Oct 30, 2013

Paul Lekakis: No More Invitations to his Room

The music of the Disco Era was about sex or dancing.  Or both.  Or actually the same thing, both opportunities to "shake your grove thing."  But by April 1987, that "age of innocence" was long gone, and the top songs all praised monogamy and abstinence: "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me," "Let's Wait Awhile," "Walking Down Your Street."  So it was quite a shock to hear:

Boom boom boom
Let's go back to my room
So we can do it all night
And you can make me feel right

"Boom Boom (Let's Go Back to My Room)" hit #1 in Australia and Japan, but only #14 in the U.S., where people were afraid of going back to the rooms of strangers.  Especially gay men during the height of the AIDS crisis.

It was the debut song of 21-year old Paul Lekakis, a Greek-American physique model turned singer. And "openly" gay, quite a courageous act in the 1980s.

 During the next few years, he released several singles and an album.  Usually his lyrics dropped pronouns, and when they were specific, they were homoerotic.

 "My House" became a hit on the dance circuit, but "You Blow Me Away," "Let It Out," and "Are You Man Enough" did not.  Paul found himself partying heavily, using alcohol and drugs, and hustling.  He became HIV positive around 1989.  The next few years are a blur.

In 1997, he joined a 12-Step Program, stopped using drugs and hustling, and began recording again.  He also became an actor, mostly in roles that allowed him to display his still-impressive physique: Circuit (2001), about the sex-and-drugs-infused circuit parties of the gay 1990s; Just Can't Get Enough (2002), about the rise of the Chippendales Dancers; the gay Halloween thriller Hellbent (2004).

He wrote and directed the short film Don't Tell, Don't Ask, which made the gay film festival circuit in 2006.

In 2007, he performed with Scott Douglas Cunningham in the gay-themed play 2 Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter's Night, about a one-night stand that turns into something more.

He has started to release new songs, with "I Need a Vacation" in 2011.  His latest, "Meet Me on the Dance Floor" is available on itunes.  But tonight it will just be dancing. There will be no invitations to his room until you've dated for awhile.


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