Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Lobotomy Room at Fontaine's DJ Set List 28 April 2017



/ Ann-Margret's Back! /


From the Facebook events page for the 28 April 2017 Lobotomy Room club: 

“It’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps / One half hillbilly and one half punk …”

Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s premiere Art Deco vice den Fontaine’s! Friday 28 April!

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Punk! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Curiosities! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Now with grainy flickering black-and-white vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure! Come for the special offer cocktails - stay for the putrid music and ”blue” movies!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!


A tawdry good time guaranteed!


/ You! If you come to Lobotomy Room /

I'm elated to say this was probably the best and most crowded rock’n’roll booze party Lobotomy Room yet! It got off to a slow-ish start …. and then actual groups of people rocked-up! By midnight the Polynesian-style Bamboo Lounge was thronging! And they danced until 1:30 am! Earlier that same week the Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies film club screened John Waters’ 1974 trash epic Female Trouble (on Wednesday 26 April) and that was packed-out too. Maybe Lobotomy Room has finally turned a corner?

Everything really came together: grainy flickering black-and-white vintage homo porn projected on the big screen accompanied by a soundtrack of greasy rhythm and blues, desperate rockabilly and furious punk tirades all stirred together into one rancid cocktail. And there was no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’! It was really gratifying to look onto the packed dance floor and see people flailing, thrashing and contorting themselves to tunes by the likes of Mae West and Mrs Mills! (Note: I wound up playing two songs by La West in a row when my bolt for a piss took longer than anticipated! That wasn’t deliberate).

And playing a track by quintessential sex kitten-gone-berserk (and Lobotomy Room staple) Ann-Margret (born 28 April 1941) was de rigueur – she turned 76 that Friday! I’d hoped that Ann-Margret’s birthday coinciding with Lobotomy Room would be a positive omen – and it was! Re pic at top of this post: I’m judging this pin-up dates from early seventies when A-M was regularly headlining in Vegas; the sparkly bell-bottomed outfit is almost certainly by maestro of sequined glitz Bob Mackie. (Read my account of seeing Ann-Margret perform at the Stardust Casino in 2005 here!).


/ Get your wig on, love! It's time for Lobotomy Room /

Here's what I was laying down:

Tall Cool One - The Wailers
Beatnik - The Champs
Drive Daddy Drive - Little Sylvia
It's a Gas - The Rumblers
Ain't That Good? George Kelly and Orchestra
Slow Walk - Sil Austin
Hot Licks - The Rendells
Killer - Sparkle Moore
Wild Wild Party - Charlie Feathers
Adult Books - X
Sweet Little Pussycat - Andre Williams
Punks Get off the Grass - Edith Massey
Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio? The Ramonetures
Can't Stop Thinking About It - The Dirtbombs
Vampira - Bobby Bare
Money Money - Big John Taylor
Where's My Money? Willie Jones
Welfare Cheese - Emanuel Laskey
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Savin' My Love - Wanda Jackson
Road Runner - The Fabulous Wailers
Woo-Hoo - The 5,6,7,8s
Bombora - The Original Surf-aris
Wiped-Out - The Escorts
The Shag - Link Wray
Ah! Poor Little Baby - Billy "Crash" Craddock
Let's Go, Baby - Billy Eldridge
Jukebox Babe - Alan Vega
Surfin' Rat - The Rumblers
Your Phone's Off the Hook - The Ramonetures
Atomic Bongos - Lydia Lunch
Viva Las Vegas - Nina Hagen
Bop Pills - The Cramps
Be Bop a Lula - Alan Vega
Rock Around the Clock - The Sex Pistols
Treat Me Right - Mae West
You Really Turn Me On - Mae West (played in error when I didn't get back from men's room in time)
Vampira - The Misfits
Breathless - X
Wood Pecker Rock - Nat Couty and The Braves
Batman Theme - Link Wray
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
Shortnin' Bread - The Readymen
Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao
Hanky Panky - Rita Chao and The Quests
These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Mrs Mills
Lightening's Girl - Nancy Sinatra
Touch the Leather - The Fat White Family
Harley Davidson - Brigitte Bardot
Margaya - The Fender Four
Jim Dandy - Ann-Margret
Gostaria de Saber - Wanderlea
He's the One - Ike and Tina Turner
Party Lights - Claudine Clark
You're Driving Me Crazy - Dorothy Berry
Wipe-Out - The Surfaris
C'mon Everybody - Sid Vicious
I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramonetures
Somebody Put Something in My Drink - The Ramones
Year 1 - X
I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield - The 5,6,7,8s
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
Ultra Twist - The Cramps
I'm a Woman - Peggy Lee
My Way - Nina Hagen



