GAYC/DC – This video is dedicated to anyone who’s ever been bullied just for being themselves.
The Band Release a Powerfully Riveting and Harrowing Video about LGBTQIA+ Bullying.
“This is a message of power – taking it back and standing up with your chin up. Getting stabbed, beat up, humiliated, jumped, ostracized … many tried to ‘beat the gay’ out of me – you know what? It didn’t stick,” says guitarist Steve McKnight of Los Angeles-based band GAYC/DC about their new song and video “HOLD YOUR HEAD UP.” A defiant cover of the 1972 Top Five hit by English rock band Argent, the all-gay band who pays unwavering tribute to AC/DC shifts the song about a battered woman into a song of LGBTQIA+ and anti-bullying empowerment.
This cover’s origin was born of tragedy, not from within GayC/DC’s realm but from the acclaimed producer Timothy Eaton (En Vogue, The Allman Brothers). “Seven months ago at midnight on a Sunday night, I received a call from a photographer friend, Ward Boult, who suggested that I contact the band GayC/DC, as he felt that I might be a perfect fit to produce them,” recalls Eaton. “[Boult] ended the call by telling me he loved me and I returned the warm salutation. A mere few hours later, I got a call from a Nashville detective who informed me that Ward had killed himself and, in fact, I was the last call on his phone.” The message that was said to Eaton didn’t fall on deaf ears, and, in fact, became a mission. In order to pay proper respects to his late friend, Eaton contacted GayC/DC.
“We met through a tragic experience but once Timothy saw one of our shows, he was smitten and asked us for a meeting,” explains vocalist Christopher Freeman. “He proposed an idea that he had to create a music video around the old Argent hit from the early ’70s, ‘Hold Your Head Up,’ but putting it in a new context: a video about bullying. All of that would promote a nonprofit of the same name that would help to fund efforts to combat bullying and violence in the LGBTQIA+ community, like Inside Out Youth Services in Colorado Springs.”
The powerful accompanying video, directed by celebrated photographer Robert Sebree, is an age old tale of high school bullying. But instead of the standard trope of the nerd bashing, the camera is turned to a harrowing tale of transphobia within high school hallways.
“This song, like the very moving accompanying video, is a journey,” explains drummer Brian Welch, “and like what our current climate is for the LGBTQIA+ community, the scary part passes and Hope swells again. We’ve been down this road before, and we know that love will always win.”
Adds Eaton, “Much like Haley’s Comet or a Blood Moon, an artistic force of nature such as this band seldom manifests itself in the music industry anymore, fearlessly cutting a path through all the amateur artists and their congestion. The band recorded a riveting song and video entitled which is a clarion call to young and old to do just that, be brave in the face of adversity and prejudice.”
A step beyond their standard songs of spot-on tribute to AC/DC, GayC/DC glitter-hugged the Argent song and made it their own, not just in honor of the greatness of the original but also because of the message of strength and perseverance in the face of homophobic, anti-trans and anti-other adversity and violence that is pervasive in the divisive current political environment. “It’s said that sometimes good things can come from a tragic event. In our case with Timothy, this is absolutely true,” says Freeman.
“Proud to be a part of this project, and GayC/DC, and gay, Gay, GAY,” shouts McKnight proudly and in agreement. “I earned this spot! Holding my head and chin up even higher!”
“The response so far to Hold Your Head Up has been incredibly touching, and we’re very grateful for all the heartfelt messages and everyone who has shared this campaign further,” says bassist Glen Pavan. “Only together can we make lasting change for future generations of queer and marginalized youths.”
Concludes Welch, “Now, let’s do something about all this bullying!”