Music and movies and stayin’ weird
Happy Pride month y’all! This is such a fun and exhausting time of the year. I am lucky enough to be double booked many days this month. Daytime shows plus nighttime shows equal great sleep, when I can get it. All this running around, gig to gig, keeps me young — although some days I feel like a young 98.
Did y’all watch the latest season of Stranger Things? It is bloody brilliant. I love how Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” is on the charts again because of that show. A whole new generation is finding out how great that song is. It has always been one of my favorites.
It’s funny how hearing a song during an emotional scene in a movie can bond you with that song forever. I know it’s not cool to say now, but remember when Titanic came out and “My Heart Will Go On” was first being played? We all loved it. Well, we loved it until they played it so much on every single station that by the millionth time we heard it, it was like, kill me already! But before we all collectively started to hate it, I would literally tear up just by hearing those first few notes of that damned song.
When I was a kid, I would get obsessed with the most random soundtracks from movies. There was a movie, Once Bitten starring Jim Carey from the ’80s. I loved it, and I bought the soundtrack. I’m embarrassed to say how much I loved that album. There is not a single song on it that ever got any radio play, but I did not care. I even tried to get a girl from our neighborhood to learn the dance Jim Carey does in the movie with his girlfriend and the vampire, The Countess. I think I thought we were going to do it in a talent show for school or something.
Apparently, I have been getting ready for shows my whole life.
Do any of y’all remember The Pirate Movie with Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins? I was OBSESSED! It was a cheesy, horrible ’80s musical that I could not get enough of. I knew every word of every song from that movie. Truthfully, I even knew every word of dialogue, too.
I did not care that nobody else in my world knew or cared about that movie. I wanted other people to care about these random things I loved, but mostly just got made fun of for loving these movies and their soundtracks.
Then came Grease 2. I must have just started puberty when I saw that for the first time because I was in love. Michael Carrington, the British exchange student, was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on. We had cable, and I swear they played Grease 2 just about every single day for two years, and I watched it just about every single time. Every time Michael, aka the Cool Rider, was on screen, I tried my best to look uninterested. But in my head, I was that cartoon wolf whose tongue unrolls out of its mouth and its eyes bulge out.
Somewhere around my sophomore year of high school, I discovered The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We saw the movie with a live cast acting it out in front of the screen. I had no idea what we were seeing. I just remembered hearing someone say it was the gayest thing they had ever seen, so I needed to see it.
They were doing midnight showings of it at a movie theater in Mesquite, Texas, of all places. I was in awe. I immediately bought the soundtrack. I remember my mom telling me to listen to that crap with my headphones on.
I was labeled the weird kid for my obsession with these musicals. Looking back now, I realize that I was shaping myself to be a drag queen way back then. Hell, the second time I ever did drag I performed “Cool Rider” from Grease 2. And I still do “Sweet Transvestite” pretty regularly in the show. On special occasions, Kelexis and I will do “Girl For All Seasons” from Grease 2. Half the room has no idea where that song comes from, but the ones that do totally love it.
The great thing about growing up and expanding your circle of friends is how quickly you find those other weird kids that like what you liked. Now it is so easy: You post something online and quickly find out who loves the strange stuff you love. Back then, you were usually a club of one.
Once I came out, one of the first things I bonded over with other gays was our love of Grease 2 or Rocky Horror. I was not alone; there are a bunch of us rando musical loving weirdos out there. So many other little gay boys were out there draggin’ to the same songs I was draggin’ to.
When you find that out, after feeling like you are the only one in the world, it changes you. It opens you. The thing that made you weird is the thing that makes you special.
I wish I would have known that way back when. So, stay weird, Freaks!
Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova