With a name like Glitter Dick, a band isn’t likely to get much commercial airplay. However, as Albuquerque’s newest glam-trash group, Glitter Dick is on everyone’s lips. Figuratively speaking, of course.
I met the band early on St. Patrick’s Day. Our plan was to converse over a few drinks and get out of Downtown before Albuquerque’s finest took issue with the faux-Irish revelers clogging the streets.
One might wonder what life experience makes three men appear in public slathered in glitter and mascara while one woman takes the stage pants-less. As usual, it’s the people with normal backgrounds you really have to watch out for.
Frontman Kendall Killjoy begged his mom for piano lessons in the first grade—but after hearing The Jackson 5 cover Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin,” he switched to guitar. He played in several high school thrash bands but now only sings because he wants to “jump around and not worry about making mistakes.” I suggested Killjoy’s strategy for Glitter Dick (splashing beer everywhere, stripping off various articles of clothing, handing out penis-shaped cookies, hanging from the club’s lights) might be outrageous enough to get the band bounced from every venue in town. His reply? “If you haven’t been banned at least once, you’re not in a real rock and roll band.”
Oddly enough, some of Killjoy’s old “punk” cohorts don’t quite approve of his latest incarnation. Clearly those kids don’t know the genre’s history—i.e., the antics of proto-punk bands like The Stooges and The New York Dolls from which Glitter Dick takes its cue. With Glitter Dick guitar player Magnum P. Nye, Killjoy’s previous outfit was Ass Cobra (a tribute to Norwegian death punk band Turbonegro). Also a precocious piano student, Nye was later the self-described “house bassist” for area metalcore/crust bands such as None of the Above, 666 and Stabbed In Back.
As luck would have it, drummer Suzi de Sade is also a Turbonegro fan. That—and her expertise doing the boys’ makeup—clinched her entry into the band. Her past musical highlights include playing flute in the Pojoaque High School Marching Band and napping in The Line Camp (a defunct Pojoaque roadhouse) while her hippie parents watched hippie bands. A year ago she caught an afternoon flight into Albuquerque from Los Angeles to drum at a midnight show for The Teenage Werewolves, her premiere gig with that Cramps tribute band. Compared to L.A., where she lived for a few years, de Sade says she prefers Albuquerque “because people are much more open and actually dance.”
Bass player Dee Dee Ramen (aka Kenta Henmi) phoned in from the Cheap Trick show, but since barely a word he said could be heard, we quickly hung up on him. From there, my prepared questions were brushed aside as the band hijacked the interview.
Killjoy: My musical ambition? To get drunk every practice to make sure we stagnate.
de Sade: I want to get big enough to have roadies so we never have to set up early ever again. And to get laid more.
Nye: I want to play in a Turbonegro cover band.
Killjoy: I want a band to cover us!
Nye: Terri Schiavo Dance Party already did.
Killjoy: Oh right. Simmer Dick!
Nye: I want to start a band, like, if Ted Nugent got it on with Greg Ginn.
Killjoy: I want to piss off the hardcore guys.
de Sade: And get laid more.
And so on.
Like Glitter Dick trashed this interview, expect the band to visually and sonically trash everything at this (and every) show. Just don’t take it too seriously. Except for the rock and roll.
A musician receives rewards both adulatory and artistic, but monetary ones are few and far between. A small portion of every dollar you pay for a download, CD or cover charge ends up in the pockets of the people that actually make the music you enjoy. That undersized percentage must go toward instruments and repairs, amps and power cords, strings and picks, sticks and drum heads, gas for the van, fees for practice space and recording costs. And that’s not counting rent, food and babysitters. A local show may cost you five or 10 bucks and you think, Well, that band’s getting a pretty good deal for 45 minutes of work. But that three quarters of an hour takes much more in creative time: writing, honing, fine tuning and practice, practice, practice.
When the chips are down, it’s time for you—the music fan—to step up. I’ve been following the Burque music scene since 1995, and I can’t tell you how often I’ve marveled at the fine guitar work of Amy Clinkscales. Many times she answered a last-minute call to fill in at a gig or add her smooth Neil Young-meets-Mick Ronson leads to a flagging band. An abbreviated list of groups she’s played with over the past decade and a half: The Stumpjumpers, The Skirts, A Band Named Sue, Ash Wensday, Blame It On Rachel, The Jenny Clinkscales Band, Greek The God, The Hopefuls, Gamelan Encantada and Mother Death Queen.
Despite an extremely serious (and costly) medical condition that was recently diagnosed, Amy is keeping her commitment on Friday, April 6, and playing with her hard-rocking band Mother Death Queen. Also on the bill is the pop powerhouse Red Light Cameras, the trashy Glitter Dick, the unabashed punk rawk Icky and the Yuks, the delightful indie Pancakes! and roaring outfit The Demons. In reaction to the hard news, all the bands and the host venue are donating the night’s take to her. Come out and support Amy. After all, she’s supported our music scene all these years by being an integral part of it.