Tag Archives: Iggy Pop

Advice if you are a stripper or burlesque dancer: DO NOT GET ON THE FLOOR

John! There’s a new psychedelic from Brazil, but it’s not a plant! She’s an enormous naked fat lady – well she wears only tiny silver pasties and a matching tiny G-string so she seems naked – and she dances tango solo while delicately removing invisible clothing to rapturous applause which was – when I saw it – interspersed with moments of awed silence. All this concluded with a standing ovation.

(That was the start of another missive from Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent. She continued…)

I saw her – Delirious Fenix – yesterday at the Burlesque Festival in Vancouver Playhouse, the municipal theater, which used to show plays and employ actors. I was very sad when the municipal theater company was disbanded a few years ago. I thought it was a sign of the end of the world, but I had not foreseen that Delirious Fenix would perform there.

There is a clip on YouTube of her appearance on the Ferdinando TV show in Brazil.

Babe Camille 2000’s earlier ‘ass dress’

Delirious Fenix and the Emperor of Fabulous were very good, And I stood up and yelled for Camille 2000… She deserves it just for being alive, for having played a dominatrix to Iggy Pop in Miami Vice and also for wearing the costume that displayed her ass so hilariously when she was a babe!

Then there were many beautiful solo lady dancers… But WHY did almost all of them rip their gloves off in the first two seconds and end their acts humping the floor? I always used to leave my gloves on as long as possible. Otherwise you just look like an ordinary naked girl in no time.

Each act at Vancouver Playhouse had four assistants to pick up their clothing which was strewn all over the huge stage. I could tell the more professional ones because their clothes landed in the same general area…

A tables-and-tassles intermission

During the intermission, there were tables selling pasties, hair ornaments and hand-made panties. At one table, volunteers were selling courses on how to do burlesque. A young volunteer lady told me I should take an introductory course in burlesque.

“You would like it,” she told me. “It’s  for all ages.” She brandished a brochure outlining the classes available at The Vancouver Burlesque Center. The classes had titles like Discovering the Sexy You and How to Own The Stage.

I glanced at the brochure. The room was full of excited people wearing bright silly costumes and talking loudly.

“You really should try it,” the young lady said perkily. “It’s more fun than you might think.”

Camille treats Anna like Iggy (Photograph by Bazuka Joe)

I wasn’t in the mood to say that I used to be a headline act or to start explaining that I had spent fifteen solid years dancing on four continents so I didn’t really need an introduction to Stripping For Fun classes.

She looked hopelessly fresh-faced and anxious to convert me to this fun new hobby and smiled hopefully. I found myself having to shout over the surrounding conversations which were punctuated with the squealing sounds of friends admiring each other’s outfits.


I tried to smile kindly, waving my arms around and escaped.

The poor young girl. She had been so nice. I hope she didn’t feel too badly that she couldn’t convince the poor old deaf lady to try out a strip class.

Did I tell you that Camille 2000’s pet peeve about young strippers is when they do a ‘floor act’. She tells them in her workshops: “Do NOT get on the FLOOR!!! Get a chair. Get a prop. Get ANYTHING. But DO NOT GET ON THE FLOOR!… A STAR does not get on the floor!”

Camille 2000 is from Alabama. The way she says “on” has two syllables and sounds very pretty to me.

Oh, great… A conveyor belt broke at the airport and my flight will be delayed.

I am going to Montreal for six days. I wish it was for longer. Montreal is probably the most culturally ‘happening’ city in Canada… possibly because the rent is cheaper than any of the other major cities here – plus the immigrant mixture, good food and being a major port.

Anna Smith (left) and her group have written a book

I am going for the annual Canadian HIV/AIDS research conference. We (Dr.Dan Allman from the University of Toronto’s Della Lana School of Public Health and the Triple X Workers Solidarity Society – represented by my friends Andrew Sorfleet, Will Pritchard and me) are holding an ancillary event to premiere the short film about our ‘groundbreaking consultation’ with 50 diverse sex worker organisations from across Canada about PrEP and our various concerns about its promotion and use.

