Go West: What the Pet Shop Boys' Version Actually Meant



“In between the song being written [by the Village People] and our song being released, you’d had the entire AIDS Crisis and we’d all known people who had died or at that point were still dying and so we were aware that this song [Go West] had a kind of pathos. It was a memory of the dream of gay liberation.” - Neil Tennant.

I find this story endlessly fascinating, and Neil Tennant's comments above are just the beginning of the tale. But first, the terrific Pet Shop Boys version of the Village People hit:

Now, if you watch the interesting clip below, which is part of a UK television series about anthemic pop songs, you'll learn -- maybe you already knew, but it floored me -- that Go West's bass line's chord progression is actually based on Pachelbel's Canon! A delightfully well-spoken London music expert explains and demonstrates this on her piano just before the erudite Tennant explains the mournful undertones of the Pet Shop Boys' version.

Once you've heard him talk you through it, you'll never listen to the song in the same way again. And, the next time a relative plays Pachelbel's Canon as she enters her wedding (it's the most popular entry music choice of brides in the Western World), your mind may wander, well, who knows where:

In happier times:

Main image of Dean Phoenix, Marcus Iron and Zak Spears in the epic gay porn Buckleroos, screening here.