Thanks for the Memories
Savvy veterans and featured friends recall some of their fondest moments of wigstock's past.
HATTIE HATHAWAY (AKA Loretta B. DeMille, Wigstock conceptualist, Jackie 60 doyenne):
Naturally, being as old as the hills (or heels), I have MANY fond Wigstock memories...And all involve the talent, showmanship and guts of the drag performers, exactly those things that people tend to forget when they see a queen stuck up on a go go box at a night club...Madame raising herself perfectly en-pointe at age 65...Wendy Wild, in the midst of chemotherapy, performing bald with an IV hookup...Matthew Kasten, backstage like a demented Cecil B. de Mille, directing the Boybar Beauties...Candis Cayne's incredibly complicated group choreography... I can also remember looking out from the stage, when Wigstock was in Tompkins Square Park, and watching the incredibly diverse audience: bag people, neighborhood children, ancient Ukrainian babushkas and tattooed rock-n-rollers, all of them smiling and enjoying a show they would never have gotten to see...
LYPSINKA (legendary transvestite showgirl, the personification of pizzazz):
My favorite Wigstock Memory would have to be a tie between the simple, mesmerizing 1986 performance of "Sugartown" by Tangella DeVille (now residing in Dallas, TX) and my 1991 encounter with Dorian Corey. Sitting in the shade next to Dorian, waiting for my appearance onstage, Tish Gervais ran up and squealed a hello to me. After Tish walked away, Dorian said to me, "I used to have tits like that. Ten years later they were down to my navel. Twenty years later I've got the biggest nuts in town!" Perhaps this should be called a Wigstock Mammary?
SISTER DIMENSION (AKA "DJ Tinkle she Pees", original clown/manager of Pyramid Club):
It's little known that an unusual artifact known only to the Secret Society of the Daughters of Dorian Corey lay buried underneath the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge at 101 Avenue A in days of yore. We called this mystical lodestone the Freak Magnet for it had the uncanny ability to attract powerful and unique humans of all types to the site where it lay. Lady Bunny (in those days only an apprentice sorceress as opposed to the advanced witch she is now), was able to harness the powers of this Freak Magnet and used it to summon up a crowd in Tompkins Square Park to view a bunch of glorious wig-related shows on that now well-sung day, the original Wigstock. Most of you may not recall that the crowd also included centaurs, unicorns, a well-heeled elfin couple, a quartet of iffy-looking trolls and their oaf-ish relatives, and a special, albeit well-disguised appearance by Merlin, the ancient seer. Such is the power of the Freak Magnet and long live Wigstock!
TANGELLA (early drag nut, now retired to Dallas...so sweet you wouldn't wanna cross her):
I like to reminisce about the ancient early days, as we, a wayward band of Fellini extras, would wander back and forth from the Pyramid Club to the Tompkins Park bandshell, getting drunk and having dirty sex in the backs of cabs. It was the solidarity of circus freaks-but instead of wading through peanut bags and cotton candy, we were making our way through beer bottles and tufts of wig hair. I'll remember it always.
MICHAEL MUSTO (world renown gossip columnist):
I'll never forget Ffloyd on stilts, Frida the Talking Doll, Barbara Patterson Lloyd's "not" jokes, Leigh Bowery giving birth, the balloon sent up in memory of International Chrysis, and Ultra Nate reading me.
BARBARA PATTERSON LLOYD (housewife, hoofer, comedienne):
My most memorable Wigstock would have to be the year when I was coming into the city and blew a tire on the Tappen Zee Bridge. I almost didn't make my curtain. My favorite Wigstock would have to be the one in which I didn't get booed off the stage. That was the only year I didn't perform.
