EDITED BY KATERI BUTLER & LIBBY MOLYNEAUX
OH, DA SHORTS!
Hootin' 'n' hollerin' like parolees yearnin' for real man-love, we half expected the gals in the audience (okay, some guys, too) to storm the runway with cash and stuff the crotches of the
shirtless batch of hunky cover boys from Men's Health magazine who served as backdrops for David Meister's evening-wear collection at MACY'S 17th ANNUAL PASSPORT FASHION SHOW. While dodging giant geisha girls loping through the crowd on stilts, we noted that seven out of 10 men were wearing makeup. Meanwhile, JENNIFER TILLY, SHERYL LEE RALPH and Passport co-chairs MAGIC JOHNSON and CINDY CRAWFORD arrived droppin' fashion and beauty tips left 'n' right. Made perfect sense to us as we glanced around at the sea of folk cloaked cowardly in basic black. Not to be outdone, MARILU HENNER pulled us aside and rattled off from memory the newest creations from MAC cosmetics. Flashing a dazzling set of nails, Henner purred, “If you want to go sort of fuchsia, it's called Rocker, or more purpley, it's Ooh. For the lips,” she pointed toward her mouth, “Tush.” But the buzz on everyone's lips was the event's grand finale — “The Evolution of Underwear,” featuring the latest creations from Joe Boxer designer NICHOLAS GRAHAM. “Six, seven years ago, I said that underwear was the fragrance of the '90s,” Graham told us. Hmmm, we pondered later on while watching the show. Boxer sniffing, is there a 12-step program for that?
OUR BOY'S ALL GROWN UP
Most '80s metal people may have gone goth or glam (it's all about the makeup), but
TAIME DOWNE's (pictured) Pretty Ugly Club at the Dragonfly still attracts plenty of heads for whom time has stood still, and when you mix drunk heshers with sexually ambiguous glammy types, there's bound to be trouble. Internet tranny and part-time Cherry go-go gal VIDA DEVILLE, in a see-through net dress, found this out at Taime's 35th-birthday bash when some frizzy-haired buffoons verbally attacked her. “Dude, this ain't your scene,” said one. “People like you spread AIDS, go back to where you came from.” The 6-foot-4-inch diva (in heels) then shut them up with her own choice words and a flash of her choice package. Ironically, a tribute to the cross-dressers who started it all, the New York Dolls, called the THE DOLTS (featuring THE HANGMEN'S BRYAN
SMALL as DAVID JOHANSEN and JOHNNY ANGEL as a very healthy
JOHNNY THUNDERS), was onstage proving you don't have to
be macho to rock. Also confirming the theory was Taime's own
NEWLYDEADS, MOTOCHRIST, COYOTE SHIVERS, and BANG
TANGO'S JOE LESTEY with an unnamed group featuring Taime's old FASTER PUSSYCAT bandmate, BRENT MUSCAT. The birthday boy also got a giant cake of his airbrushed face, Velcro wrist restraints, a copy of Decline of Western Civilization, Part II — The Metal Years, which he's in (“Penelope never gave me my copy”), and a big Buddha penis sculpture, “so if I ever turn gay, I'll have something big to stick up my ass.”
ONE CONTORTED DECADE
Celebrating their 10th anniversary as OSSEUS LABYRINT (pictured), mutation collaborators MARK STEGER and HANNAH SIM blew it out with Them, a duet staged in the L.A. River and from the First Street bridge that attracted a few hundred scenesters ranging from the veteran avant-garde to wooly-capped ravers. We were instructed via secret voice mail to enter the river from the east side of Third Street, where, unnerved by the traffic jam and helicopters flying overhead, we were re-routed to the west-side entrance and drove through the river. Following the caravan, we decided not to get the car stuck in the river and hitched a ride in the back of a pickup truck. We sat on the steep concrete embankment and signed releases, since we were going to be extras in a film. For the opening piece, Osseus hung naked and suspended by their ankles from the bridge, then lowered themselves and contorted on the dry concrete riverbed, and for the finale of the century, oozed through the muddy bank of the river into the deep trough and were washed away, avoiding the applause. After an hour of watching Osseus conjure sides of beef, mutant genitalia, epilepsy and rigor mortis, we lay on the hood of a packed Volvo and drove toward the Sixth Street ramp.
CLAUDE BESSY, BON VOYAGE
Claude Bessy, town crier, poet laureate and beloved tavern habitué in our little village of late-'70s L.A. punk, died at his Barcelona home last Saturday from cigarette-induced lung cancer. He was 54. Claude moved to Spain 12 years ago after a seven-year sojourn in England. Originally from Normandy, Claude came to the U.S. in 1973 and founded Angeleno Dread, the first reggae fanzine in L.A. He adopted the Kickboy Face pen name from a Jamaican dub artist before meeting graphic artist Steve Samiof in Venice circa '75-'76, whereupon the two launched Slash with Philomena Winstanley and a group of other artists in May 1977. As Slash's chief editorialist, and in person, he was one of the most passionately irreverent characters I have ever met. No one was spared his barbed wit, not even myself (and I liked to think of him as my favorite drinking crony), certainly not the major record companies who'd frequently find their full-page ads adjacent to an editorial review mercilessly trashing their record. Claude was the first writer to predict the Germs and X would be the most influential of L.A.'s Class of '77 bands and was immortalized in the Decline movie saying: “There was never any such thing as new wave. It was the polite thing to say when you were trying to explain you were not into the boring old rock & roll, but you didn't dare to say punk, because you were afraid to get kicked out of the party and they wouldn't give you coke anymore.” He is survived by his long-time love, Philomena, and his mother. Claude once wrote in a brilliant unpublished poem: “Death is often trampled, and the bars never close . . .”