Friday, November 04, 2005


Many of you have written emails asking just what exactly POPism was. Well, that’s a bit of a long story. I suppose if ever the phrase “you had to be there,” applied, it would be in regard to POPism.

POPism, (a name inspired of course by the Andy Warhol book/pseudo philosophy by the same name), was a performance art/rock band founded by myself and friend and former roommate Rick Royale ( One night out in Hollywood way back in 1997, in what was at the time the newly opened “Goldfingers”, only days after making my move to Los Angeles, Rick, based on the success of his prior band the Rattled Roosters, was asked if he wanted to take on a residency at the new bar. Rick and I, both at a bit of a “funny place in our lives,” jumped on the opportunity at once and, to put it mildly, lied our way into a resident Tuesday night gig at the new Hollywood Hot spot. We told the manager of the bar that we had a Velvet Underground-esque, New York- glam rock inspired new band and that we would be ready to play in two weeks. All of this was of course complete fiction. The whole idea was inspired partially by Ricks love of the Velvet Underground, partially by the fact that there was a piano in the bar (an essential element of that old NY sound), and partially by a recent double date Rick and I had gone on dressed in drag in a failed attempt to shock the girls we were meeting (basically we liked the way we looked in lipstick a little too much).

To make a long story a little less long, within two weeks we had formed a band, hiring our dominatrix neighbor (Vylette) site unheard to front the band, our heroin addicted friend (Mish) to play bass, something that she was about as proficient at as she was at showing up on time (no offense), and a piano player (Billy Burke aka Billy Cool) whom we had met at the bar the night prior to our first rehearsal and who only showed up because we rehearsed and performed right across the street from his house. In that short time we had written an entire set of songs, all focusing around the subject of sex or drugs of course, and literally scripted out a concept for our characters; who they were, how they acted, etc., and we wrote a fictitious back story for our band; and a fictitious description of our weekly club at Goldfingers, which of course didn’t even exist yet. The club quickly became the scene to be seen at. Before long the place was packed every week with boa and glitter clad patrons, people literally dancing and once even fucking on the bar, randomly taking their clothes off on stage, and just plain getting freaky. For a while there Rick and my’s lives (my’s lives? Not quite sure how to say that) became pure pop art. We had wanted to see if we could take a ridiculously awful band and sell it purely on aesthetic, to see if we could convince people we were great simply because we said we were and because we looked the part. It was a little frightening how well it worked. I of course became “Gay Johnny” (the mock heroin addicted, alcoholic, sexually ambiguous drummer), a name that I took from an old canned vegetable label that a friend had given me as a joke and that had hung framed on the wall, and one I will never live down I might add (but it was just too funny not to use).

As is often the way of rock bands, it wasn’t long before we had let hour ego’s run crazy with our success and we started taking the whole thing way to seriously. Thus the whole thing inevitably collapsed in upon itself and the days of POPism were over.

That’s why it’s better to be a solo act.

For more information about POPism go to:
Dell Coupon