Class Notes & Profiles

'Gay Boyfriend' Strikes a Chord

By Lindsay Dawson ’05

Straight men, beware of hilarious women bearing keyboards and ukuleles. Anne Harris ’99 (pictured, left) has parlayed her war stories from the dating front into an underground club act turned international sensation, The Hazzards. In their breakout hit, “Gay Boyfriend,” Harris and bandmate Sydney Maresca argue that a substitute relationship can be more fulfilling, and less messy, than the real thing. What would cause a girl to pen the lyrics, “It’ll be a great romance / We’ll go shopping and buy tight pants?” Harris said, “We were most inspired by all our cool gay friends and the stark contrast between their awesomeness and the supreme lameness of the jerks we were dating (or trying to) at the time.”

Although the Hazzards have been playing gigs at small venues in the New York area since 2000, the ladies credit the Internet for their recent rise to stardom. Their video was posted at in January 2003 and became a word-of-mouth favorite, with over a million downloads in three months. The recording industry came calling, and London’s Better the Devil Records, the masterminds behind the careers of Bananarama and Kylie Minogue, added a Britpop sheen to the minimalist ukulele track. Last fall, “Gay Boyfriend” debuted at #67 on the UK singles chart, one spot ahead of crooner Seal. Since then, Harris and Maresca have appeared on Comedy Central and four British talk shows, including a pumpkin chowder-making segment on Good Food Live! “Gay Boyfriend” has come a long way since its debut at Phoebe Ventouras ’99’s birthday barbecue. The ladies now play with a full band featuring the musical talents of Will Carlough ‘99 (drums), Molly Dickerson ‘98’s brother, Andrew (bass), and Paul Thureen ‘00 (harp). As Harris said, “Not too bad for a couple of liberal arts pop stars.”

Has the Hazzards’ success improved their love lives? Harris reported, “We’re seeing lots of gay boyfriends as well as a couple straight ones. It’s fun to mix and match.”