chance on him. Lekakis then recorded a debut album titled Tattoo It that came out in 1990. Only one of the LP's tracks, "My House," got anywhere reaching #17 on the Dance chart. The album disappeared quickly as did Lekakis' contract with Sire. With the exception of a couple of singles, Lekakis wouldn't record again until the 2000s. This song remains his lone entry on the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  I was familiar with this song back in the day, but it kind of escaped me, which is a bit weird. I had long known I was gay by this point in time, but I wasn't one who frequented the clubs (probably a good thing in retrospect). So I didn't hear this tune a lot and I didn't made the connection between it and gay culture. Plus I thought it was just a stupid, trashy song. And kind of an irresponsible one since it came out at a time then AIDS was killing thousand of people. It wasn't until decades later when the song sprang up through friends that it all made sense to me. I still think the song is pretty trashy. It plays like a weak Stock Aitken Waterman knock off with cheeky lyrics and Lekakis certainly wasn't the most gifted vocalist. However, these days I do find it kind of fun and can recognize that it kept a lot of people dancing at a time when the gay community was struggling. It's a product of its time that brings up memories both good and bad for a lot of folks and it occupies a small spot in gay culture. It also still keeps many folks dancing including me on occasion.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  When an artist's career takes a nose dive after a hit or two, it can certainly lead to tough times and hard decisions. For some, they end up being successful in other careers or take different roles in the music industry. For others, the fall takes them to dark places and that happened with Lekakis. When his music career stalled, he was basically left with nothing but his good looks. He performed in the gay clubs for a while, but it seems his shows went from being music based to something along the lines of stripping. He changed things up and moved to L.A. hoping to pursue acting. That wasn't working out and so he decided to use his good looks to make money and became a male prostitute. He did this for a three-year period starting around 1994. He was making money, but he also got addicted to drugs and alcohol. He was also was also HIV-positive and not disclosing this to his clients (Lekakis had known about his status since 1989). It took a while, but Lekakis finally cleaned up his act. He did get some acting jobs and began recording music again. He returned to the Dance chart in 2012 with the appropriately titled song "I Need a Hit," which made it to #35.


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