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Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division Paperback – March 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573443433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573443432
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Defrancisci on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How many people really get to live their dream? Jon and his bandmates sure do, and their dream was not necessarily to get wealthy or famous. This fascinating and amusing tale gives you a look at their real accomplishment, to make a true honest living, being who they want to be, against tremendous pressures of all sorts.

It is a great inspiration - to succeed according to your own measure and to have a hell of a great time doing it. I've rediscovered their music and picked up their new stuff, and I must say the music and this book never fail to delight. Jon and company are heroes to more people than they will ever know.

You will love this book. I sure did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on May 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Back in the early 90s, Pansy Division revolutionized punk rock by being the first openly queer punk band, thus giving birth to the queercore movement. In Jon Ginoli's riveting memoir, we hear about his early activism with ACT-UP and Queer Nation, forming Pansy Division, going on tour with Green Day, confronting homophobic audiences, performing at Pride events around the country, doing benefit shows, challenging censors, touring across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and, yes, his sexual adventures. Combining radical queer politics with humor, passion, and righteous anger, Pansy Division's confrontational and sexually explicit lyrics are both a celebration of gay male sexuality and an attack on Moral Majority conservatives. They also hold accountable right-wing queers for their body fascism and embrace of consumerism. Like their music, Ginoli's book is a fun, rollicking experience. Whether you're a long-time fan of Pansy Division or just someone who really enjoys good punk literature or gay male memoirs, I encourage you to read this fabulous book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jon Ginoli may not have been the bestlooking guy in rock and roll, nor the most talented musician, but he was cute and aggressive and a fantastic lyricist, and the success of Pansy Division never spoiled his basically right-on attitude. Nowadays it's hard to recreate all the handicaps an openly gay rock band faced in the late 80s, early 90s when Pansy Division was playing local shows like crazy. Even in San Francisco, straight kids were sometimes hostile and, when they were "tricked" into listening to the band at a show, could get upset and show it. For Ginoli & Co were nothing if not in your face.

His memoir, DEFLOWERED, accelerates this Rabelaisian mode, showing us that he was a late bloomer in a way; late to act on his nascent sexual feelings; late to leave the area where he had grown up; late to put together a band that would serve his vision. But once he had it all together, that pentup energy found expression, and at the exact time that would be most propitious for him, during the so-called homocore days when, in the wake of ACT UP and Queer Nation, it really seemed as though a new gay and lesbian culture was being born and even better, conquering the world.

It might not have always been easy dealing with Ginoli (and his right hand man, guitarist Chris Freeman), since the narrative arc in DEFLOWERED is consistently about badmouthing every drummer they play with. But he's so great one forgives him all the things he leaves out of this otherwise hard-hitting and fascinating tour through your pants.
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By Neil McGarry on November 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A good memoir delivers a sharp writing style, a compelling tell-all story, and a clear theme, and I'm delighted to say Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division brings them all with a fiery pink vengeance.

For the uninitiated, Pansy Division was a pop-punk band founded by Jon Ginoli that, along with acts like Tribe-8 and Fifth Column, comprised the musical part of the homocore movement of the 1980s and 90s. Ginoli, who never felt at home with "mainstream" gay music, took up with bassist Chris Freeman and an ever-changing series of drummers to craft a sound that was anything but mainstream.In Deflowered, Ginoli chronicles the band's origins in San Francisco and takes the reader on a tour as amazing, but not nearly as exhausting, as those the band conducted throughout the United States and Europe.

Ginoli spares no detail in his descriptions of the way an indie band records music and conducts tours, and I found myself wincing at descriptions of the places the band had to sleep, the bad road food they had to eat, or the various other hardships they endured on the road, not least of which was harassment from the homophobes who were much bolder and more common fifteen years ago. Yet there's no sense that Ginoli grew cynical or bitter; indeed, he seems to view it all as part of a grand adventure, and the reader just can't help but agree. After all, how many other all-queer bands got to open for Green Day, or play at Madison Square Garden?

Through it all, Ginoli never apologizes for the sound Pansy Division created, and seems to accept that the price of blazing his own trail is, sadly, a lack of recognition from the wider musical world.
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