Sunday, July 5, 2015

Broken Goddess

I rarely wax dictatorial, but today if you're able, I'd like to recommend you do a good turn for a great lady.

From the City of the Angels comes sad news that Miss Holly Woodlawn - Warhol superstar, underground fixture and survivor, she whom Mr. Lou Reed let us knew came from Miami, FL to take that Walk on the Wild Side - is in dire straits.  Her particular brand of fabulous notoriety is not one, alas, that comes with much in the way of financial stability, and a health crisis with an uncertain prognosis means that friends have banded together to try and a give her a measure of comfort.

The GoFundMe campaign (here) is being spearheaded by fellow counterculture magnifico Penny Arcade, and it was brought to my attention by the heavenly Jackie Beat, one of the the few Tweeters who is almost always worth one's time.

The video above is from an '85 appearance at the Limelight, and if nothing else it proves that Miss Woodlawn is an estimable performer as well as a pioneer of the sort of GlitterTrash that has given rise over the decades to everyone from Divine to Gaga.  The good stuff really gets under way at about 2:25.

I think I first knew about Holly some years before that Limelight party, from - of all places - an article in a dirty magazine (yes, it's true: I bought Blueboy for the articles. Sure I did).  It was an interview with director Peter Dallas about his 1973 underground film Broken Goddess (a silent depiction of a sort of apocalyptic star tantrum, with Holly, dressed in a shredded Balenciaga and painted like the demented love child of Alla Nazimova and Yvonne de Carlo, writhing and posing in Central Park's Belvedere Fountain), and just reading about the film and its star made something click in my blossoming little gayboy brain.  It's the sort of thing that led me on to explore and eventually move to New York, to hunt out places like the Mudd Club and Fiorucci and books like Edie and all sorts of things.

And here we are all these years later, and Holly needs us.  It make me think of Peter Allen's wise words:

She's been honest through her songs
Since long before your consciousness was raised...
And doesn't that deserve a little praise?

If you're able, this holiday weekend, give her a hand.

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