It doesn’t seem that long ago (although I guess it’s been about 30 years!), but when the video for Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy” came out, it was still unfamiliar to see honest depictions of gay life in popular entertainment. This video, purportedly based on experiences from lead singer Jimmy Somerville’s life, was brave enough to show men admiring other men and the homophobia and family strife that came along with it.
Larry Steinbachek joined Somerville and Steve Bronski in forming Bronski Beat in 1983. Their career got a boost when they opened for Tina Turner and were signed by the London label. Their debut album, Age of Consent, which included “Smalltown Boy,” featured a pink triangle on its cover. The inner sleeve of the album listed the age of consent for gay men in various European countries.
Somerville left the band for the Communards and another incarnation of Bronski Beat with John Jon as singer lasted only a few years before disbanding. They did manage to get an album in the UK Top 20 with 1986’s Truthdare Doubledare.
Since the mid-90s, Steinbachek lived in Amsterdam, where he continued to pursue music and contributed to various stage acts.