Saturday, 21 March 2015

17 March 2015 Cockabilly DJ Set List

/ Heartbreaker: luscious young Swiss greaser punk photographed by the great Karlheinz Weinberger circa 1962 /

I won’t lie! This post will be a bit of a rush job – long on pretty pictures, short on text. At the moment I am one distracted mofo. Tonight (Saturday 21 March) is the latest installment of my own semi-regular trashy club night Lobotomy Room (the first one of 2015) in Dalston and I am vibrating with nerves. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, my stomach is full of vomiting butterflies!

/ The ever-fierce Esquerita (1936-1985) is the sassy and defiant face of Cockabilly! Like his friend and contemporary Little Richard, the outrageous Esquerita qualified as both the King and Queen of rhythm and blues. Click on a pair of diamanté shades and freak out the squares in his honour! /

/ In Bed with Tab Hunter /

First off: some red-hot gossip. Courtesy of literary roué Rupert Smith I was privileged to be snuck into this afternoon’s sold-out screening of The Golden Age of The American Male at The British Film Institute’s Flare Festival as his “plus one”. Screening afterward was Tab Hunter Confidential – a revealing new documentary in which the dreamy heartthrob actor confides what it was like being a closeted gay celebrity in atomic-era Hollywood. Rupert and I were in the VIP “green room” afterwards drinking when the team behind Tab Hunter Confidential arrived – including Tab himself, his long-term boyfriend and entourage. He sat directly opposite me and as I confided to Rupert, my heart was pounding and I couldn't stop staring! A quick Google search confirmed Hunter is 83 now – and still stunningly, remarkably jaw-droppingly handsome! Silver hair, powerful shoulders, and a jaw line chiseled out of granite. (I could hear him speaking to people and his manners are old-school impeccable). Rupert and I were swooning!

 photo AMG_hillbilly_zpsnxrfgmuj.jpg

/ Sexy hillbilly Larry Harris photographed by Athletic Model Guild. Those rockabilly sideburns! /

The Golden Age of the American Male was a compilation of the Athletic Model Guild’s short homoerotic beefcake / physique films from the Fifties and Sixties. Think greaser punk hoodlums in posing pouches and engineer boots wrestling and spanking each other – delicious! About 75% of all the vintage gay porn I post on here and on tumblr inevitably originates from AMG - that studio represents the acme. It was a symphony of juvenile delinquent rough trade, all gap-toothed smiles (some of the younger models straight out of their teens still had acne), oiled quiffs and sprinkled with crude reform-school tattoos cavorting to a soundtrack of obscure rockabilly and surf music. (The most famous – and instantly recognisable – face among them was teenage pre-Warhol Joe Dallesandro). In other words – my definition of heaven!  There were nice segments with guys dressed as black leather-jacketed The Wild One-style bikers, sailors and Roman centurions. But for me the most joyous sequence was intercut bits of AMG boys frantically go-go dancing stark naked (think jiggling “helicopters”) – life-affirming! The main man behind AMG was photographer, filmmaker and connoisseur of firm male flesh Bob Mizer (1922-1992). Today The Bob Mizer Foundation is working on preserving, digitising and gradually making these films commercially available as DVDs. I dream of projecting this stuff against the wall when I DJ at Cockabilly or Lobotomy Room!

On 1 April 2015 I jet out for this year’s Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender (2-5 April) – followed by a few days of recuperation in the torrid voodoo realm of New Orleans. I've never been there before and I’m really intrigued.  I intend to luxuriate in and absorb New Orleans’ sleazy Southern Gothic underbelly by hopping between atmospheric dive bars and channeling Tennessee Williams and John Rechy’s City of Night. In my research I've already learned that Tennessee Williams’ regular watering hole was Cafe Lafitte in Exile. My guide and host will be New Orleans-based journalist Kevin Allman, who’s tipped me off that John Waters’ favourite local bars when he’s in town are the Double Play (described as “a really seedy trans/hustler bar”) and the Corner Pocket (similar to The Fudge Palace in Waters’ 1998 film Pecker. Tea-bagging ahoy!). What better recommendation?

Anyway:  this month Cockabilly (London’s only regular monthly queer rockabilly night! Rock around the cock!) fell on a Tuesday. Let’s face it: Tuesday night just isn't anyone’s idea of rock’n’roll no matter how you cut it. Nonetheless, Cockabilly boss man Mal and I did our damnedest to stir-up a raunchy and desperate ambience. Here is what I played.

Scorpion - The Carnations
Dangerous Lips - The Drivers
I Want Your Love - The Cruisers
Tina's Dilemma - Ike and Tina Turner
Bombora - The Original Surf-aris
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Action Packed - Johnny Dollar
Boss - The Rumblers
Jim Dandy - Ann-Margret
Gunnin' for Peter - The Fabulous Wailers
Big Bounce - Shirley Caddell
Dragon Walk - The Noblemen
Year 1 - X
Chicken Grabber - The Nite Hawks
Suey - Jayne Mansfield
Beat Party - Ritchie and The Squires
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Roll with Me, Henry - Etta James
Chicken - The Cramps
Run Chicken Run - Link Wray
Whistle Bait - Larry Collins
Jim Dandy - Sara Lee and The Spades
Cooler Weather is A-Comin' - Eddie Weldon
Cry-baby - The Honey Sisters
Party Lights - Claudine Clark
Welfare Cheese - Emanuel Laskey
Honolulu Rock'n'Roll - Eartha Kitt
Rock-a-Hula Baby - Elvis Presley
Blockade - The Rumblers
Salamander - Mamie Van Doren
Handclappin' Time - The Fabulous Raiders
Black Tarantula - Jody Reynolds

/ Ideally, the scene at the bar Tuesday night would have looked more like this /

Further reading:

Last blog post I expressed my anxiety about Google’s proposal to clamp down on “adult content” and what it meant for the future of my blog. Happy days! After a tsunami of bad publicity and much rage amongst bloggers, Google has climbed down and are now maintaining their existing policies. Phew! My message of filth continues!  

Read about the sordid antics at previous Cockabillies hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere,  here, herehere and here. 

Follow me on tumblr for all your retro, kitsch and homoerotic vintage sleaze needs! 

Details of my next Lobotomy Room club night (Saturday 21 March 2015 at Hysteria in Dalston)

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