“DRAGSTRIP 66: THE FROCKUMENTARY” LAUNCHES ITS NEXT CROWD- FUNDING INITIATIVE AT TUBESTART.COM ON SATURDAY, JUNE 6th (6/6), WITH A GOAL TO RAISE $66,000 IN 66 DAYS!
When you think of drag culture or drag queens, who or what comes to mind first?
Is it 50’s camp like Milton Berle or “Glen Or Glenda”? 70‘s and 80‘s gender-bent singers like Sylvester, Boy George and Jayne County? Or the famous faces of the 90’s and 2K’s like Ru Paul, Lady Bunny, and the girls from “Ru Paul’s Drag Race”? Or perhaps the King & Queen of trash and filth themselves: John Waters and the legendary Divine?
In the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, all these influences (and more) converged together monthly at a Mexican restaurant transformed in to a queer/mixed alternative nightclub event called Dragstrip 66 that ran for 20 years from 1993-2013.
Co-created by best friends Mr. Dan (aka hostess Gina Lotriman) and DJ Paul V., Dragstrip 66 launched just as Bill Clinton was sworn in, and soon became the communal home to creative revelers seeking to celebrate living again after 12 long years of right-wing politics in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. For two decades, it was the all- inclusive safe space for all people – gay, straight, bi and trans – to feel completely welcomed, celebrated, and encouraged to express themselves without judgment.
Monthly themes drew upon movie, TV, camp and pop-culture mash up touchstones – “Florence Of Arabia,” “Queen Acres,” “Dungeons & Drag Queens,” “Mi Navidad Loca” – inspiring an explosion of spectacular and imaginative patron drag, masquerade, cross- dress, and newly minted personas. From the start, ‘Dress A Mess, Get In For Less’ meant attendees in any manner of drag or cross-dress got discounted cover admission.
DJs Paul V. & Tom Walker played an eclectic mix of alternative, rock ‘n roll, disco, funk, soul, and edgy electronica music. And Gina Lotriman hosted the Midnight stage show of local, national and international drag queens, all singing live to Gina’s completely rewritten parodies of popular music befitting the evening’s theme. Notable performers include Jackie Beat, Holly Woodlawn, Kay Sedia, Sharon Needles, Miss Coco Peru, Joey Arias, Sherry Vine, Varla Jean Merman and countless others.
The stage show also featured the “Promenade” where any audience member in drag could take to the stage, be introduced to walk the runway, and bask in the glow (or glowering disapproval) from both the performers and the boisterous audience.
Through the years, many celebrities popped in to party with the east side queens: Roseanne Barr, Anderson Cooper, Nina Hagen, Drew Barrymore, Traci Lords, Claire Danes, Marilyn Manson, Jennifer Coolidge, Perry Farrell, Adam Lambert, Alan Cumming, Sir Ian McKellan, Pedro Almodovar, Anna Nicole Smith, and more.
Dragstrip 66 was a seminal part of a synergistic movement in the early 90’s that sought out to redefine what LGBT nightlife could be like, with a shared vision soon found in places like Squeezebox in New York and Trannyshack in San Francisco.
It spent its first 11 years at Rudolpho’s, and when a slew of devious calls to the LA fire marshal in 2004 shuttered its doors, it re-launched at The Echo and The Echoplex in neighboring Echo Park. The promoters decided that its 20th Anniversary in January 2013 would be its crowning achievement and grand finale’.
“Frockumentary” co-directors Phil Scanlon and Paul V. will share the story of the now- legendary pansexual club’s enduring impact on its patrons, while inviting viewers to experience the convergence of ’90’s alternative music, queer politics, and a subversive drag ethos that defined Dragstrip 66’s punk/glam/camp aesthetic, and Silver Lake itself.
Think John Waters directing the Sex Pistols as styled by Bob Mackie and Goodwill.
The movie will feature appearances and commentary by many of the club’s renowned performers and supporters, such as: Mink Stole, Jackie Beat, Momma, Joey Arias, Sharon Needles, Holly Woodlawn, Sherry Vine, Heklina (Trannyshack), Kay Sedia, Kelly Mantle, Chi Chi LaRue, Miss Coco Peru, Willam and countless patrons sharing their beloved memories of attending the club.
It should be noted that many future “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” girls either attended or performed there, including Raja Gemini, Alaska Detox, Willam, Kelly Mantle, Raven, Delta Work and more.
It’s impossible to explain what a phenomenon the club was in an email or even a press release. But a good primer is the “Frockumentary Featurette” on Vimeo (not for publication or posting) – https://vimeo.com/127866938
We believe we have an important story to share, not only for the LGBTQ community but also for the history of Silver Lake and Los Angeles in the pre-internet, pre-social media age.
Dragstrip 66: The Frocumentary is co-executive produced and co-directed by Phil Scanlon and Paul V. and produced by Phil Scanlon.
Dragstrip 66: The Frockumentary – www.Dragstrip66TheFockumentary.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/Dragstrip66
Twitter – http://twitter.com/DragstripMovie
YouTube – http://bit.ly/DragstripMovie_YouTube
Dragstrip 66 live performances – http://bit.ly/Dragstrip66Performances
For more information or materials related to this release, please contact:
Paul Vitagliano // PJV513@gmail.com
Youtube Sizzle video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK3QS_BHyp4