This song about the murder of a homosexual man by a New Jersey gang was one of the first songs to deal with the subject of homophobia. In the May 1995 issue of Mojo, Stewart explained: "That was a true story about a gay friend of The Faces. He was especially close to me and Mac. But he was shot or knifed, I can't remember which. That was a song I wrote totally on me own over the chord of open E."
Asked about writing a song with a gay theme, Stewart said, "It's probably because I was surrounded by gay people at that stage. I had a gay PR man, a gay manager. Everyone around me was gay. I don't know whether that prompted me into it or not. I think it was a brave step, but it wasn't a risk. You can't write a song like that unless you've experienced it. But it was a subject that no one had approached before. And I think it still stands up today. I'm going to be doing that song when we play in Britain."
The veteran English DJ David "Diddy" Hamilton recounted in the book Top Of The Pops: Mishaps, Miming and Music by Ian Gittins, the story of after lunching with a group of record pluggers, how he was struggling with presenting the long-standing BBC music show Top Of The Pops. He recalled that he'd managed to get to near the end of the show without any major gaffes, despite not feeling his normal self. However when he came to introduce this song he announced, "Now here's Rod Stewart with The Killing Of Georgie Fame." Hamilton was pulled to one side by a puzzled producer over his mistake, yet he continued to get it wrong. Eventually he managed to get the line right, but the DJ was never asked to present the show again.
Two years later Hamilton's mistake was explained when he bumped into one of the record pluggers from that day. The DJ was asked if he remembered the fateful day when he kept going on about Georgie Fame? "We spiked your drink," explained the plugger, "we slipped you a Mickey Finn." The practical joker had laced his lunchtime drink with LSD.
Surprisingly, the BBC had no problem with this song, and even played it in full form, which runs 6:31. The network did ban another Stewart single issued around the same time: "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)" (the ban was later lifted).
The events of this song took place in 1974, but Stewart placed it in 1975 because he couldn't get an appropriate rhyme for "1974."
Some journalists likened this song to something Bob Dylan would write. Stewart, flattered by the comparison, told Sounds, "The verse reminds me a bit of 'Hurricane' only slower."
In the early '80s, a movie was in the works called "The Killing of Georgie" which was based on this song. John Mellencamp (known as John Cougar at the time), was considered for a role, but the film was never made.
Bertrand from Paris, FranceFrom a musical point of view, Part II of the song is based on the melody of The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down."
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 29th 1977, "The Killing of Georgie - Parts 1 & 2" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; and on July 17th it peaked at #30 (for 1 week) and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100... He had three other records on the Top 100 in 1977; "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)", "The First Cut Is The Deepest", and "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)"... Mr. Stewart will celebrate his 70th birthday come next January 10th, 2015.
Greg from New York City, Ny"53rd & 3rd" is where "the boys" hustlers, would hang out to get picked up, like Dee Dee Ramone, back in bad old New York City...
Kat from Adelaide, AustraliaGreat song - and so rarely played on commercial radio. Quite forward and enlightened for 1976. Interesting that although it was a hit in the UK it only reached No 30 in the US? Maybe Rod wasn't such a big star in the US then (I'm too young to remember!)
Amazon from London, GreenlandDid RS intentionally take the music from "part II" from Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance"?
Roberta from Carleton, MiI agree with Kathryn; both Rod and Elton John's music was MUCH better before 1980. I think moreso for Elton John, but that's just my opinion
Jenny from Rapid City, Sdto Adam: the break between part I and part II is at the 4:31 mark into the song.
Kathryn from London, United KingdomTo Adam - the definition between parts I and II is very clear. Part II is much slower is lamenting Georgie's death. The Song changes completely maybe you didn't listen to the end? Anyone who likes this should buy Rod Steward Greatest Hits (Pink Satin Suit Cover only) & Yellow Brick Road by Elton John (dont groan his 70s stuff is superb - anything past 1980 stop listening. But YBR is one to be played right thru from beginning to end before you decide......I think you'll see a different Elton. Also if anyone knows what Georgie was to Rod or if it's just a name he picked please tell me.
Adam from Boyce, VaVery good tune but I never understood the whole Part 1 and 2 thing...Isn't like it got the song anymore attention though, and where does part 1 end and part 2 begin anyhow?..lol. Rod was very good as a storyteller, probably why his box set anthology is called STORYTELLER......this was one of his most underrated songs.
Kenny from Clydebank, ScotlandThis song was very brave of Rod. The world is not a very enlightened place, but songs like this shine a light on our very dark scandal-hungry violent world. Well done, Rod!