It is the project we did for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The sponsors of the conference are mainly big drug companies like Gilead but I noticed that one of the sponsors bears the hipster-sounding name ‘Tweed’. I wondered what Tweed does so I looked it up and it is one if Canada’s largest marijuana facilities. I don’t suppose they will be giving out samples.

Seattle’s Emperor of Fabulous

I did meet the Emperor of Fabulous last night. He is from Seattle and he is a very nice man.

He took my email address and gave me his business card and said we could take a photo together but then he scampered off because the lady ushers at the municipal theater are very fierce. I imagine most of them worked as prison guards before they were drafted into the theater.

I looked up the Emperor of Fabulous on Facebook later and saw that he did a benefit for the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP).

In the United States many sex workers, mostly women, are serving long prison sentences. Conditions are very harsh.

In Arizona a woman was left for four hours in a cage in the sun and she died of dehydration, ignored by 14 guards while she begged for water. A documentary about this incident was made, with the help of SWOP Behind Bars instigated by sex worker activists Carol Leigh and Christina Sardinia. The documentary is called No Human Involved and it was released in July 2016. It has won several awards.

The incident that prompted the film was back in 2009 but I think, if anything, the situation is now worse in the United States.

There is a trailer for the documentary online.

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Topless female Iggy Pop + comedian Malcolm Hardee goes body surfing

So I was standing against a wall in London’s ICA arts venue last night when this man approached me and started talking. He told me he was a poet/musician/singer and that he used to perform under the stage name ‘Me’.

But – and I am telling you the truth here – he told me he had to give up using the name because getting bookings was so complicated. He would phone up and say he wanted a gig and be asked: “What’s your name?”

“It’s me,” he would say and, as you can imagine, the conversation continued with more and more complications, misunderstandings and slight friction from the venue manager who thought he was taking the piss.

His real name is Roger Atkins. He thought I looked like Graham Chapman – “the dead one from Monty Python” and performed one of his own poems Who Goes To Soho? to me as we stood against the wall. There is a version on YouTube.

In fact, last night I was at the ICA to see Iggyfest: Blah Blah Blah – a live performance of Iggy Pop’s entire 1986 album performed by The Passengers fronted not by Iggy but by ‘The Countess’ Alex Zapak.


Was this nudity strictly necessary last night? Blah Blah Blah

I am not the greatest of Iggy Pop aficionados so, when Alex took her top off, I said to comedian Martin Soan, who was with me: “That’s a bit unnecessary.”

“It’s what Iggy Pop used to do,” Martin reminded me. “Take his top off.”

Martin also, inevitably, had another anecdote about our chum, the late, great comedian Malcolm Hardee.

“Did I ever tell you about Malcolm and his relationship with the sea?” he started.

“You mean he drowned?” I said. “I knew that.”

“Not in the sea,” said Martin. “But every time we were on our Greatest Show on Legs tours, right from the very early days when we were doing Punch & Judy, a lot of it was by the sea. Malcolm used to get his trunks on and go out into the sea with me.”

“It’s the reverse of what you would expect,” I said. “Malcolm putting clothing on.”

“He used to get in up to his chest,” said Martin, “and then do this thing with his hands to make a squeaking noise and then ask me: Do you know how to body surf, Mart? He said it every single time we were in the sea together.

“I then used to say to him: No, Malcolm, how do you body surf?

“And he’d say: Well, what you do is you get into the water up to your chest like this and you wait for a wave to come along. You’ll feel your feet touch the bottom and, just as the wave’s gonna break, you push up with your feet.

“And I’d say: Alright, Malcolm.

“He did this every single time we got in the water. The squeaking noise with his hands and then Do you know how to body surf?

