from NEA Diary:
The next night, we were in a totally opposite scene than Irvine … the anti-club, the L.A. art/punk club. I was doing my CABARET OF CHAOS, which consisted of me singing along to taped message songs such as “Better Sit Down Kids”, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, “I Am Woman”, etc. When the packed punk house saw this weird crip (me) sitting on the stage yelling into a mic to bad music, they started jeering at me, pulling at my feet, and in general tried to give me a hard time. I loved it. I started kicking their heads playfully, sang all the louder, and interacted with them. They started liking it almost in spite of themselves. They started clapping along, then singing along, then rocking along with me. Amazing. Hard-core punks got on stage to dress me in their spiked jewelry and even to give me a back rub while I sang. After 45 minutes of this, they demanded more. When I finally got off the stage, they crowded around me, touching my body.
I could never dream up this reality.
The letter Frank wrote to get the gig:
To Jack Marquette
Anti-Club, Los Angeles
Paul McCarthy suggested I contact you about my doing a show at The Anti-Club when I am in Southern California in late January. I will be doing performances at U.C.L.A., with the help of Paul, and at U.C.S.D. for the performance art class of Eleanor Antin. But what I would do at your club would be very different from these other performances.
I would do a very silly and tacky musical revue which grew out of my Outrageous Beauty Revue which I did as the Saturday early show at S.F.’s Mabuhay Gardens for three years in the late 70’s. The show has wacky characters who murder songs from the 60’s. The show could be from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your time requirements. I don’t know why, but the show is the most accessible thing I do.
I am enclosing the cover story that High Performance did on my work and the article about me that the editor of Metier wrote. They should give you the feel for what I do.
Paul told me that you manage Johanna Went. Ever since she and I performed on the same night at the Mabuhay many years ago, I have wanted to perform with her again … maybe I could open for her at your club.
Hope to work with you.
“Cabaret of Chaos” script and stage instructions:
Various press clippings: