I was born a bit too late to experience the rise of the band Dead or Alive, but even as a young faggot I heard their music and sought them out. Lead singer Pete Burns has been a source of endless fascination for me. Born a beautiful faggot, Burns couldn’t ever seem to be happy with his looks and resorted to extreme plastic surgery that destroyed his face and ultimately his life.

As a band, Dead or Alive wasn’t terribly prolific or intellectually deep. The music was mostly cookie-cutter eighties dance pop with Burns’ weirdly operatic vocals over the top of it. But this song “Son Of A Gun” always stuck out to me, even as a kid, because it’s unlike anything in their discography. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that the song is really about Alphas and their refusal to go along with everybody else. Here are the lyrics:

There’s a boy in the world
Who doesn’t follow the crowd
Doesn’t do what he’s told to
That’s why he’s allowed to
Stay job as a diver
A job as a diver

If you are lucky
You might be the one
Get to ride with the outlaw
You think that are done by respectable people
Respectable people

But heaven knows
He isn’t what he should be
They’re just
I just think he could be

A son of a gun
Ever try to save a bullet in your ear before
A son of a gun
He’s got something that you’ve
Never ever ever tried before
Son of a gun
While at once he will take
And he’ll take what is best
Life’s far too short
To leave time for the rest
That’s the law of the jungle
The law of the jungle

Heaven knows
He isn’t what he should be
They’re just
I just think he could be