“So, we are in Bali, on a stopover on the way back from appearing in Australia and, by following a pig, I found this…”

“By following a pig?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Martin. “By following a pig. Most of the beaches in Bali are black, so…”

“Did you often follow pigs at that time?” I asked.

Martin Soan at the ICA last night

Martin Soan remembered at the ICA last night

“I followed this pig through the undergrowth,” Martin continued, “and I came across this white sand beach which was idyllic with a Bacardi/Coke advertisement type beach hut with a bar.

“So I go back to Malcolm and tell him: You gotta come to this place because it’s brilliant! – The reason being that the whole beach was full of very fit topless German girls in white thongs.

“Malcolm said: Do we have to walk? He wanted a taxi.

“I said: We’re going to have to walk through a bit of a jungle. It wasn’t far; it wasn’t dangerous; but it was a bit of a walk.”

“And you had found this by following the pig?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Martin. “So, we eventually see from up above this white sand beach with all these beautiful German girls in white thongs. Topless. We get to the beach. Off come Malcolm’s trousers and he gets his swimming trunks on, which were one grade up from knitted swimming trunks and he had a piece of string holding his glasses on.

“We wade out and look back to the beach and this idyllic thatched bar with all the topless girls drinking.

“Malcolm does the thing with his hands – squeak squeak squeak squeak – and asks Do you know how to body surf, Mart?

“No, Malcolm, how do you body surf?

“Well, what you do is you get into the water up to your chest like this and you wait for a wave to come along.

Malcolm, Glastonbury 2003

Malcolm at Glastonbury in 2003

“We did that and this massive wave came along and threw us towards the beach up and down and over and round and round. I didn’t know where the fuck I was and the wave landed me and Malcolm on the beach, exhausted, out-of-breath.

“We were starting to raise ourselves up from the sand when we got the backward draft as the water went back into the sea and it literally sucked me and Malcolm into this white sand and ripped our trunks off.

“We got up and Malcolm went straight over to the bar and we sat there bullock naked and both ordered one of those coconut and parasol drinks.”

“Were the topless ladies impressed?” I asked.

“No,” said Martin. “And the other thing… when people didn’t know Malcolm… his body with his swimming trunks off, of course, was covered in blotches and pimples and spots – and people just didn’t want to sit near him. Especially if you were German and had a lovely tan.”

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Weird stuff involving a rat, Mr Methane, Iggy Pop and Charlie Chuck

So what is going on at St Pancras station in London?

In my blog yesterday I mentioned weird stuff happening at St Pancras – including a woman talking to a stuffed meerkat.

Today I was at St Pancras again and, blow me down, when I arrived and got off the train there was a group of five men dressed like OTT Chicago gangsters out of Guys and Dolls with striped suits, black shirts, white ties and wide-brimmed hats and one of ‘em had a stuffed rat sitting on his hat. At least I think it was stuffed. Again, no-one but me was giving them a second glance.

Then Mr Methane, the world’s only professional performing farter, phoned me from his theatre dressing room in Crawley. He said he was sitting at a traditional theatrical make-up mirror with light bulbs all round the edges. Very glitzy; very showbiz, you might think. But they were energy-saving bulbs. He said it looked a bit odd. Not really traditional showbiz at all.

I suppose this will spread because of the recession and European legislation.

Then I got a phone call from comedian Charlie Chuck and, almost as a throwaway, he mentioned something so odd I had to ask him to repeat it.

As the late Malcolm Hardee used to say, there is a thin dividing line between genius and madness and like most people I think the long-running SwiftCover car insurance TV ads may have crossed that border in the wrong direction because they are fronted by ‘wild man of rock’ Iggy Pop. It’s a bit like seeing Keith Richards fronting an ad for Tesco.

Even more odd is that, apparently, Charlie Chuck was also in the running to front the SwiftCover ads before Iggy Pop got the gig. I am still trying to get my head round what the already distinctly odd ads might have looked like with Mr Chuck.

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Filed under Comedy, Finance, Strange phenomena, Television, Theatre