/ As usual, I didn't have time to snap many shots of the gorgeous Lobotomy Room attendees. I did manage to snatch these photos of Grant and Pal from the DJ booth /



/ Top: Pal in the eye-popping tangerine suit he bought in Dalston. (We'd attended a wedding earlier and he didn't bring a change of clothes!). Bottom: me. Both photos by Glamorous Matt) /

Upcoming Lobotomy Room-related dates for your social calendar!



Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies presents Mahogany (1975) on Wednesday 17 May 2017

“There’s only one word to describe rich, dark, beautiful and rare. I’m going to call you … Mahogany!” 

Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies is the FREE monthly film club downstairs at Fontaine’s devoted to Bad Movies We Love (our motto: Bad Movies for Bad People), specialising in the kitsch, the cult and the queer! This month’s presentation is Mahogany (1975) starring pop diva Diana Ross. And boy does Ross seize the opportunity to emote! It’s an outrageous, unintended so-bad-it’s-GREAT camp classic in the tradition of Valley of the Dolls, Mommie Dearest and Showgirls particularly beloved by drag queens. Find out why on Wednesday 17 May!

Poor Diana Ross’s film career began so promisingly (she earned an Academy Award nomination for 1972 Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues). Unfortunately, the combination of Mahogany and 1978 mega-flop The Wiz definitively wrecked any hopes of enduring movie stardom.

Mahogany is a lurid rags-to-riches melodrama starring Ross as Tracy, a poor but determined girl from the gritty Chicago slums dreaming of becoming a fashion designer. Instead, she winds up transformed into international supermodel Mahogany. But is success - and her decadent Euro-trash existence in La Dolce Vita Rome - all it’s cracked up to be? Note: your enjoyment of Mahogany will depend how much you like the number one Diana Ross song “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?” (It’s played over and over again in the film).

Throw on a chiffon cape, drip candle wax all over yourself and embrace the sequined madness of Mahogany on 17 May! Doors to the Bamboo Lounge open at 8 pm. Film starts at 8:30 pm.


Events page



The next Lobotomy Room club night is Friday 26 May 2017

Events page

Further reading:

Read about all the previous antics at Lobotomy Rooms to date hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere , hereherehere, hereherehere, herehere, herehere, here and here!

Follow me on tumblr for all your kitsch, camp, retro vintage sleaze and fifties homoerotica needs!


Follow me on twitter!

"Like" and follow the official Lobotomy Room page on Facebook if you dare!








Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Lobotomy Room at Fontaine's 31 March 2017 DJ Set List



From the Facebook events page:

“It’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps / One half hillbilly and one half punk …”

Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s premiere Art Deco vice den Fontaine’s! Friday 31 March! 

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Punk! Twisted Tittyshakers! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Curiosities and other weird shit! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Now with vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure! Come for the special offer cocktails - stay for the putrid music and dirty movies!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!

A tawdry good time guaranteed!




/ Twist like Jayne Mansfield - at Lobotomy Room! /

This installment of Lobotomy Room got off to a nerve-shredding, nail-biting start. For the first tortuous ninety minutes, I was entirely alone in the Bamboo Lounge! Even after several years now of club-promoting, that fear (“no one is coming!”) is agonising. It never gets easier. So, when the first group of three people came down the stairs, I was ready to kiss them. And then later a whole gang (mostly female) who’d been drinking in Fontaine’s main-level bar all night ventured down and pretty much instantly started raucously dancing and screaming. This is pretty much what all DJs yearn for; I kept them whipped-up in a frenzy with surf instrumentals and punk. So yeah - heartfelt gratitude to all the Lobotomy Room attendees! The night was salvaged. And when I played Bow Wow Wow’s “Aphrodisiac”, one of them rushed up to me and exclaimed, “Yass bitch!” Probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me in all my years of doing Lobotomy Room.


