Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lolly Peters

Day 60.

Today was the day I first met Lolly Peters – international country music sensation-turned washed up alcoholic and cocaine addict. My darlings, what a fortuitous time for our paths to cross—she, the gorgeous (if somewhat haggard looking) country music star of my youth. Me…the illustrious Gigi Fontaine, the famed woman who once went 72 hours without a glass of brandy and a cigarette.

Oh, Lolly Peters, what a star. I would sit for hours listen to her records while she sang about heartbreak, spurned lovers and lost opportunities. It was like music to my ears. Each song was a true hit – from her early work with the Stubble Chin Boys (hits such as “Johnny’s Two-Bit Heart” and “Fists Full of Change And A Mouth Full Of Teeth”) right onto to the frankly quite insightful songs she penned while she was in the lockup for killing her sister with a whittling knife… “I’m stuck in jail but the only thing breaking out is my face”, “Why you gotta go and spend my alimony honey”, and my personal favourite, “My cheque book’s in the red and both my eyes are black”.

Her music was like the voice of a generation, just waiting to meet their first boyfriend so they could experience true hate and heartbreak, just like her.

So you can imagine my shock when I saw her shuffling around the corridors of the Betty Ford Centre! Time had ravaged her once youthful face, and years of ill-applied wig glue had left her with a coif that would put my balding Uncle Lavern to shame. She had deep, pouchy looking eyes and tightly pursed lips with creases that extended all the way up to join her prominent crow’s feet. Oh, I recognised her instantly!

I approached her, tentatively, not wanting to spoil the moment. As Jerry the Ice Addict stumbled past in a comedown-fuelled rage, I took my opportunity.

“Lolly? Lolly Peters is that you?” (I searched her face for some hint of self-recognition).

“Lolly, you probably don’t know me, but I am the illustrious and widely-lauded lounge singer Ms. Gigi Fontaine. She of the two-year long residency at Tony’s Lounge Hut and Tiki Bar? Well, I know you probably have so many familiar faces here in rehab, but I would simply adore it if you would join me for a quiet drink after group therapy this afternoon.”

A vacant gaze. No look of recognition in her one real eye. I reached out and touched her ring-covered hand. “Lolly Peters” I cried, “You are the one woman I always looked up to. The one woman I wanted to be”. The next part I will never forget. She directed her good eye at me and clutched at my face with the resolute grip of a witchdoctor, before coughing up a cigarette butt in my face.

Well, some women never change.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rock Bottom

Day 45

Today I had a meeting with my therapist, Barbara (she of the hairy upper lip) who told me I had hit rock bottom.

I was told I hit rock bottom today by my therapist – Barbra “she of the hairy lip”. Just because I was found licking up the rancid grape juice that had spilled behind the kitchen radiator with the hope that I could get high off the pseudo-alcoholic fumes.

Rock bottom?! Really? You think that’s bad? Oh my dear, you haven’t even seen rock bottom. You should have seen me when I was touring Vegas…

Young men offered me yard glasses of Irish whiskey, and I accepted. I ate dinner at 24-hour steak and crab diners and all-you-can-eat coleslaw buffets. I did rounds of whiskey shots with the Elvis Presley Experience back-up band. I danced in a fountain with a Tom Jones impersonator and stole a flamingo from the gardens at the Flamingo Hotel. I got into games of craps with Texan bankers, and won $10’000 in a round of three-card Monte in a back alley.

Once I was legally married to a Bengal circus tiger for two hours. I volunteered for a magic show, passed out in the mirror box and had to be resuscitated by a rodeo clown.

I danced on the main strip with a chimp in rollerskates and told passers by that I’d left my no good tiger husband and remarried. I saw a man drink a tequila sunrise out of a drag queen’s shoe. I played strip poker with the entire cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and started a drinking contest with the sax player from KC and the Sunshine Band.

I went and saw a burlesque performance in the wee hours of the morning with a woman sitting in a giant martini glass. After the show I drank all of this “martini” (not realising that it was actually a slurry of lukewarm cough syrup, cleaning fluid, and food colouring) and then proceeded to throw up onto a still-spinning roulette table in the high-rollers room of the Venetian. I was banned from drinking Tequila for four weeks by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

I drank and smoked and dazzled the people of Vegas.

And, invariably, I would wake up the next morning with fourteen half-smoked cigarettes stored in my cleavage, a hipflask of brandy in my suspenders, and a half-eaten tub of coleslaw in my glomesh purse.

That, my dears, is rock bottom!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Day 32

Gin is not a viable substitute for toothpaste.

Indeed, there are many things that gin cannot substitute. Gin will not replace your ex-lover, gin will not fill the gaping void left when your mother told you she would rather spend her evenings gambling away the family’s meal stamps than care for you. Gin will not hold your hair out of your eyes when you’re crying into the arm of a valet attendant at a casino, bemoaning your lot in life. Gin won’t be the babysitter when your father is out all night sleeping with one of his cocktail waitress floosies. Gin won’t kiss you goodnight like a faithful husband should. Gin won’t make the payments on your mansion in the hills, or act as collateral when you’re trying to take out a third loan for that gorgeous convertible corvette of yours. Gin won’t mend your dresses, comb your hair or re-apply the rhinestones on your favourite underwear.

