Monthly Archives: August 2011

Your Sweet Nature Darling Was Too Hard to Swallow

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 We all remember Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record),” a song released in 1985 that still gets plenty of play today. But what has happened to lead singer Pete Burns over the years? The short answer is he’s become a hot drag mess. The long answer is, he’s a total plastic surgery/reality show star addict.

Pete was a good-looking boy/girl then—nice cheekbones, great hair, sexy eyes, nice lips. But he obviously did not agree.

At age 52, he has had dozens of facial injections and procedures that include a botched nose job and silicone lip implants that got so infected they stood 18 inches from his face, full of pus. Holy crap. And he didn’t just go through this horrible situation quietly. He’s been very public about all of the work—the good and the bad—and shared graphic photos and video of it all. Stateside, he was featured in an ABC News special about plastic surgery addiction along with reality star nobody Heidi Montag.

It all began in the ’80s when money started pouring in from “You Spin Me Round.” Pete got his first nose job then and even though it didn’t go as planned—he was no longer able to wear glasses afterward—he was hooked. In an interview with The Daily Mail,  he stated that he sees plastic surgery as an “art form” and his face is the clay. In 2004, when his lip implant infection was at its worst, he traveled around the world to see doctors, all of which suggested amputation. I think I would have suggested full-on head amputation, but this is why I do not work in the medical field. Eventually, he did find a surgeon in Italy that specialized in rebuilding the faces of people ravaged by cancer. After two years of treatment that included removing pints of fluid from the infected area, 11 kidney stones, near liver failure, near blindness in one eye and thrombosis, he hasn’t learned his lesson. He continues to get surgery, injections and facelifts. I guess because it was so fun the first 20 years. He did eventually settle out of court with the original doctor that botched the lip surgery, and walked away with some $700,000. Hmmm, I wonder how he spent it?

Anyway, beyond all of that Pete starred alongside some other attention whores in the 2006 edition of Celebrity Big Brother in the UK. In the U.S., few of the “celebrities” are known, other than Dennis Rodman and Baywatch’s Traci Bingham. But in true bitch style, Pete had several catfights with Bingham and former Page Three “model” Jodie Marsh.

Controversy erupted when Pete declared that one of his fur coats he was wearing was made of gorilla fur, illegal in the U.K. His coat was confiscated and given to authorities who really pissed him off. The coat was found to have been made from colobos monkeys, also illegal and on the endangered species list, but was deemed O.K. for Pete to own because it had been made in the ’30s or ’40s, before it became illegal to import the fur in 1975. Check out this video to see Pete lose his shiite over the coat.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A39lx3lUc3w

After Big Brother, Pete continued the reality circuit with several other shows, including a competition show called Pete’s PA in which people fought to become his personal assistant. Now that’s got to be a fun job! He also did Celebrity Wife Swap after he married his longtime partner, Michael Simpson in a civil partnership in 2007. Previously, Pete had been married to stylist Lynne Corbett, a chick, for 28 years. Pictures of Pete soon emerged after his marriage to Simpson of the singer with a face full of piercings. He said he got bored waiting for Simpson to get a tattoo one afternoon and got the piercings. He later removed them.

Musically, Pete hasn’t done much other than bringing “You Spin Me Round” back for a split second on a Big Brother special in the U.K. What has remained constant for Pete is his quest for more surgery and body altering. Ironically, he still has his penis of which he is happy to show the paparazzi at any time. I blame RuPaul for creating such unrealistic images of beauty for other drag queens to follow. 🙂

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Tug and Hug

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 I am a big ’80s music fan. Not Def Leppard-Whitesnake-Winger ’80s music, but The Cure, Duran Duran, Thompson Twins—that stuff. The bands where you weren’t quite sure who are the boys and who are the girls, yet everyone is perfectly straight. At the time, it all seemed very plausible. Nothing was hotter than a guy that wore more make-up and hair product than I—which was no easy feat because my magenta spiked hair was always sprayed with Aqua Net within an inch of its life. As a 14-year-old in 1986, there was no bigger thrill than that once a month arrival of Star Hits magazine.

 Each issue was read cover to cover because you can never know too much about George Michael and Robert Smith. Then, with the precision of a surgeon, the pics were dissected from each page and placed with a new loving family on my bedroom walls and ceiling. No other teen magazine featured a Tug and Hug poster of John Taylor. No one else dared.

Being a sister publication of the British Smash Hits magazine, much of the features centered around artists from England and other parts of Europe. Since I was 14 years old about 25 years ago, I thought it might be interesting to check in with some of these Star Hits cover boys (and girls), to see how time is treating them.

