By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Anyway, Wall of Voodoo ended, but never broke up. "Some of the members just got drunk and wandered away. That's very Voodoo," he recalls with an obvious fondness. The rest of his history includes two solo records, Upon My Wicked Son . . . and Sins of Our Fathers, both on Dr. Dream Records, and a bona fide hit with Concrete Blonde's cover of "Tomorrow, Wendy," about a prostitute dying of AIDS. Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt will soon release a cover of his "Loving the Highwayman" from Wicked Son.
Fans of the Prieboy catalog can tell you that his progression from rock to operetta is a natural. One song in particular, Sins' "Psycho Ex," is a perfect example. It's based on his breakup with a girlfriend who was a heroin addict. "People who go off their rocker start doing all these desperate things, and the emotions musically should be very big. 'You came into my house with a prostitute who had gone to jail for shooting her boyfriend's cock off. Why did you steal the purse? Why did you steal my coat?'" he says, getting excited and tossing a cat in the direction of Malibu. "Those emotions are operatic -- they're not sad."
White Trash Wins Lotto dates back almost three years, to when Andy would hear his neighbors' -- a Broadway-style songwriting team -- peppy chords through the walls. He got the idea that an ambitious, starry-eyed Midwesterner (much like himself?) seeking fame in rock & roll would make a good story -- as a joke. He added songs to his regular performances at Largo, and the musical eventually took over, with Andy acting as narrator to move the story along. The cast now numbers 13 and includes Estefan Bravo as the starry-eyed Axl; D'Albert and singer Chrissy Guerrero as heavy-metal stripper chicks, among other roles; and comedians Greg Behrendt, Paul F. Tompkins and Blaine Capatch as an A&R "clique of pricks" singing "We Can Do What We Want," about buying out Guns N' Roses' original manager "'cuz she's only a chick." In "Give 'Em the Meat," a Dr. Seusslike Steven Tyler advises young Axl on the art of the hit song: "A bridge is a bitch, but its job is enormous . . . Make it tender/tell the world you understand."
And boy, oh boy, are there some intentionally bad moments. Andy even instructs his dancers to hold their marks a little bit too long at the end of a Bob Fossean number. "It should be more like a high school production," he urges. There is a reading of prose by Guns N' Roses biographer Danny Sugerman, and the obligatory hoedown title tune -- "like 'Shi-poo-pi' from The Music Man," offers Andy, "but mine is, mercifully, a lot shorter."
HBO IS FLYING THE ENTIRE WHITE TRASH WINSLotto cast to Aspen for its upcoming U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, and at a rehearsal, the three-and-a-half-pack-a-day Andy takes a break and gnaws on a Power Bar (while smoking!). He sidles up to the HBO guys, who sit in a huddle strategizing the show for taping, and asks, "If the altitude affects me, can I bring an oxygen tank onstage? And can I smoke next to it?"
The future may yet see a betuxed Andy Prieboy at the Broadway opening of White Trash Wins Lotto, and whisking into Sardi's to wait for the reviews. But for now he sees it as more of a club thing. "We want to keep it in the environment that pertains to its subject matter." He's been approached by theater people, publishing people and even movie people who want in. "They're going to be the subject of my next musical," he says, probably joking. "There are so many assholes to write about -- including me!"
Andy Prieboy performsWhite Trash Wins Lotto at Largo Thursday and Saturday, February 25 and 27.