Oh, no. It's that time of the year again, where I unfairly dust off my mirrored table and try not to look too hard at the jowls glaring back at me. Try to look deeper, maybe, into the soul of this messy-haired, derisive cad pudging beneath me, and hopefully come up with some glamorous, bejeweled lights to string around the giving tree. Fortun-ately, it's been a year of muted highlights for this glorified stalker, a year peppered with ridiculous revelations that grow even better when taken completely out of context. The indulgence is all mine.
Earlier this year, I caught up with Skid Row's Sebastian Bach -- he of the infamous "AIDS kills fags dead" fashion sense -- on something of a recant. The bad-boy had found Jesus ... OK, he was playing Jesus ... in perhaps the worst presentation of "Jesus Christ Superstar" ever. And he was having no fun:
"I can't call playing Jesus Christ fun," he reiterated. "That's not the word I would use. The thing is, I die. And it's like a very emotional death eight times a week. I had to say to myself, 'How the fuck can I emotionally put myself through this every week?' Carl Andersen, who plays Judas, told me, 'You don't get it, do you? When Jesus dies, his spirit is being born, and it's the birth of Jesus Christ. And I was like, 'Oh, OK.'"
OK -- career resurrection still pending. Likewise exploiting his own career for the common good of absolutely nobody was Stuttering John, who expressed a mild pang of remorse for his career of celebrity baiting. Wish I could sympathize:
"There are a few instances when I feel a little upset about it. Like when I asked Liz Smith why she's such a fat cow," he farted. "Stuff like that, y'know, I wasn't happy about. Because I'm not an inherently mean person. ... But for the most part, it's all in fun. ... Celebrities, a lot of times, put themselves on such a high pedestal. It's a good way to bring them down to size for a short period of time."
Size? You want size? Let's talk about Erin Moran's vagina! In town to perform the overrated yuck-fest, "The Vagina Monologues," the former Joanie (of Chachi) rattled with an unexpected Tourette's charm, making the interview something of an ear challenge. She did have the right answers though:
"If your vagina could talk, what would it say, Erin Moran?" I begged.
"HA! HA! Sit on it!" she blurted.
Hair magic was more on the table when I sat down to talk to Flock Of Seagulls follicle god (although he is bald now), Mike Score. He recounted the origin of his genius for me:
"Well, I was doing a Ziggy Stardust, where it was spiked to the top like three inches high," he teased, then sprayed. "But Frank (the bass player) was trying to get into the mirror, and my hair was all standing up, but he just put his hand on top of my head and flattened it."
Similarly irrelevant, Tommy Tutone (8-6-7-5-3-0-9-eiiiiiine) was as dry as the bottom of Keith Richards' yesterday bottle.
"I don't walk around looking like a rock & roll person," he rocked then rolled. "I remember one story back in the '80s. I was trying to go back to this girl's house and sneak in her back door. I got stopped by this big old guy who said, 'Who are you?' I said, 'Tommy Tutone.' He said, 'Yeah, and I'm Iggy Stooge.'"
Not unlike icky Stooge, Jerry Lewis, who came to town to talk, charmingly, about pain and death:
"You know everything," he crowed. "There's no subterfuge. You don't play with your mind; there are no mind games. When you have chronic pain, that's all you know. You certainly don't face it with great desire and deliver it with tremendous energy. Pain kills you."
Also almost dead was Delta Burke, speaking about depression, here in town, America's psycho-medical capital for has-beens. She doesn't like tabloids anymore:
"It's a brutal, brutal thing, and it nearly killed me," she chewed. "People don't realize that they have that much power to change a person's life. I mean, I liked reading them before they started writing about me. Now I understand, and now I can laugh a little bit."
Like I did when I had the pleasure of receiving distinctive grunts from none other than Lou Ferrigno. Delusional, to be sure, but still very very big:
"It's weird because dah Hulkmania happen all over again. Parent know about dah Hulk, but young kid, dey don't know about da Hulk. But dey learn about dah Hulk, dey learn about dah series, and it entertain dah kid."
Duh. Altogether more realistic was '80s survivor, Dale Bozzio, my personal hero. I hung with her at her hotel room after her umpteenth Missing Persons revival, and she turned all macabre. We are very much alike:
"They call these amenities?" she squeaked, noticing the un-ordered goods room-servicing the door. "But I think it's just so I don't commit suicide. You see, rock stars always commit suicide in hotel rooms, so I get the feeling that it's just kind of a way of them coming up to check on you. Like, 'You're still alive, right?'"
More than alive, perfect! Brett Butler came close, too, when she imparted what my column is fast becoming known for more than its excellent journalistic quality -- hair tips:
"If I have to be like a proletariat Mae West, then that's part of my career. Well, maybe that's kind of repetitive, actually. To exhibit the kind of bootstrap bravado that she did," she strapped one on. "They didn't have highlights back then. And they didn't have someone diligently working the low-lights for contrast."
Of all the low-lights painted here, though, one stands out like a bloody razor in the fountain of youth for me. Jerry Mathers, never funny, came to town to talk about his itchy ass. And told me about it. Then I told you about it:
"I happen to have it on my butt, so the creams ended up soaking through the clothing, and it was embarrassing," he oozed. "After awhile, I just kind of learned to live with it. I don't have it as bad as a lot of people do. For me, it's just something that itches, and something that eats you up inside until it's hard to sleep."
With that sore aside, Happy New Year. See you after the hangover.