Dream Boy - The 5,6,7,8s
Little Darlin' - Masaaki Hirao
Town Without Pity - James Chance and The Contortions
Be Bop A Lula - Alan Vega
Atomic Bongos - Lydia Lunch
Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio? The Ramonetures
Vampira - The Misfits
Viva Las Vegas - Nina Hagen
Solitary Confinement - The Weirdos
We're Desperate - X
Love Me - The Phantom
People Ain't No Good - The Cramps
Surf Rat - The Rumblers
I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield - The 5,6,7,8s
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
Twistin' the Night Away - Divine
Wiped-Out - The Escorts
Hanky Panky - Rita Chao and The Quests
Whistle Bait - Larry Collins
Action Packed - Ronnie Dee
Jim Dandy - Sara Lee and The Spades
Margaya - The Fender Four
Wipe-Out - The Surfaris
Bombora - The Original Surfaris
Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
Shortnin' Bread - The Readymen
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
You're Driving Me Crazy - Dorothy Berry
What Do You Think I Am? Ike and Tina Turner
Roll with Me Henry - Etta James
Boss - The Rumblers
Meu bem lollipop - Wanderlea
Viens danser le twist - Johnny Hallyday
Harley Davidson - Brigitte Bardot
Intoxica - The Centurions
Carbona Not Glue - The Ramonetures
Teenage Lobotomy - The Ramones
Aphrodisiac - Bow Wow Wow
Breathless - X
Rock Around the Clock - The Sex Pistols
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao

Other upcoming events - for all your Lobotomy Room needs! Scrawl the dates in blood!


Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies film club on Wednesday 26 April: 

“I’m a thief and a shitkicker and - uh – I’d like to be famous!” Divine as Dawn Davenport

Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies is the FREE monthly film club downstairs at Fontaine’s devoted to Bad Movies We Love (our motto: Bad Movies for Bad People), specialising in the kitsch, the cult and the queer! Cinema’s Sleaze Maestro (and Patron Saint of Lobotomy Room) John Waters turns 71 in April. To celebrate, this month’s presentation is Waters’ definitive trash epic Female Trouble (1974) on Wednesday 26 April! See freaky 300-pound hog princess Divine in his greatest role as unrepentant bad girl and criminal Dawn Davenport!

In his 1981 book Shock Value, Waters himself outlines Female Trouble as “the story of a headline-seeking criminal named Dawn Davenport (Divine). The film traces her life from teenage years as a suburban brat to her untimely death in the electric chair.” As Jack Stevenson eloquently argues in his essay on Female Trouble in issue number five of Little Joe Magazine: “Waters’ films have been called comedies but this one is full of horror … the chemistry of the cast sets this film apart and makes it Waters’ most collaborative and yes, spiritual work. It was the film they were all put on earth to make, the culmination of a collective vision. The unjustly more celebrated Pink Flamingos is lifeless in comparison and was really just a dress rehearsal for Female Trouble. For Female Trouble Waters functioned more as a psychic medium than a movie director, populating his all-American disaster story with a large movable feast of cast, crew, friends and oddball “discoveries”, tapping into the spirit of the times as well as the spirit of a specific rebel milieu in Baltimore. Then he spiked it with energy, attitude and weirdness, and zapped it to life.”

The film is FREE but seating is limited (we can seat about 30 people in the Bamboo Lounge). Contacting Fontaine’s in advance to reserve a guaranteed seat is highly recommended: email ruby@fontaines.bar or call 07718 000546. Doors to the Bamboo Lounge open at 8 pm. Film starts at 8:30 pm. You won’t want to miss John Water’s putrid masterpiece! Now repeat after me: “Liquid eyeliner …” 



Lobotomy Room Dance Party on Friday 28 April 2017:

“It’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps / One half hillbilly and one half punk …”

Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s premiere Art Deco vice den Fontaine’s! Friday 28 April!

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Twisted Tittyshakers! Punk! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Curiosities and Other Weird Shit! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Now with grainy flickering black-and-white vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure! Come for the special offer cocktails - stay for the putrid music and “blue” movies!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!

