Favorite

Dirty rock 'n' roll was never this dirty. 

Delicious Miss Trixie

"I was at a point where I was ready to hang my wig up," says Shane German, hands clasped in his lap on the patio at Betsy's Coffee House in Carytown.

When German wears the wig he's Trixie Delicious, a blonde, 6-foot-1 drag queen — a slightly famous local girl who's been performing in the gay community for the past five years. She could be found at Cafine's before it closed, lip-syncing to edgy female vocalists like Portishead's Beth Gibbons. Trixie even made it to TV once, in an episode of "Dawson's Creek."

German's act was successful as far as drag queens go. Even so, the 26-year-old felt stuck in a rut. He wanted to keep performing but was tired of being just a lip-syncing act. He was about to give up when he started to talk to friends about putting Trixie in front of a live band, and soon German was leading Trixie Delicious and the Lott Lizards, named after the male and female prostitutes who hang out all night in the parking lots at highway truck stops.

The group started off as an oddball country outfit playing old Loretta Lynn covers, but has evolved into an all-original band that plays a dirty mix of R & B and rock 'n' roll.

It hasn't been easy. German ran into a lot of scoffers and naysayers, for one thing. "'You cannot be in a band' was what I got both from the gay community and the scenesters," he says. Plus he learned that performing in a live band is a lot harder than it looks.

When German stepped on the stage at his first show he grabbed the mic with a quaking hand as he looked out onto a crowd of drunken strangers. "My knees were shaking," he says.

You'd think he wouldn't be so nervous after five years of strutting around in fishnets and fake breasts. But those weren't his friends and acquaintances out there, and he couldn't just fake it anymore. For the first time, he was in front of a strange audience with only his real voice to rely on. An uncomfortable situation — even disregarding the blond wig and high heels.

Stage fright didn't last long. Lead guitarist Marty Key recalls a show at Hole in the Wall when Trixie went out into the audience and gave someone a lap dance. After landing a volunteer, Key says, "she just straddled him and sang the rest of the song."

Key doesn't quite contain himself to the stage either. His stage name is Captain Guitar, and he feels a responsibility to live up to it — usually by diving on his knees and dashing out into the audience whenever possible. He's also largely responsible for the band's current sound. Key composed some new tunes soon after signing on as a replacement. German wrote the lyrics, and the sound changed to sort of a cross between the Cramps and the Blues Brothers.

German's vocal style is reminiscent of Janis Joplin's right before the end. His stage presence is just as lively as Key's, though he says it varies with his mood and the amount of alcohol he's had before the show. "Sometimes I go on stage very elegant," German says. "Sometimes I get on the floor and grab my crotch and get nasty."

The show usually starts with Key warming up the band and the crowd with a mean blues riff before introducing Trixie, who is waiting offstage. Key might say how the band found her at the Oklahoma State Fair, or prime the audience with some other nonsense as Trixie struts up to the mic. She then belts out the first few songs before introducing the other band members — Key, bassist Melanie Barrows, organist Jane Ball, drummer Kiki, and mandolin, acoustic guitar and accordion player Jonathan Vasser.

Key was late to their last show. "You weren't where you were supposed to be tonight," Trixie said after she introduced the band.

"At your place?" he asked.

"In your wildest, wettest dreams," Trixie replied.

"[Trixie] takes a lot of attention off the other performers, which I like in a way," Key says. "I think it's neat for Shane, because he's a performer, and this is his chance to perform in a rock band. I think he needed other people on stage [to play off of]."

The band recently finished their first recording, an EP called "Bad, Blond and Mean," which they hope to release at their June 29 show at Hole in the Wall. They are booking shows out of town this summer like one at the Ladyfest music festival in Chicago this August.

Out-of-town shows will be hard for German. Trixie requires at least two hours in a dressing room. Of course, that won't be a problem if she hits the big time and gets her own tour bus. "And makeup artist!" German adds excitedly. "That's the dream."

Favorite

Latest in Miscellany

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation