Monday, 29 September 2014

17 September 2014 Cockabilly DJ Set List


First the good news: the return of COCKABILLY! London’s only monthly queer rockabilly night for punks, leather boys, cry-babies, prison wives and juvenile delinquents of all ages! Rock around the cock! Gay greasers unite! This was the first Cockabilly since July and I was itching to get back behind the decks at The George and Dragon (East End hotbed of gay bohemia) and crank up some putrid vintage musical sleaze.

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Now the not-so-great news: since Cockabilly’s triumphant return to The George and Dragon our regular monthly residency was on a Friday night. As of the September Cockabilly the management at The George and Dragon has relegated us to Wednesdays instead. Obviously moving from a buzzing, ultra-desirable Friday night to a quieter week night feels undeniably like a demotion. But Mal and I are hard-bitten tenacious starlets in the Jayne Mansfield tradition. So rather than feel dispirited, what would Jayne Mansfield do? She’d click on a pair of diamanté cat’s eye sunglasses, thrust out her breasts, paste a smile on her face and get on with it.

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Anyway, it was a good night and I vow that Wednesday is destined to be the new Thursday. And we had some glamorous notables pop in. Nightclubbing royalty Princess Julia was spotted dancing at the July Cockabilly. This month irrepressible Prosecco-guzzling enfant terrible of the cutting-edge London drag scene, DJ John Sizzle of Gay Bingo and The Amy Grimehouse notoriety (I had the pleasure of DJ’ing alongside him at the rancid John Waters Filth Fest in March; sweetly, he calls me “Trash Bag”) and novelist, man-about-town and all-round silver fox Jonathan Kemp were in attendance.

I DJ'd for a tight hour. Musically I puked-up my standard mess of frantic rhythm and blues, white trash rockers and deep kitsch. As usual, I drew inspiration from film soundtracks: think Kenneth Anger’s homoerotic underground classic Scorpio Rising and the cinema of John Waters. Cry-baby in particular is, of course, a perpetual Cockabilly touchstone.  

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/ Wanting it, wanting it, wanting it: Pencil-skirted hot pool of woman need Traci Lords in Cry-baby (1990) /

This week I learned of the death of the great mid-century homoerotic beefcake photographer John Palatinus (6 July 1929 – 22 September 2014). He was a true artist, a connoisseur of firm male flesh – and a genuinely modest and sweet man. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting him in October 2012 (he was an impressively dapper 83-year old) at the launch party for a retrospective exhibit of his photography in London. In tribute I’m posting some of my favourite physique pin-up shots by him. As I’m sure you’ll agree the work of John Palatinus is timelessly sexy.

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/ Gay greaser: double denim beauty Tony Ames by John Palatinus. (Gee, which side do you think he “dresses” on?) / 

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/ Quintessential homoerotic cowboy: Peter Andrews by John Palatinus. 1957 /

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/ Bob Ireland photographed by John Palatinus in 1957 (the scruffy little beard makes Bob look so heartbreakingly au courant) /

John Palatinus Exhibit Launch Party at Space Station 65 Gallery

/ Great example of Palantinus's photography at its smouldering best. This is Brad from the Brad and Bob series taken in New York in 1957. Brad and Bob were lovers. Most of Palatinus's models were straight guys (or at least hetero-flexible!). I love this image (I love "biker cap" porn!): it evokes Marlon Brando in The Wild One / 

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/ Russ Alles by John Palatinus. 1960s /

Read more about my encounter with Palatinus here. More photos here

Beat Guitar # 2 - The Fabulous Wailers
Rockin' the Joint - Esquerita
Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
Tongue-Tied Gill - Charlie Feathers
Woodpecker Rock - Nat County
She Said - Hasil Adkins
How Much Love Can One Heart Hold? Joe Perkins and The Rookies
Bop Pills - Macy "Skip" Skipper
I Want Your Love - The Cruisers
Here Comes the Bug - The Rumblers
Big Bounce - Shirley Caddell
Wiped Out - The Escorts
Cry-baby - The Honey Sisters
Fools Rush In - Ricky Nelson
Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
Party Lights - Claudine Clark
Welfare Cheese - Emanuel Laskey
Tina's Dilemma - Ike and Tina Turner
Wailin' - The Fabulous Wailers
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao
Chicken Grabber - The Nite Hawks
Batman Theme - Link Wray
I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield - The 5,6,7,8s
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
Wipe-Out - The Surfaris
Jim Dandy - LaVerne Baker
Beat Party - Ritchie and The Squires
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Whistle Bait - Larry Collins
Killer - Sparkle Moore
Johnny Hit and Run Pauline - X

Further reading:

Read about the squalid proceedings at previous Cockabilly nights hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere,  here, here and here.

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