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Friday, March 22, 2024

Die Tochter des Optimisten

Working so diligently for over a year on my big solo museum exhibition that opens May 17th at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden has been quite taxing in a number of ways. As an anxious Nelly of a girl it´s very difficult for me to relax and not worry about a gazillion things I basically have no control over.

Facing blood pressure tissues raging in the stratosphere, I've had to increase my exercise output with more Deutsche style long walks or as I like to call them promenades. Two Buffalo Gals go round the outside. Deep tissue massages that I was doing twice a month I now have to do weekly, plus increasing therapy to two times a week.

That´s why it was such a heartfelt surprise and shock to receive an email from Tara Perkins, the lovely longtime manager of rock band Gossip. I had thought Gossip had disbanded, but they just went on a short hiatus for a decade plus.

I first met Tara and Gossip over twenty years ago when I hosted Homo-A-Go-Go in Olympia, Washington. Of course I was blown away by their music and the electrifying presence of lead singer Beth Ditto. Miss Beth reminded me of my sister girlfriend Alice Bag mixed into a potpourri of Tallulah Bankhead, Eudora Welty and Mama Maybelle Carter serving a sidebar of teenage Tanya Tucker thrown in for jolly good measurina.

Gossip was having a record release/listening party for a select group of diehard fans and wanted me to host the event. I felt like I needed to do something that wouldn´t be too taxing on me, but got me outside of myself and all the work that was stressing me to death on my own exhibition. Fortunately being hostessa with the mostess on her balls meant just being present at the Dussmann KulturKaufhaus on stage with the band members as the audience grilled them with loving questions and admiration. So I would be closer to the venue they put me up at the Park Inn Hotel, the GDR era hotel with the delicious views. I was ensconced in the depths of the 90th floor corner suite being treated to a luscious unexpected staycation, which helped me really relax and my blood pressure magically rescinded. Thinking about something other than myself was key. Of course getting a chance to reunite with Miss Beth, Hanna and Nathan was a super duper trooper treat in and of itself. As hostess I really didn´t have to do much as they are all so articulate and verbose. They are really vulnerable rock starinas who aren´t afraid to get real and emotional in front of their legions of followers. It was so refreshing being around them and their crew that includes a glam squad, no nonsense tour manager Lady Gina Coates keeping everything running like a well oiled gachine, Columbia/Sony Music Group´s Markus Drzymalla, a tall and dashingly handsome youthquaker, Miss Beth´s personal assistant the charming Sophia, a young lady originally from NYC who now lives in one of my old stomping grounds of Los Angeles´ Froggtown aka: Atwater Village.

Gorgeous Laura Weidenfeller of Dussmann and her intern Greta took such great and loving care of every little thing. We were escorted to the private apartments of Madame Dussmann herself, and ushered into the Versace Room which was our greenroom. The famed lady herself Frau Dussmann peeked in to say hello and she happens to be an American from Los Angeles ruling over a gigantic German empire. I joined her in a champagne toast which left me a little excrement for brains as I had eaten a light lunch not wanting to appear bloated in front of the publicum.

The highlight of my reunion with Gossip was their sneak performance in Kreuzberg at the Lido. Got to meet the new band members who are striking. Bijoux Cone the synth player is a bonafide buxom beauty and Tura Satana of Faster Pussycat Kill Kill Kill Doppelgänger who adds so much to the allure of the band along with hottie Teddy Kwo, a sex studkin of a dynamo on bass who has such rock-n-roll swagger and virility that if you stand too close to him you will wind up preggers. I loved his Pachuco/Teddy Boy look, very NOW and WOW! Of course Hannah and Nathan are two of the most electrifying musicians in the known world, and it was magnificent seeing them back in top form. Hannah´s drumming reminds me of my cousin Carla DuPlantier of the famed Los Angeles early punque band The Controllers, and England´s Jimmy the Hoover. Hannah and Nathan equal sexy is as sexy does.

The new album Real Power is a colossal revelation. It's a spiritual opus of extroidinary depth and imagination. I´ve been listening to it over and over again and each time I find something new and more uplifting, sensual and compelling. The album brings me to a boiling point of religious ferver and supplication. Miss Beth´s voice has never sounded better, with that signature trill she uses that provides such oomph to the selections. My favorite song is Act of God, followed by Turn the Card Slowly but every song is a gem with some having forlorn qualities that shatter your soul with its dignity, zest and pure passion play. Gossip working once again with The Lady Miss Rick Rubin is a hallowed blessing. Like what he did with Johnny Cash he recognizes their kindred poppers stew calling, and brings that into sharp high focus. Blessed be.