Yes, tingle bell, tingle bell, it’s Voyeur Christmas again, and I absolutely don’t mind playing Santa.
It might be hard to believe, but there is a degree of aesthetics in the tawdry that’s caught on camera and replayed in the public imagination for a long time; it makes us more tolerant, sometimes more virile, while still reinforcing the good middle-class ethics we didn’t like as much till now.
That’s only a hypothesis. The truth is a little further off, somewhere closer to the fun aspect of it all. Guilty pleasure, they call it.
Read on, for your fix!
HE DON’T USE JELLY
“I had affairs with a whole series of pastry”, writes Alice Cooper in Me, Alice, his 1976 biography, which makes a strong argument for Cooper’s stardom as one protracted skeezy moment.
His favourites were jelly doughnuts – into which he masturbated and served to his sister! Kittens as sex toys, shit-throwing racoons, the notorious chicken killing incident – it’s all here, although much of it, including the doctored doughnuts, probably never happened.
“We invented so many great stories about Alice”, Cooper told Behind The Music. Somehow, that makes the whole thing even sleazier.
I’LL TAKE 16 PINTS OF UNLEADED
The Rolling Stones were preparing for their 1975 US Tour and Keith Richards – the world’s most visible heroin addict – was wary of being hassled by the police. According to former supplier Tony Sanchez’s notorious memoir, Up and Down with The Rolling Stones, Richards checked himself into a private clinic in Geneva to undergo a total transfusion – a controversial, last ditch treatment in which the patient’s drug-tainted blood is drained and replaced with ‘clean’ donor blood.
Could he have saved himself the trouble? Sanchez claims that men identifying themselves as “FBI agents” kept Richards supplied with top-shelf smack throughout the tour. Yeah, right.
KISS & SMELL
A visibly intoxicated Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray horrified a crowd of contest-winning Marlboro smokers during a potentially lucrative 1999 Sugar Ray appearance at a New York nightclub.
After exposing himself and hurling insults, the gentlemanly star held up his index finger and asked, “Who wants to smell Madonna?” (At the time, there were rumours of a brief romance.) The antics cost the band allegedly $400,000 in tobacco industry money and likely lost McGrath any future access to Ms.Ciccione’s nether regions.
KISS N ASS
Kiss’ chief slut, Gene Simmons, has been keeping nudie photo albums of his massive groupie army going for 30 years. “The thing I started doing in early ‘70s was taking photos of these ladies, so there are thousands of these wonderful places I’ve been to”, he says. “Just like a tourist”.
Simmons claims he is honest with his girlfriend, his partners are willing, and he used a condom on request. So who gets hurt? Nobody – as long as empty sex based on mutual exploitation is their goal, and Simmons’ ego can handle the occasional request that he keep his make up on.
LOVE IN THE WRONG STALL
George Michael was depressed. Both his lover and his mom had just died, he had lost his contract-breaking lawsuit against Sony, and his records had virtually stopped selling in America. So on April afternoon in 1988, he left his Beverly Hills home for the nearby Will Rogers Memorial Park, where a particular men’s room had a reputation for serving up hot man-on-man action. Inside, the former Wham! Toy boy encountered Marcelo Rodriguez, an undercover cop unimpressed with Michael’s onanistic “lewd act”.
The singer made the best of his arrest by coming out as a proud, if embarassed, gay man. He was fined $800, ordered to perform community service and banned from the Park. Michael was later sued for $10 million in damages by Rodriguez, who claims the star had insulted him in interviews and profited at his expense via 1998’s Outside – an outdoor sex tribute with a video that parodied the incident.) Amid much public giggling, the case was dismissed.