New York City in the ’70s would have been just another cesspit had it not been for the sparkle provided by the head queen himself, Monti Rock III. Having scored two top-40 hits, “Get Dancin” and “I Wanna Dance Wit’ Choo,” under the group name Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes, Monti provided the soundtrack for many flannel-and-Levi’s-wearing gay men who were celebrating newly found sexual freedom on the enfranchised dance floors of New York’s underground disco scene.
We found Reverend Monti Rock III performing nuptials as an ordained minister in his own little disco chapel in Las Vegas. He gave us a view back to the good ol’ days where hi-hats and hip-shakin’ were the only party prerequisites – and perhaps a toot or two of amyl nitrate!
“In the late ’60s and early ’70s, New York was the most innovative. We had Ondine’s [’60s private discotheque in NYC]. We were having fun! The subculture, the LSD, the sex, we couldn’t have enough of it. We didn’t want to sleep because we thought we’d miss something. I’d hang out at the piano bars. I was an eyesore. I looked like the gay Hedy Lamar! I wore fur coats with a monkey on my shoulder and a Yorkshire Terrier in my arms – Mother did not want to hide! It was a time when we lived to be fabulous… and how dare you not recognize me, you old queen! I’m an egomaniac! I became this underground disco Trudy Heller [’70s NYC night club] act and I began to get the power of fame. I performed at the Cheetah with the Chambers Brothers and Halston did my clothes! It was an era when you didn’t have to have an act – you were the act! It was an incredible time to be anything, to be Monti Rock, Disco Tex. I realize how lucky I’ve been to have been in films like Saturday Night Fever, to have been in fashion for 18 years, to be notorious. I believe so much in my legacy. It’s never been about the money. It’s about the fame!” – Monti Rock III (check out the full interview at Zeitgeist World)