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Cyndi Lauper’s ‘She Bop’ is 40 years old!

Cyndi Lauper burst on to the music scene in 1983 with Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and her debut album She’s So Unusual brought a stream of hits.

After the ballad Time After Time, the album’s third single was She Bop. At first glance you might think the She Bop was some sort of dance craze, but a closer listen to the lyrics reveals it’s actually about women masturbating.

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Lauper said the inspiration for the song came from finding a copy of gay men’s magazine Blueboy lying around the studio. The magazine is mentioned several times in the song’s lyrics.

The video for the track includes appearances from actor Wendi Richter and wrestler Lou Albano. Both had appeared a Lauper’s parents in the Girls Just Want to Have Fun clip.

While the song was not a major hit in the UK, it rose to the top of both the US and Australian charts.

The track was later a hit for Hong Kong singer Aaron Kwok who recorded a Cantonese version of the song. Lauper herself re-recorded the song in a more laidback style for her 2005 acoustic album.

Lauper would go on to have two more singles from the hugely successful album including Money Changes Everything and All Through the Night.

‘She Bop’ is on the Filthy Fifteen list

The song got the attention of lobby group Parents Music Resource Centre who formed in 1985 and campaigned for music that has references to sex or drug use to have mandatory warning stickers.

The committee included the wives of many prominent politicians including Tipper Gore, whose husband Al would go on to become the USA’s Vice President nearly a decade later.

The group published a list of songs they found the most objectional, dubbed the ‘Filthy Fifteen’, She Bop made the list alongside music from Prince, Sheena Easton, Madonna and Black Sabath.

Lauper was also added to a list created by religious organisation Church Universal and Triumphant who released a recording listing all the artists they were opposed to. They mispronounce the singer’s name as “Cyndi Looper.”

The recording from the new age church group was later sampled by Scottish dance music producer Mylo for his 2005 track Destroy Rock & Roll.

What was on the pages of Blueboy magazine?

In She Bop, Cyndi Lauper sings “Well, I see him every night in tight blue jeans, in the pages of a Blueboy magazine”

Blueboy was a magazine for gay men that was published from 1974 through to 2007. Initially sold in adult stores and gay bars it featured photos of naked and semi-named men.

It also featured interviews with prominent people and high-profile contributors. Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, William S Burroghs, Edmund White, Christoper Isherwood and Randy Shilts all appeared in various issues.

A 2025 one-off limited edition of the magazine is planned for 2025 to mark the magazine’s 50th anniversary.

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