Drag a comb through your quiff, swallow a fistful of bop pills and rock around the cock – at COCKABILLY!
COCKABILLY returns to the louche surroundings of The George & Dragon in Shoreditch on Tuesday 28 July 2015! Leather boys, gay greasers, cry-babies, prison wives and juvenile delinquents of all ages are welcome at Cockabilly - London’s only regular queer rockabilly night! With DJ Mal Nicholson and I spinning all your favourite rancid vintage sleaze classicks! Think rockabilly, rhythm and blues, surf, punk and tittyshakers!
The George & Dragon: 2-4 Hackney Road London E2 7NS
In his definitive literary statement, 1981’s Shock Value: A Tasteful Book about Bad Taste (which I revere as a sacred text), cult cinema’s Pope of Trash John Waters describes his early film Mondo Trasho (1969) as “a gutter film. “ (“It was filmed in alleys, gutters, Laundromats and deserted areas around Baltimore…”).
/ Embryonic young starlet Divine in her first starring role in Mondo Trasho (1969) /
In a similar vein, when I DJ at either Cockabilly or my own punkabilly booze party club night Lobotomy Room I endeavour to exhume and play the most rancid “gutter music” possible. Hopefully in my hour-long set at the July 2015 Cockabilly I succeeded.
As a friend of mine present pointed out (not entirely approvingly, I suspect!) “Your set got quite Country in the middle!” I've indeed recently re-visited and incorporated some old-school Country and Western tracks that I vividly remember from my seventies rural Quebec childhood. A particular strain of white trash / trailer park hillbilly Country music – the kind that conjures images of women with teased hair and frosted lipstick (think Karen Black as Rayette in Five Easy Pieces) lamenting about adultery, men with werewolf sideburns and big cowboy belt buckles crying into their beers at neon-lit honky tonks – is part of my musical DNA. I definitely recall my mother singing along to Loretta Lynn’s tough-talking 1968 single “Fist City”, in which the earthy no-nonsense coalminers daughter threatens some tramp to steer clear of her man. “If you don’t want to go to Fist City / You’d better detour around my town / ‘Cause I’ll grab you by the hair of the head and I’ll lift you offa the ground!” Lynn warns her would-be rival.
/ There's an even better clip of Tammy Wynette belting out "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" (sporting a beehive wig, sequinned mini-dress and go-go boots) on Youtube, but whoever posted it disabled embedding, damn it! So watch it here instead /
“Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad”, meanwhile, is the title track of the 1967 début album of Lynn’s contemporary Tammy Wynette. In a variation of the Kitty Wells Country & Western standard “It Wasn't Go Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, the bouffant-haired First Lady of Country casts herself as a virtuous Christian housewife who’s “never seen the inside of a barroom / Or listened to a jukebox all night long” vowing to become a hardened bar stool mama if it wins back her straying husband. “I'll even learn to like the taste of whiskey,” Wynette wails over rousing quasi-rocabilly guitar twangs (there's a sob trapped in her voice, even on a defiant and sassy number like this). “In fact, you'll hardly recognize your wife / I'll buy some brand new clothes and dress up fancy /For my journey to the wilder side of life.”
Your Phone's off the Hook - The Ramonetures
Let's Go, Baby - Billy Eldridge
Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad - Tammy Wynette
It's a Gas - The Rumblers
Goodbye So Long - Ike and Tina Turner
Money, Money - Big John Taylor
Where's My Money? Willie Jones
Wiped-Out - The Escorts
Love Potion # 9 - Nancy Sit
Jailhouse Rock - Judy Nylon
Little Darlin' - Masaaki Hirao
Big Bad Boss Beat - The Teen Beats
I'm a Woman - Peggy Lee
Chicken Grabber - The Nite Hawks
Sweet Little Pussycat - Andre Williams
Vesuvius - The Revels
Fist City - Loretta Lynn
Year 1 - X
Rock the Hula - Elvis Presley
Honolulu Rock'n'Roll - Eartha Kitt
Here Comes the Bug - The Rumblers
Viens danser le twist - Johnny Hallyday
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
I Wish I Were a Princess - Little Peggy March
Somethin' Else - The Sex Pistols
Viva Las Vegas - Nina Hagen
Twistin' the Night Away - Divine
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Cretin Hop - The Ramonetures
/ The twisted minds behind Cockabilly: Mal (on the right) and I at my Lobotomy Room club night at Fontaine's on Friday 31 July 2015 /
Read all about the sordid antics at previous Cockabillies here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Follow my tumblr blog (also called Bitterness Personified) for all your retro, kitsch and vintage homo porn needs!
A nice appreciation of the irresistibly kitsch vintage homoerotic art of illustrator George Quaintance (1902-1957) cropped up on the Dangerous Minds blog today. Read it here. Quaintance is definitely a precursor of Tom of Finland and would appear to be an influence on the campy queer vision of French artists Pierre et Gilles. One of the most popular pics I’ve ever posted on tumblr is Quaintance’s painting “Shore Leave.”
I'm next guest DJ'ing on Sunday 16 August 2015 at the free all-day Elvis-o-Rama tribute event A Date with Elvis in Shoreditch. See the Facebook events page for details. If you're London-based, why not come and wriggle and cavort like Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas?
And finally: my next putrid punkabilly booze party Lobotomy Room club night in the basement Bamboo Lounge of Fontaine's is Friday 28 August 2015! Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock'n'roll at Lobotomy Room! In the meantime, read about the June 2015 one here.
/ Lobotomy Room flyer (of Jayne Mansfield and chihuahua) by Ego Rodriguez Illustrations /