MICKEY BOARDMAN (homosexual style advocate, columnist):
Having attended so many Wigstocks, all of which were chock full o' magical moments, it's hard to single out just one as my favorite. So I've narrowed it down to two. One unforgettable experience was performing as a back-up dancer for Wigstock legend/ Rhythmic Movement pioneer Barbara Patterson-Lloyd in her Lady of the Dance number. Simply sharing the stage with a "talent" the magnitude of Mrs. Patterson-Lloyd is an experience I, and I venture to add the audience, will never forget. Even more vivid is the image of an exhausted yet still immaculately turned-out post-show Lady Bunny sprawled on her side on the pavement at the Piers being berated by an elderly female West Village resident complaining about the noise of the festival, even after it had ended. With her signature aplomb, the Bunny Lady looked up confused but charmingly and screamed, "Alright Lady! Whaddayou want me to do about it?" For isn't Wigstock really about the irresistible charm of the Bunny Lady?
BILLY BEYOND (actor, makeup artist, DJ, founding member of Disco Modeling School):
Well, who could ever forget Mark Jacobs' deranged boyfriend near death and festering in the afternoon sun at Tompkins square?...I remember finding a dead body on the roof of Danilo's building the day before Wigstock...Remember when someone stole the tee-shirt money? Scott really flew over that fence!...I guess my favorite memory is the bitter Jasmine Allspice stomping the flowers in Union Square, and with a bull horn no less! What an asshole!...I used to love the bouquet of balloons being released for the queens who couldn't make it that year. That always got me teary...And then there was Tom Rubnitz filming us all for his movie...Leigh Bowery's birth routine was awesome....What about the Lady's auxiliary of Ave. A - my favorite act to date...Carrying Princess Zoraya through the rubble on her royal sedan then depositing it in a dumpster and hailing a cab was pretty fab...what else?.....I loved the Bunny, Ross and Madonna trio...or was that the acid?
JACKIE BEAT (Zero Mostel meets Madeline Kahn, in a dark alley):
DAVID O'CONNEL (Wigstock Producer 1994-1998, sugar addict):
"My favorite Wigstock memory is from the very first time I attended (in 1995?). I was entering the festivities and noticed a gentleman with a tattoo of Lady Bunny on his arm. A real tattoo - not temporary. I remember thinking to myself, 'Now THAT'S a fan!' I also remember seeing the mannequins in the window of Pat Fields all made up to resemble Bunny (wrinkles, gray hair, an adult diaper, etc.) and I just about freaked. Here was a city that appreciated a great drag queen and immortalized them properly! As soon as the silver spray paint that I had been huffing all day finally wore off, I realized that New York was the place for me!"
I guess for me my favorite Wigstock moments were driving home after the event with Bunny and Scott in a filthy broken down van filled with supplies. We'd drive through the trash, long after everyone had left--just the three of us (looking ten years older than we did that morning) and the porta-potties. Then we'd drive through the village while Bunny, shoes in hand, would greet an occasional screaming fan from the passenger window...It's probably the reason I kept coming back. Something about the fact that it was down to the three of us, again, just like at the beginning of the year when we'd start to plan the thing. We all would kinda look at each other like we knew we were nuts for going through the hell of it all but we also knew we'd do it again next year...And I miss that soooo much!
FENTON BAILEY & RANDY BARBATO (AKA The Pop Tarts, Starmakers, Directors of "The Eyes of Tammy Faye):
Our fondest memory of Wigstock was Lady Bunny doing "Jesus Put a Yodel in my Heart"- we've been yodeling ever since. The second runner up would have to be Tabboo doing "It's Natural" - for reasons unknown to us - that performance just stuck!
VAGINAL CREAM DAVIS (AKA Vagi-mule, cross-dressing performance artist, fool):
When I told grand dame Gomorrah Wednesday of Louisville, Kentucky that the beautiful Lady Bunny invited me to perform at Wigstock this year, she dipped some snuff, rolled her thyroid condition eyes and snorted, "That Lady Bunny has 100% pure in-bred beauty."
(Editor's note: Vaginal honey, this is not a "memory" but we're printing it just the same-cuz we luvs you)