View more photos in Lina Lecaro's Nightranger slideshow.
The Dope Show
Though he was said to be responsible for part of Marilyn Manson’s creepy image (and his stage name references a killer/grave robber), recently deceased original M.M. bassist Gidget Gein (a.k.a. Bradley Stewart) seemed — unlike the band’s leader — a gentle and sweet soul in person. Dropped from the group because of his drug use just as it was about to explode, G.G. may have battled the most dreadful of demons, but even when he was at his lowest, his rock and art guises — The Dali-Gaggers and Gollywood shows — maintained voracious vision. Nightranger had been in touch with Gein just days before his accidental O.D. in October, and he had many things in the works, including a pal’s band he’d joined called People and some upcoming TV and solo music projects. A memorial benefit at the Dragonfly last Wednesday, hosted by Apocalipstick lass Lenora Claire and fetish model Courtney Cruz, featured Gein’s art and an array of fiendish friends and fans performing in his honor, including Ego Plum, Me and My Machine, Prince Poppycock, Dukey Flyswatter and the Damned Ol Opry and Kim Fowley (crooning new original songs including “Bag Boy,” inspired by one of Gidge’s day jobs as body-part collector at Florida County Coroner’s office). Those in attendance included Jessicka (Scarling, Jack off Jill), DJ-club kid Juicy Jay, former Courtney Love guitarist Lisa Leveridge, Joshua Lectric (composer), Allen Wrench (best known — by conspiracy bloggers anyway — as the man who departed Mentors frontman El Ducefingered as Kurt Cobain’s killer ... hired by Love, no less), Brian Clark (co-founder of UnPop — the irreverent and subversive, some might say offensive art movement to which Gein belonged), groovy gal/Gein pal Giddle Partridge and monstrously marvelous queens Squeaky Blonde and “drag daughter” Fade-Dra (all in Gein’s signature roach-print frocks). Though a pale, black-haired fella haunting a corner booth all night was thought by many to be Manson himself, it was just an Anti-Christ Superstar wannabe. In fact, MM has yet to publicly comment on his old band mate’s untimely death. Claire tells us funds raised from the gathering will buy Gein a nice memorial plaque at Hollywood Forever cemetery (his ashes are in Florida, his homestate).
Boys on Film
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Of course, rock & roll isn’t the only entertainment profession rife with substance abuse, and this is only too clear after you view filmmaker John Roecker’s enlightening new documentary, Everything You Wanted to Know About Gay Porn Stars* but Were Afraid to Ask. Roecker, best known for his punk-rock puppet epic Live Freaky, Die Freaky, gathered a couple hundred of his buds (Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, AFI’s Davey Havok, NOFX’s Fat Mike, Green Day’s Mike Dirnt, Project Runway’s Santino Rice, Brian Grillo, Rob Zabrecky, Epitaph’s Brett Gurewitz and Kelly Osbourne, to name a few) a few weeks ago for a screening at The Vista to watch subjects (many of whom were in the audience) reveal the dark, silly and just plain wild world of homosexual cinema. Though Roecker says queer media hasn’t been very supportive of his work (which humanizes its sex subjects too much, it seems), the profiles are provocative no matter what your preferences and made all the more intense by Armstrong’s rockin’ soundtrack. Recently remodeled WeHo gay grotto Numbers served as the after-party site, where XXX director/drag-a-licious DJ Chi Chi La Rue spun. Check out www.Heretv.com to watch the individual episodes.
Bellies and Baubles
Speaking of punks in pictures, fans of the Weekly’s original nightlife column L.A. Dee Da and, really, anything to do with this town’s early music, club and art scene, must check out Underbelly: A Year in the Life of Princess Farhana, a fascinating doc about writer-dancer-local legend Pleasant Gehman’s royal hip-thrusting alter ego. Nightranger joined the Princess, pals Selene Luna, Ron Athey, Abby Travis and a who’s who of burlesque, belly dancing and rock & roll in Los Angeles at El Cid to watch the Steve Balderson flick, which is funny, frank and informative. As one of her disciples says in the movie, “24 hours with Plez will change your life.” The uplifting flick’s 100 minutes might just do the same. Get it (and browse the acclaimed belly-dance instructor’s vast selection of teaching videos) at www.Princessfarhana.com. Check out her tummy-shakin’ skills in person Wednesday through Sunday most weeks at the Sunset Strip’s Moon of Tunis. It seems the city’s most seminal scenesters are finding all kinds of new ways to express themselves. DJ-nightlife pioneer Joseph Brooks (Fetish, Makeup, Cherry and too many more to list) can still be found every Saturday behind the decks at Club Bang at The Ruby, but his current handiwork is only in fine boutiques. Last Saturday, we joined Brooks, along with events impresario Bryan Rabin, superstylist Arianne Phillips and fashion scribe Rose Apodaca at the latter’s Venice shop, A+R, for a holiday trunk show featuring Brooks’ jewelry. We were enamored by their earthy yet edgy flair (so, we hear, are the Jonas Brothers, three of Brooks’ biggest clients). From Club Scream to teen dreams — who’d have thunk it? Snag Brooks’ beauteous gems for the holidays at both A+R locations and at www.aplusrstore.com.