I had a truly inspired underwear dance party last night. My mood was great, partially due to the awesome mix I had made, and partially due to the.. uh… mood enhancement I was partaking of. As I sipped my IPA, and got down with my bad self I was forced to realize that the super cool chick I had become was the direct result of being exposed to the right Freaks in my formative years. Without the Freaks, I might have ended up a boring, normal woman who thinks that creativity begins and ends with scrapbooking.
I want to give props to the brave people who paved the way for me to be the me I am. Without their total lack of concern for what society thinks about them, I might be a sheep.
1. Edward Gorey – When I think of my childhood, I see it in Gorey pictures. One of my favorite books as a kid was “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” – the alphabet book for the rest of us. Nothing against the good Dr. Seuss, but I was far more attracted to the macabre rhymes and drawings in Mr. Gorey’s world. In my world, A is for
Amy Alicia who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears… Oh,and the man loved cats, which is awesome.
2. Klaus Nomi – Without Klaus Nomi there would be no Lady Gaga, no David Byrne, Katy Perry or maybe even Madonna. Klaus Nomi took being weird and made it into a career. I have always admired his courage and strength a little more than his music, if I am going to be perfectly honest. Yeah, the man had a (literally) amazing vocal range, but some of his stuff doesn’t do it for me. But that isn’t the point of his music. If you are just listening to Nomi, then you don’t get it. He was one of those rare creatures who knew he was born to stardom, which unfortunately means he was to lead a very sad, and isolated life. But he lived it. His alien persona, his baked goods, and his beautiful arias serve as a reminder to me not to be afraid of being different. Espically if being different is being myself.
3. Truman Capote – Capote was both one of the most hated and celebrated men of his time – while he was alive. People desperately wanted to know him, and be part of his inner circle. But once they got there, they were shocked at the pure meanness they saw in him. And that’s the irony, I guess. People KNEW what type of man he was, but still wanted to be near him. I find that fascinating. Don’t be surprised when a shark bites. But he was a talented man, a genius writer, and a walking, talking scene. Being around Capote meant you had made it. Much like Nomi, Capote was a sad man who lived and died very much alone. Sometimes fame is a lonely place, but for some it is worth the price. Capote is directly responsible for me wanting to become a writer.
4. Oingo Boingo – With obvious influences from Mr. Nomi, Oingo Boingo took new wave music and added drama and edge. I love it. If you don’t know of Boingo, you know of its founder and front man Danny Elfman – who is awesome and weird in his own right. I heard of “The Mystical Knights of the Oingo Boingo” when I saw the film “The Forbidden Zone” the awesome cult movie starring the band, and Herve Villechaize. It is weird, uncomfortable, funny and so totally different that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. I still have a crush on Danny Elfman’s voice and they are often the soundtrack to my underwear dance parties. But, I like weird.
5. Ann Magnuson – You probably don’t know who she is, and that’s ok. You might recognize her face from TV shows like “Anything But Love” or maybe from “Desperately Seeking Susan”, or possibly as the front woman for the band “Vulcan Death Grip”. Or maybe not. I have had a crush on her since I can remember. I actually got to see her do a live performance back in LA oh so many years ago. She is a cool performance artist and actress who is so smart I am kind of afraid of her. But she isn’t afraid. And that is why I admire her so much. You can have your premeditated Lady Gaga with her stylists and team of experts. I’ll take Ann Magnuson.
* SUPER PROPS to David Byrne, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Warhol, and Gonzo the Great, as well. There just isn’t enough time in the day to honour you all.