First victim is Nik Kershaw. I was a major fan. He had such a great voice and this quirky sense of humor. You’d never know it by looking at him in his videos though…he was quite serious. He was just 26 when his really big hit, “Wouldn’t It Be Good” came out.

You may remember the song being featured in John Hughes’ 1986 film, Pretty in Pink. But that wasn’t actually Nik singing that version, it was Danny Hutton Hitters. Yeah, who knew? Nik had a few more hits after that and continued to create music throughout the ’90s for himself and other artists such as Lulu, Chesney Hawkes and Imogen Heap. At the age 53 he is a married father of five living in both England and Ireland. This summer he has kept quite busy with ’80s themed music festivals around Europe, playing with various aging popstars like Kim Wilde, Go West and The Human League.

On a side note, if you’re looking for a luxury holiday house to rent or use as a wedding/party venue, he and his wife have the lovely Dunowen House in West Cork that is available for rent. The home’s former owner was the late Noel Redding, bassist from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/ireland/ir441.htm  Nik’s sense of humor is still firmly intact. Read the bio on his website: www.nikkershaw.net for lines like: “Spent his early years gurgling and blowing snot bubbles.”

Charlie Sexton was one of the few American artists to grace the pages of Star Hits. At the age of 16 he recorded his first album that spawned his big hit “Beat’s So Lonely.”

You may remember that song featured in John Hughes’ 1987 film Some Kind of Wonderful during the integral scene where the downtrodden take back the village from the cool kids. I most remember it because I loved Elias Koteas’ character of Duncan, the badass skinhead in the film.

Charlie went on to do more albums and work with several bands and in 1991 he had a cameo as the frontman of a bar band in the film Thelma and Louise. He became the musicians’ guitar player of choice for recording and touring and even became a member of Bob Dylan’s band from 1999 to 2002. His most recent notable achievement has been one of the featured musicians for Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour in 2010. Now age 43, Charlie is divorced with one child. He looks really good too. I’d still hit it. 

Next installment, Pete Burns of Dead or Alive…hold on to your Aqua Net. You’re gonna need it. 🙂

Sign the Job Market Stinks

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Overheard at Starbucks, Darien, CT

Older Asian gentleman, dressed in a suit, standing approximately 5’4” tall, speaking to a thirty-something, Hispanic woman in a tank top, arms sleeved with tattoos, tight jeans with holes in the knees. Apparently, the man is a plastic surgeon and the woman, a prospective employee.

Man: Ya know if I do hire you, I won’t be able to ask you out on a date. Hahahahaha!
Woman: (laughs nervously)
Man: I was just meeting with a patient that I worked on last week. I gave her big, honkin’ balloons! It was hilarious! My nephew was telling that I shouldn’t have done it. I said to him, “You aren’t turning into a faggot on me, are you?”
Woman: (more nervous laughs)

I Loathe the Bus

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Sixteen Candles, the 1984 John Hughes film, is what’s known as perfection. Not all will agree with me on this, but screw them. It is the BEST. If you need a synopsis of the movie, stop reading now. Oh, and we can no longer be friends. Career-wise, we all pretty much know what happened to Molly Ringwald (Samantha Baker), Anthony Michael Hall (Farmer Ted) and Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong). They’ve managed to squeak out careers, but what happened to the rest of the cast–those peripheral players of the film that helped make it one of the all-time classics?

Michael Shoeffling played Jake Ryan. The world’s most perfect boyfriend to all 16-year-old girls…in 1984. The perfectly gelled hair…the relaxed fit jeans folded just right at the bottom…the cool sweater vest. I don’t know if he was date raped by Molly Ringwald during the filming or if he developed a case of senioritis, but after the film he briefly acted again (you may remember him in Mermaids) and then immediately fell off the face of the earth. Wikipedia says: “Schoeffling never duplicated the success of Sixteen Candles, and in various magazine and newspaper interviews stated the lack of roles and a growing family to feed were his reasons for retiring from  acting. He now lives with his wife, Valerie L. Robinson of Virginia, also a former model, and their two teenage children Scarlet and Zane, in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, producing  handcrafted furniture as the owner of a woodworking shop.” So basically, he turned into a married version of Aidan Shaw from Sex in the City. FYI, Shoeffling was 24 while filming, Ringwald was 15.

