‘The Boys Light Up’ first charted in April, 1980 but surprisingly it wasn’t that big of a hit at the time. The song peaked at no 22 on the Australian singles chart but their fans wanted albums, not singles. The debut album ‘The Boys Light Up’ reached no 4 on the Australian chart and stayed on the chart for 101 weeks.
James Reyne reflects on the song. “Boys Light Up is turning 40! By Jove, who woulda thunk it. If I’d known what gave it legs I would’ve bottled it and drunk it. And I’m delighted that so many take this song into their hearts ‘cause it never really was a hit – it just SCRAPED into the charts. But it seems to hit a nerve, a chord, a nail, a bell, a spot‘cause I tell ya, we don’t play it I’m likely to get shot! Or met by blokes in car-parks full of vinegar and piss who wanna know what game I’m playing, wanna know, “What game is this?!” They say they’ve got it on the record on CD, 8-track, cassette and they drove 500 miles not to hear it! Most upset!
“So it’s always fun to play tub-mother-thumping with the band and these are the good old days so c’mon and clap a hand. It’s bigger and it’s brighter with god-damned age some guile; And grand! And once upon a time remember? It got banned. ‘Cause I think “they” thought the title celebrated smoking dope!
“But it had nothing to do with it – It’s what you’d call a TROPE. A figure, then, of speech for euphemist results and irony of ironies and censorship and tyrannies
“It’s about a fab and natural act for CON-senting adults.
“”So, we’re coming to your town to celebrate it’s Come-Of-Age – bring all your bells and whistles ‘cause we’ll be BLISTERING the stage. There’ll be thrills and there’ll be spills as we fill that ROCKING cup ‘cause those Boys are turning 40 so c’mon and light them up!!”
James Reyne The Boys Light Up Australian tour
Fri October 30 Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong
Sat October 31 Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Sat November 7 Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Sat November 14 Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Fri and Sat November 20 and 21 Astor, Perth
Fri and Sat November 28 November 27 The Tivoli, Brisbane