Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Vintage Cockettes' Movie Is Re-released

Rumi Missabu, an  original and the most successful surviving member of the legendary Cockettes has just sent me a signed edition of the remastered  Elevator girls In Bondage  DVD, which has recently been re-released in 'Sparkling new Colour' in a limited signed edition.

In exchange, I sent him a copy of my novel Frantic, in which I wrote about a SF theatrical troupe inspired by the Cockettes, whom I saw perform at the Palace Theatre in the early 70s.

Elevator Girls in Bondage, written and directed by Michael Kalmen, stars Rumi as 'Maxine' a 'rebellious elevator girl', as well as fellow members of the Cockettes, including Miss Harlow (an original Plaster Caster), Pristine Condition and the Cockettes' originator Hibiscus and his visually stunning Angels of Light.

The 56 minute film (with the funniest sex scene ever to be seen on celluloid) was rarely seen at the time of it's 1972 release, so that's why the new limited signed DVD is a real collector's item.

(If you want further information,  e-mail And If you are desperate to own this classical DVD of nostalgic early '70s history, send cheques or money orders to James Bartlett at 3856 Greenwood Avenue Oakland, CA 94602 USA.  It costs $27.95 which includes shipping and handling and  it takes 2-3 weeks for delivery).

Also, the Elevator Girls In Bondage's complete soundtrack will be available on CD soon. (click on the link to view a clip from the film).

Rumi Missabu, the Cockettes' official curator is a star of stage and screen including Bill Weber's and David Weissman's award winning Cockettes movie, and is currently starring in a revival of Pearls Over Shanghai at the The Hypnodrome theatre in San Francisco.

Rumi first trained as an actor alongside Sally Field and Cindy Williams before joining the Living Theatre theatre group in the late 60s.

'I was with the troupe when they toured San Francisco in 1968 in two productions of Paradise Now at Norse Auditorium with rocker Jim Morrison and at Berkeley Community Theater,' Rumi told me.

After that stint, he joined the Cockettes and in the early 70's  arrived in New York to work with Hibiscus and the Angels of Light which enjoyed a successful run off-off Broadway.

I'm thrilled to have Rumi's signed limited edition of Elevator Girls In Bondage, which brings back memories of the turbulent early 70s when I saw several of the Cockettes' innovative shows (including Pearls over Shanghai) in San Francisco during their theatrical peak.

I had never witnessed anything like them before, so to have this updated, classical piece of memorabilia brings back those revolutionary and innovative times as well as the gorgeous vintage clothes which used to be picked up at thrift stores for a song!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mutual Admiration Society

I devoured Sam Cutler's book You Can't Always Get What You Want, which I think has got to be one of the most entertaining books in the history of rock 'n' roll.

Naturally, I was thrilled when Sam told me he enjoyed reading my novel Frantic. So, what was the loveable 'old reprobate's' verdict?

'I loved it BUT (to be honest) I found the ending slightly disappointing - I mean she "didn't find God" she found Los Angeles !!! NUT that she is/was I found myself really liking Alice - any girl that chunders into her stolem handbag can't be ALL bad ! LOL I also 'recognised' several people in the London scene which was tres amusing. All in all a 9 out of 10 Frances - good,' he critiqued.

And to think I spent decades re-writing Frantic so that it wouldn't resemble a roman à clef!