Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dragstrip 66, The Frockumentary!

DRAGSTRIP 66 was co-created in 1993 by best friends Mr. Dan (aka hostess Gina Lotriman) and DJ Paul V., just as Bill Clinton was sworn in. It soon became the communal home to creative revelers seeking to celebrate living again after 12 hellish years of right-wing politics in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. For two decades, it was the inclusive safe space for ALL people - gay,  straight,  bi and trans - to feel completely welcomed, celebrated, and encouraged to express themselves without judgement. The guys were hot, the drag was trashy, the music rocked, and the drinks were lethal!

 Nina Hagen

Drew Barrymore

The nightclub's monthly themes drew upon movie, TV, camp and pop-culture mashup touchstones - “Florence Of Arabia,” “Queen Acres,” “Victor/Victoria's Secret,” “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.

 Mink Stole and Holly Woodlawn

Perry Farrell

 Adam Lambert

The music set the club apart too, as DJs Paul V. and Tom Walker played an eclectic mix of alternative, classic rock, new wave, disco, funk, and edgy electronic dance tracks. And Gina Lotriman hosted the Midnight Stage Show featuring local, national and international drag queens, all singing live to Gina’s completely rewritten parodies of popular music befitting the evening’s theme. The 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. There was no "fourth wall" at Dragstrip: its PATRONS were indeed the "show" too.

What made DRAGSTRIP 66 so special to people, was that for 20 years, the club provided all the LGBTQ "freaks" and "misfits" of the world a nightlife alternative and safe and inviting place where they finally felt like they fit in. Countless long-term friendships and romantic partnerships that were forged there remain to this day. And the "Frockumentary" will detail an incredible era of not only "Homo History", but of Los Angeles and Silver Lake itself, all in the pre-internet and pre-social media age.

Check out the sizzle reel here - 
And the 10-minute "Frockumentary Featurette" here -

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