A tawdry good time guaranteed!


Further reading:

Read about all the previous antics at Lobotomy Rooms to date hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere , hereherehere, hereherehere, herehere, here, here and here. 

Follow me on tumblr for all your kitsch, camp, retro vintage sleaze and fifties homoerotica needs!


Follow me on twitter!

"Like" and follow the official Lobotomy Room page on Facebook if you dare!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Reflections on ... Multiple Maniacs (1970)


[I reviewed Criterion's new Blu-ray release of John Waters Multiple Maniacs for gay arts and culture website HISKIND in March 2017. Read it here.  Disappointingly, they edited the hell out of it, deleting all my efforts to put the film into context – so I’m posting it here in its uncut / uncensored original version!]

It’s looking increasingly unlikely cinema’s high potentate of trash John Waters will ever make another movie following 2004’s commercial flop A Dirty Shame. (In recent years, the 70-year old “peoples’ pervert” has successfully diversified, spreading his joyous message of filth via books and spoken word tours instead of films). 

But happily for Waters’ legions of fanatics ravenous for a lurid sensationalism fix, they get to rediscover one of his freshly-exhumed obscure classicks (sic). For decades, Multiple Maniacs (1970) - which Waters himself calls his “celluloid atrocity” - has been virtually impossible to see.  A grainy, scuzzy VHS was issued in the eighties, then it occasionally surfaced as a poor-quality pixelated bootleg (Waters’ legal team promptly deletes it every time it crops up on YouTube) - but until now it’s never officially been available on DVD or Blu-ray. And now Criterion has handled Multiple Maniacs like it’s a prestigious art movie, giving it a loving deluxe digital remaster treatment. Watching this crystalline deep velvety black-and-white revival of Multiple Maniacs is like experiencing a whole new film.


/ Divine as Lady Divine in Multiple Maniacs

Forty-seven years later, the restored, reviled and revolting Multiple Maniacs hasn’t lost its capacity to startle. It still feels insanely raw, nasty, punk and queer. And it’s essential to understanding Waters’ subsequent films (Multiple Maniacs suggests a preliminary sketch for his next film, 1972’s more famous Pink Flamingos). In her first starring role, Waters’ 300-pound hog princess drag queen leading lady and muse Divine portrays Lady Divine, the cruel and amoral proprietoress of traveling freak show “The Cavalcade of Perversions” of assorted sluts, fags, dykes and pimps. (The sensational revue incorporates vomit eaters, bicycle seat lickers, a junkie writhing in withdrawal and “two queers actually kissing on the lips like lovers”). When we first encounter Lady Divine, she’s lounging stark naked on a bed and barking orders at her minions – think Liz Taylor as Cleopatra. Upon learning her carnival barker boyfriend and criminal accomplice Mr David is leaving her for another woman, a homicidal Lady Divine embarks on a berserk rampage.  The film concludes with a cannibalistic blood orgy (Multiple Maniacs – made in ’69 – was Waters’ response to the Charles Manson Family murders in same way Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was for Russ Meyer). Oh and – spoiler alert – a giant lobster is involved.


/ David Lochary as Mr David in Multiple Maniacs /  

Sure, in technical terms neophyte Waters’ filmmaking is frankly amateurish (which makes Multiple Maniacs feel like a lunatic home movie) and the actors sometimes stumble over the verbose script. But there is much here to make a Waters devotee swoon in frenzied ecstasy. The cast features Waters’ familiar stable of regular actors at their most heartbreakingly youthful and fresh-faced, like David Lochary and Mink Stole (Raymond and Connie Marble, the villains of Pink Flamingos), Mary Vivian Pearce, Cookie Mueller as Divine’s hard-boiled lisping (frequently topless) juvenile delinquent daughter and – in her film debut - the beloved snaggle-toothed outsider actress and punk granny Edith Massey.  The vicious dialogue is predictably quotable (“I love you so fucking much that I could shit!” “And all at once she inserted her rosary into one of my most private parts …”) while the soundtrack encompasses ominous rumbling surf instrumentals and twangy rockabilly. Thematically, Multiple Maniacs sees Waters lashing out at his Catholic upbringing:  the “rosary job” Divine receives from perverted religious whore Mink Stole and the blasphemous re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross still feel taboo and sacrilegious. 


