On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to make it to the 9:30 club here in Washington DC to get to hear John Waters talk about Christmas (I know, he's not exactly the sort of celebrity you'd associate with the holiday...) - I'd gotten to meet him a few years ago at a signing in Fells Point up in Baltimore (where i got my copies of "Shock Values" and "Trash Trio" signed as well as my Criterion collection Pink Flamingos laserdisc) but this was the first chance I'd gotten to hear him speak (he'd done another appearance back in January but unfortunately I was outta town and kinda bummed)
The man is an absolute riot in person - if you ever get a chance to hear him talk RUN, do not walk! We got to hear about his love of Christmas & what he does for the holidays like -
"I sent out 17,000 Christmas cards - and if any of you sell them on ebay I will hunt you down and burn your car because I have them all serially numbered"
suggestions for festive decorations "serial killer Christmas balls - cut out pictures of your favorite serial killers and glue them on and decorate"
what he collects - a series of miniature "buildings of destruction" - "they did the world trade towers - actually they did two versions, one after the first plane hit and one after they'd both been hit. And the pentagon - I think the pentagon gets forgotten because it's shaped like a vagina. This year they did the Waco massacre and the Oklahoma City bombing site"
Other funny bits I liked -
"if you are dating somebody and go over to their house and they don't have any books - LEAVE! Especially if all they have are DVDs. DVDs have replaced that space on the book buying gene but its NOT THE SAME"
He talked about how prisoners on death row get to choose their last meal - but what about their last outfit? He thought metallic fringe would be especially exciting in the electric chair.
He mentioned a few books he wanted, especially one on the NYC Art scene in the 60s that goes for about $700 - he didn't expected anybody to buy one but suggested that somebody's parents might have it & they could just steal it and send it to him c/o Atomic Books in Baltimore. (BTW that is a great bookstore & any true Waters fan MUST visit as its in the middle of the neighborhood that "Pecker" was shot in)
He complained bitterly about Walmart after they wanted him to recuit "A Dirty Shame" so they could sell the DVDs there (how could anything be left?) and about the problems he's had with censors in general.
Bits are still floating back to me, what a great night!!! : ) Ya know, I remember back when I was a kid and Pink Flamingos was playing the midnight movie circuit before Rocky Horror got big and Waters was soooo underground, now it is kinda scary to see him with one hit broadway musicial (Hairspray) and another in the works (Cry Baby) - back when I was watching gross outs like Desparate Living I never would have imagined the director accepting a Tony Award - nope, not at all!
Just in time for the holidays, click here to read "Why I love Christmas", by John Waters. Enjoy!!