Wendy Wild World

Wendy Wild -- 1956-1996. This is Wendy Wild's autobiography. She wrote this in May 1996, just months before her death from breast cancer.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Welcome to the wacky world of Wendy Wild. Who am I? A performance artist, a rock star, or simply a legend in my own mind. I'd probably need a book to explain all of the hilarious events that made up this enigma, so I pulled out a few chapters so that we could get a little better acquainted.


I grew up in Northport, Long Island, the town of Jack Kerouac and satanic killings. It was a place that "satin" lives! was written by some intellectual in the village square. Of course it does but I prefer Quiana! It was 1978 and a after a year of playing together in a band that did Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac covers, me and John McLoughlin had had enough of "Bell Bottom Blues". We needed to shake the dust off our heels, so hanging a moon out the the window of my Ford Maverick, we headed for "FUN CITY". It was to become a most truly excellent adventure!

When we arrived on St. Mark's Place, most of the stores were boarded up. These were the vestiges of the once flowering East Village. Now ladened with junkies, you'd never venture to Tompkin's Square Park for fear of being mugged. Instead, I headed for Third Avenue which was sparsely filled with a few vintage shops.

I picked "Revenge" because I liked the name, plus they had a $1 bin in the front window. As I picked through the pile, the clothes took on a life of their own. Apparently one of the sales persons, or friend of..., was buried underneath and was rudely awakened from their afternoon nap!

That night after seeing the Dead Boys, we wound up at Max's Kansas City where John professed his undying love to me and the fact that he and Kenny Scharf had "fucked around". It took me a while to figure that one out. When I did, I boo-hooed a little, but we decided to remain friends. Is that all there is to love?
When we got home we dyed our hair fushia and changed our names. Nothing would ever bee the same. We became Wendy Wild and John Sex, and from that day on our mailbox read: "WILD/SEX"

Me and John started to go-go dance together. We would open as a warm-up act for bands. Unlike just plain stripping, we'd use blow-up dolls to mimic a free-for-all orgy, all done to the music of the Cramps and the Fleshtones. One real crowd pleaser was our "Handstand Beaverwalk". This involved me doing a handstand while John pretended to get me off, and it always ended with my current flame stomping out of the club. Many times after a grueling night of dancing, we'd grab a bite to eat at 103, which was open all night, and then head out to Coney Island, still in our costumes, and pass out on the beach.

at pyramid

Back at home, John started telling me about Club 57, a tiny basement on St. Mark's Place where the locals congregated in the bowels of a Polish Church, to watch monster movies and dance to the deejaying of Dany Johnson. It was like the Little Rascals clubhouse with weekly "talent" shows and theme parties put together by Ann Magnuson. It was there that I started performing some of my first characters like Dolly Hard-on, complete with a size 50DD bust and Dominatrix Cornelius for the Solid Gold perty. Many people who went on to become famous hung out there, like Keith Haring, and Marc Shaiman (who was up for an Oscar this year). It's funny that such a creative den of depravity would end up becoming a mental health clinic.

Club 57 was a good experience for me, because it got me warmed up for my next job, which was the house MC at Privates, an uptown rock club. Every week I had to come up with a new concept or character to go along with the night's theme. For example, when I opened for Wilson Pickett, I did Little Richard, complete with blackface and a blow-up doll, dancing to "Lucille". I almost got lucky at the end of the night until the girl in the front row saw me without my make-up. My favorite night was when I did the Halloween Show dressed as a tarantula, with people in sunglasses dressed as flies, and trapped in a giant web. It looked pretty cool with the strobe lights flashing, and me pouncing on them. Then, before announcing the band, I had the unfortunate job of reading the next weeks line-up. I didn't know why the crowd was howling so much, maybe it was because Lux Interior and Poison Ivy were standing right behind me, waiting to start playing. So, like a good little spider, I squealed:" Ladies and Germs, Here Are the CRAMPS!", and quickly crawled off the stage.

At that time, I joined a band called the Roll-Ons, which consisted of me and five guys from Brooklyn. One of my favorite escapades was when one night, after rehearsal, we grabbed a couple of sixpacks, some bagels, and some Seconals, and headed for Fort Hamilton Park. Like a scene out of Saturday Night Fever, we scaled the catwalks and climbed to the top of the Verazzano Narrows Bridge! Up there we ran races around the edge and waved to the ships below. We almost lost a member when he nearly fell over the side, a mere 500 foot drop to the ocean. After mooning Staten Island, we climbed down and headed for the train home. It was then that we noticed the disdain on the faces of the morning rush-hour passengers. We realized we were covered in bird shit and must have stunk to high heaven.


So, it was back to the East Village to meet with the "Ladies Auxiliary of the Lower East Side". This was a wacky bunch of gals who had a secret boy file, that contained the vital statistics of all the eligible bachelors in the neighborhood. We also decided that since everyone had a rock band, so would we, and thus PULSALLAMA was born. We were anti-rock, no guitars, a 17 piece percussion ensemble. Everyone loved us, even though we sounded like a clinking, clattering garbage truck out of control! We played the entire club circuit, Danceteria, Mudd Club, Peppermint Lounge and Irving Plaza, just to name a few. When we played a rasta club called Club Negril, we were attacked by the staff, and called "Lesbian Whores of Babylon". We lost a few of our members after that gig.