/ Edith Massey as The Virgin Mary in Multiple Maniacs

Best of all, Multiple Maniacs captures iconic freak diva Divine-in-embryo, still a fleshy young starlet or ingénue on the ascent.  Mincing around like Jayne Mansfield in a skin-tight leopard print pencil skirt and brunette wig, snarling her lines and sometimes actually foaming at the mouth in excitement, this represents early Divine at the height of her monstrous beauty.


The promotional tagline for Multiple Maniacs screams, “Better than amyl nitrate! Better than Carbona! Better than heroin!” What other film could live up to those claims? It’s like an intravenous jolt of bad taste. For long-term Waters aficionados, the Blu-ray release of Multiple Maniacs is the equivalent of Christmas day. For newcomers to Waters’ oeuvre, it offers an excellent introduction. Get corrupted!



MULTIPLE MANIACS - available to buy on Blu-ray from 20th March 2017 from the Criterion Collection 

Further reading: Read my epic 2010 interview with John Waters here

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Lobotomy Room at Fontaine's DJ Set List from 24 February 2017











































From the Facebook event page:

“It’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps / One half hillbilly and one half punk …”

It’s back! The first Lobotomy Room of 2017!

Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s premiere Art Deco vice den Fontaine’s! Friday 24 February! 

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Twisted Tittyshakers! Punk! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Curiosities and other weird shit! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Now with vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure! Come for the special offer cocktails - stay for the putrid music and dirty movies!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!

A tawdry good time guaranteed!













































/ No sin too great ... no lust too degrading ... at Lobotomy Room! /

Good lord! I’d better post this unblushing revoltingly candid scene report / exposé about last month’s Lobotomy Room because soon it will be time for this month’s! (The March instalment of Lobotomy Room at Fontaine’s is Friday 31 March. Read the full squalid details here).

February’s incredibly strange dance party was a bit different because the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge was booked for a private party, so Lobotomy Room had to re-locate upstairs to the main bar. That meant I couldn’t project my usual flickering, grainy black-and-white vintage erotica on the big screen, but it worked out OK. We just had to work a bit harder to generate our own ambience of sleaze instead!

This Lobotomy Room was also noteworthy because it represented the “hen party” of my friend Rachael, who’s getting married in the beginning of April. (North American readers: you would call it a bachelorette party). The bridezilla (sorry, bride-to-be) looked radiant in a vintage dress. 

For once, I have some photo documentation from the night.


/  Christopher and Pal /


/ Stylish ginger trio /


/ Rachael and I /


/ Rachael and I /


/ Rachael and I. Rachael is seemingly channelling Divine as Babs Johnson in Pink Flamingos? This is a rare shot that gives you an indication of Fontaine's beautiful Art Deco-style decor (note the golden palm tree) /


/ Yorkshire's finest: Rachael and Christopher /

Anyway, here's what I played:

