[ICYMI] After 40 Years, the B-52s’ Front Man, Fred Schneider, is Still a Fierce Persona

by MK Scott

Can’t believe it has been 40 years since the B-52s had its first big hit, “Rock Lobster”! And who could forget “Love Shack” or “Roam”?

Heading up the group for the past 43 years has been the flamboyant Fred Schneider. And joining them on their new tour are New Wave icons OMD and Berlin (I interviewed Terri Nunn of Berlin in 2017).

I had a chance to chat with Schneider via email about those 40 years and who could play him if there was ever a biopic.

MK Scott: How did your US tour come about with OMD and Berlin?

Fred Schneider: We wanted a strong lineup with really great bands that we like, and know that our fans like too. Our management helped put everything together.

MK: How has life changed for you in these past 40 years?

FS: LOL, well in 40 years we’ve gone from being a cult favorite to being embraced by a wider audience. One thing I think hasn’t changed is that we give a kickass show that gets everyone standing!

MK: With this being the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, how important is it that you have made your mark as an openly gay icon?

FS: Well, I wasn’t as open about it in the beginning, as there was still a lot of homophobia in the music (and every) business, and I’d been bullied to the point of near panic attacks in high school. Fans knew we were gay, and many still tell us we helped deal with their lives. It got easier after Cosmic Thing came out [in 1989].

MK: With biopics all the rage, who would you want to play you in a movie?

FS: A young, hot gay actor, much better looking, with or without the porn ’stache I had, LOL.

The B-52s with OMD and Berlin hit Seattle on August 7th at the Woodland Park Zoo, as part of Zoo Tunes. However, the show is sold out.

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