"People tried to 'beat the gay' out of me - you know what? It didn't stick": GAYC/DC have turned Argent's Hold Your Head Up into a powerful gay rights anthem

(Image credit: Dusti Cunningham)

GAYC/DC, an LA-based AC/DC tribute band have steered away from the Aussie rockers for their latest release, a powerful cover of Agent's 1972 hit Hold Your Head Up.

The track, originally about a woman experiencing domestic violence, has been reworked into a defiant anthem for the LGBTQIA+ community, encouraging listens to 'hold their heads up' in an intolerant world seemingly hellbent on pushing them into the shadows.

It arrives at a time where numerous anti-LGBTQIA+ bills are being initiated across the US, such as Tennessee's criminalisation of drag artists performing in front of children.

Arriving alongside the release is a hard-hitting video, directed by celebrated photographer Robert Sebree, that follows the story of a student being bullied at the hands of transphobes.

Speaking of the cover, guitarist Steve McKnight explains: "This is a message of power - taking it back and standing up with your chin up. Getting stabbed, beat up, humiliated, jumped, ostracized ... many tried to 'beat the gay' out of me - you know what? It didn't stick".

The producer behind the track, Timothy Eaton, reveals how the cover came to light through horrific tragedy. He recalls: "Seven months ago at midnight on a Sunday night, I received a call from a photographer friend, Ward Boult, who suggested that I contact the band GayC/DC, as he felt that I might be a perfect fit to produce them.

"[Boult] ended the call by telling me he loved me and I returned the warm salutation. A mere few hours later, I got a call from a Nashville detective who informed me that Ward had killed himself and, in fact, I was the last call on his phone.” 

Vocalist Christopher Freeman offers: “We met through a tragic experience but once Timothy saw one of our shows, he was smitten and asked us for a meeting.

"He proposed an idea that he had to create a music video around the old Argent hit from the early '70s, Hold Your Head Up, but putting it in a new context: a video about bullying. All of that would promote a nonprofit of the same name that would help to fund efforts to combat bullying and violence in the LGBTQIA+ community, like Inside Out Youth Services in Colorado Springs.”

While drummer Brian Welch adds: “This song, like the very moving accompanying video, is a journey and like what our current climate is for the LGBTQIA+ community, the scary part passes and Hope swells again. We’ve been down this road before, and we know that love will always win.”

Watch the video below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.