Handclappin' Time - The Fabulous Raiders
Little Queenie - Bill Black's Combo
Fujiyama Mama - Annisteen Allen
Treat Me Right - Mae West
Intoxica - The Revels
Fever - Edith Massey
Three Cool Chicks - The 5,6,7,8s
I'm Blue - The Ikettes
Mau Mau - The Fabulous Wailers
Monkey Bird - The Revels
Wimoweh - Yma Sumac
Kismiaz - The Cramps
Beauty is Only Skin Deep - Robert Mitchum
Dona Wanna - Wanda Jackson
Go Calypso - Mamie Van Doren
Blockade - The Rumblers
How Much Love Can One Heart Hold? Joe Perkins and The Rookies
The Flirt - Shirley and Lee
She Wants to Mambo - Johnny Thunders and Patti Palladin
I Was Born to Cry - Dion
Little Darlin' - Masaaki Hirao
I've Told Every Little Star - Linda Scott
I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramonetures
Fools Rush In - Ricky Nelson
Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
Be Bop A Lula - Alan Vega
My Baby Does the Hanky Panky - Rita Chao and The Quests
Saber de gostaria - Wanderlea
You Sure Know How to Hurt Someone - Ann-Margret
Shout - Johnny Hallyday
Woman - Peggy Lee
Treat Me Right - Mae West [played in error!]
Boss - The Rumblers
What Do You Think I Am? Ike and Tina Turner
Tornado - Dale Hawkins
I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield - The 5,6,7,8s
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
Wildwood - Sil Austin
Big Bounce - Shirley Caddell
Woo-Hoo - The Rock-A-Teens
Let's Go Baby - Billy Eldridge
Savin' My Love - Wanda Jackson
Wild Wild Party - Charlie Feathers
Hillbilly Surfer - Whitey White
Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad - Tammy Wynette
The Swag - Link Wray
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao
Jim Dandy - Laverne Baker
Wiped-Out - The Escorts
Your Phone's off the Hook - The Ramonetures
Breathless - X
Rock Around the Clock - The Sex Pistols
Heartbreak Hotel - Buddy Love
You're Driving Me Crazy - Dorothy Berry
He's the One - Ike and Tina Turner
Whistle Bait - Larry Collins
Action Packed - Ronnie Dee
Jim Dandy - Sara Lee and The Spades
Somethin' Else - Sid Vicious
Viva Las Vegas - Nina Hagen
Atomic Bongos  - Lydia Lunch
Jukebox Baby - Alan Vega
Batman Theme - Link Wray
Shortnin' Bread - The Readymen
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
Margaya - The Fender Four
Wipe-Out - The Surfaris
Surf Rat - The Rumblers
Suey - Jayne Mansfield
Pass the Hatchet - Roger and The Gypsies
Chicken Grabber - The Nite Hawks
Vesuvius - The Revels
Dance with Me Henry - Ann-Margret
Here Comes the Bug - The Rumblers
Bikini Girls with Machine Guns - The Cramps
C'mon Everybody - Sid Vicious
Johnny Hit and Run Pauline - The Ramonetures
Year 1 - X
Teenage Lobotomy - The Ramones
Lightening's Girl - Nancy Sinatra
Vampira - The Misfits
Salamander - Mamie Van Doren
Touch the Leather - Fat White Family
Harley Davidson - Brigitte Bardot
Viens danser le twist - Johnny Hallyday
Peter Gunn Locomotion - The Delmonas
Peter Gunn Twist - The Jesters
Khrushchev Twist - Melvin Gayle
Twist Talk - Jack Hammer
Twistin' the Night Away - Divine
Ultra Twist - The Cramps
Sweetie Pie - Eddie Cochran
Hoy Hoy - The Collins Kids
Bossa Nova Baby - Elvis Presley
Beat Girl - Adam Faith
Jim Dandy - Ann-Margret
Roll with Me Henry - Etta James
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Goodbye So Long - Ike and Tina Turner
Rock-A-Bop - Sparkle Moore
These Boots are Made for Walkin' - Mrs Mills
Big Girls Don't Cry - Edith Massey


Further reading:

Read about all the previous antics at Lobotomy Rooms to date hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere , hereherehere, hereherehere, herehere, here and here.

Follow me on tumblr for all your kitsch, camp, retro vintage sleaze and fifties homoerotica needs!


Follow me on twitter!

"Like" and follow the official Lobotomy Room page on Facebook if you dare!





































Scrawl the date in blood! The next Lobotomy Room punkabilly booze party at Fontaine's is Friday 31 March 2017! Details here. 







Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Reflections on ... Sentimental Eartha (1970)



A few days ago, I scored the obscure oddity Sentimental Eartha (1970), widely regarded as sultry atomic-era chanteuse Eartha Kitt’s strangest album. In her case that’s really saying something: Eartha Kitt (1927 - 2008) was a strange woman who made strange records. The CD version released on an independent label in the nineties is long out of print and now ultra-pricey. On Amazon it routinely goes for between £75 - £400.  Miraculously, I nabbed a used copy for only about £3 from Germany!

