On Saturday we couldn’t decide if we wanted to travel all the way to Venice Beach for the official West Coast opening of Tish and Snooky‘s legendary East Village boutique, Manic Panic. But, come on, it was also the 30th anniversary of the New York store, for crying out loud, and we’ve known the sisters since they were in the Sic F*ucks back in the ’70s and hung out with them in the ’80s when they were the New Jersey Nightingales, lounge singer Rocco Primavera’s backup singers. So we went. And it was heaven. The beach, the boardwalk, the broads. Among the broads were Cherry Vanilla, Lita Ford (we’re 90% sure it was her), Miss Connie, a tart from the old days who told us the beautiful little mews that houses Manic Panic was actually once part of Charlie Chaplin’s summer residence, and Kristian Hoffman of An American Family and Mumps fame. Also there was former Danzig member cum fab deejay, Howie Pyro, who was Manic Panic’s very first employee back in ’77, he admitted, making $6 a day. We also spotted Frank Infante, late of Blondie, and scores of familiar faces that were a lot older then we remembered.
Seems everyone there had at one time lived in New York City but eventually migrated to Los Angeles just so they could show up for this event. The store’s a really fun environment, like if CBGB had a gift shop with great clothes, makeup, dye, and plenty of curiosities. There was a lot of food, free ice cream from a neighboring parlor, and an open bar featuring Vampyre vodka. While we were still partying, very heavy, merch-laden swag bags were personally distributed to the crowd by the gracious doorman who sported an impressive, ceiling-scraping green mohawk. Inside the bag, along with a T-shirt, a jar of Manic Panic’s famous hair dye, nail polish, promotional key chains, can of energy drink, leopard-print necktie, guitar strap, CD holder, CBGB items, etc, was a Live from Hurrah’s DVD, featuring 30 performances from that seminal ’70s-’80s New York rock lounge, including The Go-Go’s, The Teardrop Explodes, Our Daughter’s Wedding, and Magazine. We’ve selected numbers from Liquid Liquid and Lene Lovich for you to watch right now. Meanwhile, we got nothing but a hangover as we left parties at the LA Film Festival and Outfest, both of which had numerous corporate sponsors.
Photos by Randy Barbato. (Click to enlarge) From top: Tish and Snooky: the ass of a press guy; Gabriel Rotello, this editor, and Cherry Vanilla; Lita Ford cuddling Howie Pyro’s Stinky; Howie Pyro; flawless beauty with beautiful hair: Miss Connie in the ice cream parlor; don’t know; and that’s our hand reaching to thank the nice doorman for delivering such plentiful swag.
(For information about the Live from Hurrah’s DVD, visit audiofidelity.net)