Gin won’t stand up and applaud your final show at Tony’s Lounge Hut and Tiki Bar, even after you’ve sung your guts out and gone through 17 costume changes (each more complicated than the last) in order to finish on a show-stopping rendition of “Give My Regards To Broadway”. No, there are many things in your life that gin won’t even come close to replacing. But fuck me dead if it doesn’t make your life a whole bunch easier!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

After months spent in rehab, I feel it is necessary to share some of my experiences from my time spent in Betty Ford's Clinic for the Criminally Addicted. My darlings, I do this only to show you how far I've come, and just how well-adjusted I am.

For the sake of my art I must insist on offering all the details, no matter how horrifying. As they say in the business, "When I'm good, I'm good. And when I'm bad, send me to rehab cause this shit is going to get ugly..."

.oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo. .oOo.

It’s day 21.
Here are the indisputable facts learnt after spending three weeks in rehab.

One. If you are going to proceed to throw up your entire liquid breakfast (when else do you drink a tequila sunrise if not in the morning?) then darlings be sure to do it a graceful distance from the toilet bowl. Splashback is unbecoming.

Two. My years in Vegas taught me that one can fashion a perfectly passable mid-morning brunch out of cocktail olives and strawberry daiquiri mix. Add a sprig of continental parsley and you have fashioned yourself something that is much akin to a cool summer gazpacho. Hope that your acquaintances are too boozed up to notice.

Three. Never tell your secrets to a drag queen. There’s something unique and mysterious that happens when a man puts on makeup, he suddenly loses inhibitions and a certain sense of morality goes away with it too. Most especially, never share your secrets with a male Tammy Wynette impersonator, unless you want your dirty laundry aired in a tell-all book. Sure, it might have been the real Tammy Wynette whose makeup at that age was reminiscent of the over the top look of a drag queen, but how was I to know?! She wasn’t really that insulted. And you know what Tammy Wynette? Sometimes it IS hard to be a woman, especially if look like you’re a man in drag.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Six months spent in rehab

Darlings, I have all but fallen off the radar!

After my last show, I promised you all a revitalised career, a new look and a string of comeback shows that would keep you titillated and enthralled. Unfortunately, my liver had other plans. After a dazzling night spent drinking Mai Tais with Liza Minnelli in the lounge of the Cocoloco Bar, I had what can only be described as a complete and utter cerebral-renal meltdown.

But I join you now to set the record straight. The reports of my death, as they say, are greatly exaggerated.

First of all, let me clear a few things up.

1. I wasn't in rehab for a drinking problem.

2. Okay I was. Apparently I have been self-medicating with gin just like Joan Rivers does with radical surgery. But at least her surgery hangovers don't leave her comatose on a day bed with drool running down her cheek. Oh. Oh, my mistake.

3. Betty Ford will only play nice if you admit you have a problem. Spending your days hurling abuse and dusty martini glasses is not the way to start over.

4. Ensuring a swift and full recovery from a breakdown episode is only possible with the aid of a heavy cocktail of Vicodin, Valium and a bracing dose of Vermouth.

Darlings, I'm back! And I promise never to leave you again...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If you want an omelette, you've got to break a few legs...

Oh darlings. What a horror week I have had.

To start with, I had a frightful weekend of traveling and touring that sent me positively around the bend and left me with a cold big enough to slay a walrus. Not a mild-mannered Antarctic walrus. Oh no. Rather, one of those cocktail-weiner-guzzling, buffet-frequenting resort walruses that one finds in all the worst hotels. It takes a decent shot of tranquilizers to knock down a swamp-donkey of that size.

Oh but I digress! My pained throat. I had a dreadful time trying to sing my way through the American Songbook at Vinny's Diner the other night. A chesty voice on a woman of my young years is just not becoming. If it hasn't worked for that talentless hack Liza, goodness knows why it would work for me.

But I have pushed through, with a resolve that can only be described as heroic, and I feel I must be on the mend. Notwithstanding my gargantuan hangover (let's just say Ms. Von Teese wasn't the only one swimming in martinis last night), I feel alright. Give me a whiskey throw-down and I'll be ready to go on stage once more.


Ugh. I think I just coughed up a swizzle stick.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another opening, another show

This evening I performed a show in what can only be described as Hicksville, Tennessee. A short drive off the interstate, the venue was completely lacklustre, with a rodent infestation to rival ancient Egypt, and a hick infestation to match.

I opened with my usual repartee, sang a few showtunes from my eighth album, and then clinched the deal with a fabulous closing number (alluding to no fewer than three of my international sell-out tour performances).

Whilst I cannot say the crowd was utterly understanding of my unique brand of art, it was only their loss. Mine is an art that transcends genres, generations and state penitentiary lines.

I did also see a bar fire that began with an argument over the ownership of a glass eye.

Alas, Kurt's Steak Hut suffers from the same problem that plagues the more remote towns around these parts - a surfeit of glass eyes and a dearth of fire exits...