There’s this Stepford-Wives-like “Bionic Woman” episode
where Lindsay Wagner plays a dual role as Jaime Sommers and
arch-enemy Lisa Galloway, who throws Jaime in an asylum then impersonates
her doing evil in the world! Lindsay Wagner is astonishingly intense
in this episode as she was in the entire series. I once read her explaining
she played Jaime Sommers as a triple amputee in post-traumatic shock,
and that motivation always comes across. The Bionic Woman is the only
female action superwoman of the ’70s that’s as vulnerable,
passionate and full with multifaceted grief as a Robert Altman heroine.
So flippin’ hot! I love her sense of fashion and the “whatever”
attitude she seems to have towards the film industry. And she always
disappears into whatever role she takes on—at all times serving
the film and not herself.
Matt Dillon in Over The Edge
Over The Edge is the Gone
With The Wind of ’70s street-kid flicks and Matt Dillon
as the felonious young Richie is scorching! Especially when doing crimes
with a young, hot Vincent Spano. Tim Hunter co-wrote the script and
he went on to direct The River’s Edge,
Tex and some of my favorite “Twin Peaks”
Find a copy of Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 trip-hop
opus The Holy Mountain (La Montaña
Sagrada), about this sexy, silent, Dee Dee Ramone-esque Christ figure
stampeding through fabulously sacrilegious scenarios including a mystic
Venuszian rock-n-roll fashion designer marketing machine guns shaped
like crucifixes and electric guitars.
Low is an astonishing band from Duluth with Alan Sparhawk, Zak Sally
and the chillingly restrained vocalist/musician Mimi Parker. The magic
of Low is not just the melodies they play but how they convey the silences
in between the notes. I’ve included three of my favorite Low songs
in Tarnation because their music’s aura
can express depths of sorrow and strength unlike anybody else. They
have a luminously melancholy Christmas album too!
Kryptonite to the Atkins diet but who cares? Cheese enchiladas with
refried beans and rice is the staple for all real caballeros and me
too, the quality barometer for all Mexican restaurants is found in this
Dolly is pure hope.
Badass co-founder of Crass, novelist, and punk rock spokesperson, Rimbaud
forged political punk as a movement with his band of angry hippies.
His novel Shibboleth tells the history, values, and sordid
details in this emerging scene, including the awful death of his friend
Phil Russell who was destroyed by corrupt and antiquated 1970s psychiatric
services. Penny is the real deal.
Townes Van Zandt
The Texas artist to know, Townes is a songwriter/poet who defined ’70s
“Outlaw Country.” His gentle demeanor and heartbreaking
honesty gets old-timers crying in their beer. Townes is one of the most
covered of all country musicians, but it’s never better than from
the source. Every music collection should have “Live at the Old
Quarter” resting up front.
Joan Crawford loved those bodacious big-eyed boys…and so do I.
Pioneering anarchist, environmentalist and feminist in the height of
American radical politics in the 1900s. That’s all great, but
this seventy-year-old Russian lady built like a bulldog had more lovers
than Dr. J. Even her prison guards courted her with fruit baskets. Make
love not war.
The Geto Boys
You’ll totally get Houston, Texas listening to the hardest gangsta
rappers in the world. The best line-up is Scarface, Willie D. and Bushwick
Bill (a one-eyed midget). Big Mike is the Shemp in this trio, but shouldn’t
be forgotten. How can you beat a one-eyed midget rapper with ultimate
Those in the know will understand 4AD Records is the ultimate label
of the last twenty years—comparable in influence and relevance
only to Motown in the ’60s or Elektra in the ’70s. Geniuses
like Lisa Germano, The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Cocteau Twins, Thievery
Corporation, His Name is Alive, Rachel Goswell, Cuba, the Pixies, This
Mortal Coil and, of course, the band Tarnation, fronted by rock diva
Paula Frazer, all call 4AD home. So do I.
Sissy’s Bloody-Killer-Walk in Carrie
Okay, since Carrie is the all-time best Brian
De Palma movie, the scariest based-on-a-Stephen-King-book movie, the
creepiest ’70s horror movie, the sexiest John Travolta movie,
the harshest Betty Buckley movie, the baddest-ass Piper Laurie melodrama
movie and the saddest teen coming-of-age movie ever to utilize both
menstrual blood and pig’s blood as recurring motifs, so naturally
Carrie also has the best malevolent Bloody-Killer-Walk
ever filmed! When Sissy Spacek finally emerges from her fiery gymnasium
hell, pastel dress bloodied, stringy hair glued to her skull, arms arched
down, hands akimbo…well, that beats any assassin aerobics of a
Freddy or a Jason.
Mavis is the greatest gospel singer ever. Either singing alone or with
her family, on Stax label classics or Paisley Park mediocrities, none
can touch Mavis and would be fool to try. Others can sing louder or
trill more octaves, but no one can touch Mavis Staples for expert phrasing,
sensual delivery or overall ethereal power. Get the compilation “Only
for the Lonely” and whenever she comes to your town to sing—go!
The greatest surrealist of our time. I think he’s kinda cute too.
I remember watching these marvelous Super-8 short films that kids from
across the country wrote, directed and edited, then sent into “Zoom”;
a show for kids, by kids and starring kids, these homemade ZoomVids
were the one place to see some of the most amazing experimental art-film
narratives on television.
I only met Xan once in the West Hollywood Virgin Megastore, but I can’t
get her out of my mind. Xan is the coolest. She has a noble air, punk
rock eyes, a shy smile, and the funny, salty mouth of a sexy, sweaty
Greek sailor. She said next time I’m in L.A. we should get together
and hang. I’m coming to you Xan…
Bodacious Mabel King was a radiant, versatile, beautiful actress of
Broadway, television and film who died of diabetes complications a few
years ago. Best known as Evillene in The Wiz,
and playing Big Mamas in Steve Martin’s The
Jerk and the TV show “What’s Happening,” Mabel
also worked alongside luminaries like Richard Pryor, Elliot Gould, Eubie
Blake, James Earl Jones, Sam Fuller, Taj Mahal, Robert Mitchum and Morgan
Freeman. Check out her loquacious Queen of Myrthia in Ganja
& Hess. I would have loved to see her do Raisin
in the Sun. Mama Icon.
As a kid I used to pretend My Bodyguard and
Meatballs were these wonderful gay love stories
with all the dirty parts cut by Jack Valenti; Makepeace makin' out with
Matt Dillon…Makepeace balling Bill Murray…you get the picture.
He also ruled in Falcon and the Snowman with
Sean Penn and Vamp co-starring Grace Jones
as a disco vampire. Ahh, Makepeace forever.
Righteous, relevant prophet, poet and Native American Greenwich Village
folk singing Original Gangsta, Buffy Sainte-Marie is not only a Sesame
Street veteran and a virtuoso on the mouth bow, but she’s got
a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts plus degrees
in Philosophy and teaching. She can write a heart soaring love song
like “Up Where You Belong” from An Officer
and a Gentleman or scratch your soul with the political treatise
“Now that the Buffalo’s Gone.”
Nick Drake is G-d. ’Nuff said.
James Evans was such a great father on “Good Times” that
I wept when his character died. Then whenever prolific actor John Amos
would turn up on other shows years later looking older (and even more
handsome), I would say to myself “Wait dammit, I thought he died!”
I especially love him as the pro-homo Admiral on “West Wing”
Warhol didn’t know from glamour ’till he met Edie. She inspired
two Dylan songs and set fire to the Chelsea Hotel. The bar has been
My boyfriend David is the most beautiful, brilliant, wonderful, perfect,
sexy, loving man in the world. I love him more every day. Thank you