Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on December 4, 2014

There is some music few of you have ever heard. Amanda Lear is probably one of these artists. Cloaked in self-created mystery, Lear seems to have been born Alain Tapp, a male, perhaps in 1939. It is clear by now that she is a transsexual, although she has steadfastly denied it. Changed by hormones and a nose job, she became public around 1960 as an exotic showgirl and stripper in Paris.

She ran with the in-crowd and became fast friends with Salvadore Dali, who is said to have paid for her sex-change operation. Lear then moved to London, working at Ramond's Revue Bar while studying at St. Martin's College of Art, and meeting stars like Keith Moon and Marianne Faithful, dating/mixing with the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and finally living together with David Bowie, being featured in Bowie's stage act. She posed nude for Playboy Magazine and other publications, but even that failed to dispel the rumors of her being a transvestite. Her life history in very detailed form can be found on Wikipedia, for those interested.

Here, my interest is in the music and her place in an exotic corner of the disco genre. Gay bars everywhere played her tunes. I know she is a little bit spicier and dicier than some of these inscapes, but the music says it all, so here are some of Amanda Lear's greatest hits. This first track is pretty-much her signature-tune. At least it is my favorite.

"The Queen of Chinatown"

"Never Trust a Pretty Face"

"Blue Tango"

"Follow Me"

"Mother, Look What They've Done to Me"

"I Am a Photograph"