Finally, our big break came when Joe Strummer heard one of our rehearsal tapes, and asked us to open for the CLASH. No-one at the Asbury Park Convention Center suspected a thing when we mounted the stage in the dark. It was when the stage lights came on that 8000 screaming fans who were ready to "rock the casbah" booed in unison "FUCK YOU!". We retorted "SOOIE!", and launched into our hit "The Devil Lives in My Husband's Body".

Nothing could stop us, not even the hairbrushes or money or sneakers that were thrown onto the stage. Our finale was, "Rockfest on the Meadowlands", containing slurs of all their icons including Bruce Springsteen, and ripping up of fake foamcore guitars. This really infuriated them, but by the third night, we gained quite a sizable cheering section, including young girls in the front rows singing along to our songs. Then it was off to Cape Cod Coliseum, where we armed ourselves with African war shields. It was like feeding christians to the lions! One angry young man pounded his armcast on the stage and was shouting "FUCK YOU!" so insistently that he was ruining my concentration. To shut him up, I jumped with my gold platform boots, and came down so hard that I just missed him by an inch.. From that point on, he became president of the Pulsallama fan club.

Once again, we lost a few more members. Ann Magnuson took off for the west coast and so, down to 7, we took off to England. It was our last tour. Folly seemed to follow us wherever we went. When we played at the "Venue", we were billed as "PULLsalama", bringing out every Rasta in London. Once again we were booed and told to "go home and read our bibles". During the show I kicked my leg up and lost the front chunk of my platform boot. Lucky for me a fan returned it to me backstage so I could nail it on for the next night's show. When we got back home to the states, we knew it was time to hang it up, especially when our wacky bass player tried to stick her head in the oven.

One of the last shows at Club 57 was Scott Whitman's "The Sound of Muzac", which featured the immortal Holly Woodlawn. It also had more Von Trapp's than the King Family and resembled the Manson clan. I got to Liesel, the eldest daughter and John Sex played Rolf. Together we did the wildest version of "I am sixteen going on seventeen" which resembled much more of a wild sex act.

wendy mad violets

It was now the summer of 83 and the scent of psychedelia was in the air. I formed a new band, the Mad Violets. Our first gig was at the Lucky Strike gallery where we threw our mushrooms to the audience. This worked to our advantage because by the time we launched into "The Trip", the crowd was half-naked and tripping their asses off! We had to put towels on the drums because of the noise complaints that the club received, but on one said how long we could play, which ended up being about 4 hours, (we were tripping too!). When we were booked to play in Worcester, we couldn't find the place because there were no signs for "Wooster" on the map. Finally we turned off the highway to ask a gas station attendant where the hell we were and, of course, we were in the right place but it was nearly midnight. We made it to the club but couldn't help notice all the skinheads who came to see us. We were billed as "Mad Violence" from NYC. Again we gave out mushrooms. It was fun to see them stage diving to the psychedelic music that we played.

I was also known for my stage diving antics as well, particularly at one show in Boston, I was hanging from a pipe go-go dancing with about 50 people on stage for our rendition of "Jump into the Fire". The mob whipped up into such a frenzy that one one noticed when I fell 15 feet flat on my back. When the show was over and I still didn't get up, they finally called an ambulance to cart me away. My recovery was nothing short of miraculous because the next night I was go-go dancing on the stage with the Fleshtones.

My mushroom antics gave me so much notoriety that I was picked to be the cover girl for the August 86 issue of High Times. Carlo McCormick shared the cover with me, and the caption read, "The mushroom queen meets the acid prince". We even wrote a song about mushrooms called, "Psylicybe". Our final endeavor was the release of our EP entitled, "The Mad Violets/The World of LSD". Leave it to the crazy French for leaving "LSD" off the title, so it read, "The World of..."

Needing a break from rock and roll, I was called upon by mister John Sex to perform in his new act the Bodacious Ta-tas. John was definitely Mister Showmanship incarnate. Learning every trick from his mentor, Liberace, nothing was spared from his act. We had the highest hairdos and the most sequins. John's lightbulb jacket could blind a blind man! Together with Miss April, he dragged us around the world.

Once we did the opening of Club Nu, a tacky disco in the South Beach district of Miami. The owners flew down about 20 of New York's social elite and press to "create" a scene. One night after the show, me and a big queen named Alexis DelLago were walking back to the hotel. It was a rather risky section of town to be strutting down the street in evening gowns and rhinestones. All of a sudden we were stopped by the police. Apparently there was some kind of a curfew and they mistook us for a couple of drag queen hookers. When they asked us if we were girls, Alexis, who thought she was Marlene Dietrich but looked more like Fred Flintstone, replied in a husky voice, "Oh yes officer, I am a girl". We nearly landed in the hoosegow when our limo driver pulled up and rescued us. Safely back at our hotel, to rid ourselves of nervous perspiration, we jumped in the pool with all our clothes on. The security man almost had a coronary when we emerged with our eyelashes crawling off our faces like two caterpillars!