By 1970 Kitt was still in-demand on the glitzy cabaret circuit but the hits had well and truly dried up. Sentimental Eartha showcases the slinky feline temptress’conscious effort to update and reinvent her image and sound “with it” by embracing modern rock trends. Many of the other post-war pop and jazz divas of Kitt’s vintage were also experimenting with a more contemporary “groovy” direction. Around this time, Peggy Lee re-interpreted songs by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Sly & The Family Stone. On Julie London’s unintended camp classic Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (1969) she applied her breathless sex kitten coo to “Louie Louie” and “Light My Fire” by The Doors as if they were Cole Porter standards. A few years later saw Miracles (1972), on which Peruvian high priestess of exotica Yma Sumac explored trippy fuzzed-out acid rock.

Sentimental Eartha bombed upon release and is pretty much forgotten today. It deserved a kinder fate. As her biographer John L Williams would later assert, “The innocuous title gives little indication that this would turn out to be far and away Eartha’s most experimental album and one of her best.”

Sentimental Eartha’s cover features Kitt lounging in a woodland setting amidst autumn leaves clad in an animal-print maxi-dress, floppy black hat and the long straight wiglet familiar from her stint as Catwoman on TV's Batman. On the psychedelia-tinged music within, Kitt gamely tries on the unfamiliar roles of hippie maiden, soul sister and earth mother by tackling Herman’s Hermits “My Sentimental Friend” and three songs by singer-songwriter Donovan: “Wear Your Love Like Heaven”, “Catch the Wind” and best of all, “Hurdy-Gurdy Man”, on which Kitt cackles like a witch and suggests a sorceress casting a spell.





On some of the more delicate songs Kitt seems to deliberately and audibly mute some of her signature purring mannerisms. On others (like the ultra-dramatic opener “It Is Love”), she roars in full feline attack. And when “The Way You Are” ends with campy ad-libbed comedy Spanglish, it could only be Miss Eartha Kitt.

In his 2013 biography America’s Mistress: The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt, John L Williams interviewed the producer of Sentimental Eartha, Denny Diante.  (The album was recorded in Los Angeles for a British label). The producer recalled Kitt as enthusiastic: “She was thrilled to death; she couldn’t thank me enough for pushing the more contemporary stuff. She was very contemporary herself, very progressive in her thinking.”

Kitt promoted her new material with a German TV special. It was obviously produced on a shoestring budget. Check out that frugal set (decorated with office furniture? Hotel lobby furniture? What’s the deal with the coat stand? And why during “Sentimental Friend” does it repeatedly cut away to photos of spaghetti western actor Franco Nero?). But durable pro Eartha belts out the songs with style, sex appeal and conviction. And while the band may look square in their tuxedos, they’re tight, dramatic and swing hard. 

Thankfully there are plentiful clips from Kitt's 1970 TV special on YouTube. I've tried to assemble them all here:



/ Above: "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "Catch the Wind" /



/ Above: "It Is Love", "My Sentimental Friend" and "The Way You Are". The dramatic spoken intros are something else! Kitt also seems to be doing some intense Method Acting with her performances. Check out her smouldering eye contact during "The Way You Are" and the way she moodily smokes and sips champagne  /



/ Above: "Genesis". Eartha at full-throttle tigress assault mode. Like Nina Simone, the volatile Kitt was the mistress of abrupt mood swings /



/ "Once We Loved": fierce! /



/ "Wear Your Love Like Heaven": Eartha Goes Psychedelic, Baby  /



/ "I remember what you said about me. You said I was a very beautiful brown Helen of Troy ..." An epic performance of that world-weary anthem "When the World Was Young" - which also featured in the Marlene Dietrich songbook /



/ One of the few nods to the old days: "C'est Si Bon", one of Kitt's first and biggest hits in the fifties /

As Williams argues, the TV special’s high-point is Kitt’s impassioned performance of the ballad “Paint Me Black Angels” (a Mexican song she’d already recorded in the fifties as “Angelitos Negros” with its original Spanish lyrics). Kitt delivers it in extreme close-up with a stark simplicity and a few tears rolling down her face. What a mesmerising presence she was!



Nonetheless, Sentimental Eartha bombed in the UK and was never even released in the US.  Kitt never pursued modern rock music again. It was a doomed but noble effort. As with Peggy Lee and Julie London, Kitt’s experimentations baffled her existing mature fans and failed to engage with a new younger audience.