Jonathan Chapin played Jimmy Montrose in Sixteen Candles. Not many know who that is, nor do they remember his very important role in the film. I, on the other hand, think the movie would be nothing without him. First, he has few lines and all take place during the dance (you know, the one that’s required…for gym). Depending on where you are seeing the film, Jimmy’s dialogue changes. If you’re watching the actual movie with no edits or dubbing, he says to Farmer Ted, “She’s totally serious ass wipe!” But, if you are watching the sanitized for telly version, he says, “She’s totally serious pencil neck!” I just love him. That mocking laugh he does to Ted behind his back. The forceful snap he does before saying his lines. His cool dance moves to The Specials’ “Little Bitch.” He still acts today having appeared over the years in such shows as Everybody Loves Raymond and Roseanne. Film-wise, he played the Oscar-worthy role of Guy #1 in Say Anything and, more importantly, was in The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley: The Case of the Fun House Mystery. 

Justin Henry who played Samantha’s smart ass younger brother, Mike, actually had an acting career before Sixteen Candles having co-starred at the age of eight with Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman in the 1979 film, Kramer vs. Kramer. In fact, Henry received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. That may be impressive to some, but for me, he will always been the guy that says, “I wouldn’t go in there if I were you. Grandpa Fred was in there for an hour. It’s totally polluted.” Today, Henry acts on and off (his last appearance was on Brothers and Sisters in 2010) and works as a “new media business professional.” I do love in Sixteen Candles when he tries to open his bedroom door and accidentally slams his body into it.

Liane Curtis played Randy, Samantha’s best friend and older sister to her freshman brother that pays a buck to see Sam’s underpants. Some of Randy’s classic lines include: “Jake Ryan? He doesn’t even know you exist!” and: “Stop feeling sorry for yourself! It’s bad for your complexion!” Sixteen Candles was her second professional acting role and she still works today. In 2008, she played April in Sons of Anarchy. But over her career, she has played various roles such as Waitress, Receptionist, High School Girl and Hooker #2—all with Shakespearean precision. FYI, on Curtis’ first day of shooting it was her 18th birthday. The cast and crew put a watermelon with candles in her locker as a surprise.  

Haviland Morris played the beautifully angelic Caroline Mulford, Jake’s opportunist/drunk/slutty girlfriend. Morris was 25 years old during filming, which is creepy and weird. She looked it! I never really understood why she was supposed to be the hot chick of the movie…but whatever. She’s a character I grew to love. Her friend chopping her hair off when it gets stuck in the door is pretty hilarious. And then later when she wakes up in the back of the Rolls Royce with Farmer Ted, she holds up her shorn locks that don’t even come close to resembling her hair. But, she becomes a teenage cinematic tour de force when she tells Jake: “I could name ten guys right now that would kill to love me.” I can’t say that I remember seeing her in anything else outside of Sixteen Candles. Her imdb page lists dozens of TV and film roles from 1984 to 2012. Come to think of it, I do remember her in an early episode of Sex in the City…very briefly! But, more importantly, where is Caroline’s shower body double today? Yeah, I have no idea. Her name is Paula Elser, but there is not much info available. Online research says she’s either a singer in a jazz band, a make-up artist or a teacher in the Midwest.

Cool and Super Useless Info About Sixteen Candles

The woman that Ginny (Sam’s older sister), in her whacked out, muscle relaxer-induced lethargy, tries to sit next to at the wedding is Agnes Belushi, the mother of John Belushi.

One of the scenes that never made it to the final edit features Long Duk Dong doing a rap. I’m picturing a Lamar Latrell-like rap. Bahhh-rakkkkke!

Beth Ringwald, Molly’s real life sister, makes an appearance as the girl being carried out of the coat room at the dance. She also appears in the party scene at Jake’s house.

Carlin Glynn, who played Sam’s mom, is the real-life mother to Mary Stuart Masterson, who would later star as Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful–also a great film.

The Sex Test that Sam does in Independent Study has a typo. Everyone that knows me has just rolled his/her eyes. I could find a typo in the Declaration of Independence. I’m seriously a typo a-hole. Sorry. Anyway, in big letters across the Sex Test, it says “CONFIDENTAIL.”

In the cafeteria scene (in the sanitized TV version) the lunch menu reads as follows:
MEATBALL SALAD – .80
SENIOR BURGER & FRIES – $1.00
CHIPPED PORK ON A BUN – .55
JUMBO FISHDOG – .75
CORNAROOS – .55
GELATIN BALLS – .30
CANNED BROWNIES IN LIGHT SYRUP – .50
VITAMIN COBBLER – FREE
ICED TEA – .15
GRAPE BEVERAGE – .15
WARM MILK – .10
HAVE A NICE DAY