Christmas in Japan

When we arrived in Tokyo, it was like being plunked down in the middle of an ant farm. Busy, busy, busy, with coffee vending machines right on the sidewalk. Japan is a very strange society, they love all Western trappings. I never saw so much Chanel on all the young ladies, as well as the amount of plastic Santas. I thought for sure when we came out with our bleached blonde dos and wild outfits that we would dazzle and conquer our audience. You might as well have sent Godzilla because of the look of fear on the faces in the crowd. When John tried to drag one female on the stage, as was customary in our shows, she started to cry. He quickly gave her a record and with tears streaming down her cheeks, she "arigato-ed" her way off stage. So much for conquering!


das furlines

It was after a wild drinking spree that the Das Furlines came together. We wanted to be the first "MONKS" cover band. The Monks were a bunch of G.I.'s stationed in Germany in the sixties that were known for being the anti-Beatles, the First Fathers of Punk. One of their songs, "I Hate You", became an anthem for us. Decked out in Viking helmets and Tyrolian St. Pauli Girl outfits, we embarked on a mission to play a frothy blend of polka and punk. We played for lumberjacks up in Canada, skinheads in BOston, and the chi-chi Dynasty crowd in Miami. It was the same club in Miami that a week prior, I was with John Sex. They needed an "act" for the cast of "Cabaret" party, so I told them the Furlines would be perfect. They flew us down on Eastern, which was the Mad magazine airline. Instead of arriving at 4:00, we arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 11:30, and had to change into our outfits and tune our guitars in the limo. We got there so late that we missed the party, the main reason we were flown down to play. But we played anyway, much to the horror of the bejeweled patrons of Club Nu. When we launched into "I Hate You", we nearly cleared the club. THe third night they paid us not to play, so we went on a hayride and mooned the club as we passed by. The following week, we were in People magazine, where they called us the "Polka Pride of the Lower East Side."

We became notorious, especially when I got onto a fist fight with the drummer of our band in the parking lot of the 9:30 club in Washington D.C.. It was over something stupid, but it was a real catfight, with everyone from the club crowded around the locked van we were fighting in. Afterwards, we became real close friends.

At this time, I had several bands going on at the same time. THere was "The Love Delegation", headed by Peter Zeremba of the Fleshtones, and "The Wild Hyenas", headed by me with members of the Fleshtones. Both bands recorded and toured. One highlight for me was opening up for the Psychedelic Furs. It was on the riverboat "President" in New Orleans. I came out singing " Sometimes you might like to hear something nice and easy... but there's just one thing we never do nothin nice and easy....." There I was, rolling down the Mississippi singing "Proud Mary" in front of 5000 people. My mother Tina would be proud.

The Queen of Clubs

with now explosion

After Club 57 folded, the hangout became the Pyramid. It was a bar with a disco dance floor in the back. The decor was nothing short of fabulous, resembling a Louis the 14th Street boudoir. It was truly the queen of clubs with more queens on the bar than off. At one point, there were 3 floors bursting with activities at the same time. The basement level resembled a live sex act, the main floor had Sister Dimension deejaying, and the top floor was reserved for animal acts, complete with dancing poodles. It was here that I started performing Joey Heatherock. She was a wayward sex kitten blown in from the Betty Ford clinic. The Capricorn Dancers were my side kicks, always dropping me in the middle of some wacky dance routine. One night I was blowing kisses to the audience, I went to leave the stage but missed the stairs so I grabbed the silver mylar curtains and brought them down with me. THe following morning found me laying in the middle of Times Square in a ratty old fur coat, posing for a photo shoot. There I was armed with martinis, toasting the early morning rush hour commuters!

joey heatherrock

By the time we got to Tompkin's Square.....

It was one hot summer night around 5:00 in the morning that me, the Lady bunny and few others, grabbed a couple six-packs and wandered over to the bandshell in Tompkin's Square park. WHilst cavorting around on the stage, we were struck by a drunken vision of wig-wearing worshippers. Thus Wigstock was born. THere were always rock shows in the park, so we decided it was time for our own variety show. The first Wigstocks were different in the fact of being more word-of mouth. The crowd consisted of the colorful wig-wearers we envisioned, plus the smelly bums that lived in the park. To really get a taste of what it was like, you should see Tom Rubnitz's "Wigstock", the movie.


The Mentors.

I didn't always travel with my own bands. When the Mentors came to town, I couldn't resist the urge to go on the road with three smelly guys that dressed in executioner hoods, and sang about fucking your bottom. Their little truck held two in the front, while me and Sickie Wifebeater lay coffin-style underneath the equipment in the back. They were real pussycats, and after 3 days El Duce bought me a ticket home. Real gentlemen!

Well, you could say I've done alot, from recording with Bronski Beat, to fighting cancer with a bone marrow transplant. This is merely the tip of the iceberg, but when it's all over, and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying........."is that all there is?".