Getting Taught by Jayne County – an outrageous interview
Getting Taught by Jayne County
Jointly published in Punk Globe – many thanks for permission to use.
New York rock n roll legend Jayne County, who was part of the Warhol set and the punk rock scene, speaks from the heart…and shoots from the hip. She takes no prisoners and says some stuff that may take some backing up. Whilst we cannot endorse any of her views with think they may be of interest and certainly deserve some comment…
There’s some serious stuff and accusations about David Bowie and Alice Cooper going on in this interview…whether its the truth or not…you decide!
Starting her career off as Wayne County, Jayne pioneered punk rock along with the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and Blondie painting New York red. She has played with The Police, helping them get their start. She is known for her sharp wit, tainted lyrics, and free spirit. A hero to all, here is Jayne”Â¦
Punk Globe: Jayne, how would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Jayne County: CRAZY, SANE, IMPATIENT.
PG: What was the original inspiration for your attempts in changing pop culture?
JC: I wanted to combine male and female together and make them ONE. I was inspired by the Ancient Greeks perception of Hermes and Aphrodite. Also I was inspired by Native American Shamans. I thought the sexes should become closer together. I wanted to use the Rock and Roll format to get my point across.
PG: Were they enough of a driving forces or was there a personal motivation you felt too?
JC: They were both. I felt a driving force from within to challenge and confuse. Also I felt the Christian religion had ruined our world and that we would have been better off without it. We were more honest with ourselves as Pagans and Goddess worshipers! The female force in nature is stronger and should be the more dominant one but with a more androgynous tone. Males should not be afraid to let their female side take root and grow and develop into a third sex.
PG: While your whole concept pushed the limits, the funding behind MainMan allowed your stage show to accomplish all it set out to. Could you explain your role with Bowie’s MainMan?
JC: MainMan gave me money so I could create ideas so Bowie could steal them, whitewash them, and use them for himself to create a fake version of what I was trying to create. His were FAKE. Mine were REAL.
PG: The “Live at the Trucks”Â footage, according to Leee Black Childers, has been found. What’s da scoop?
JC: I have no idea what is happening with the ‘Wayne At The Trucks’ footage.
PG: Before Bowie released “Pin-Ups”Â you had the idea for a cover album of songs from your childhood. Bowie borrowed your idea?
JC: Oh God yeah”Â¦ Bowie ‘borrowed’ it all right!!! ‘Pin Ups’ was originally ‘Wayne County’s Fave Raves’ a collection of my fave rave British Invasion hits!!! I ‘gave’ him the idea while having a conversation with him at a party at the Plaza Hotel, after one of his gigs! ”Â¦I think it was the Plaza! My mind is starting to dim”Â¦ Bowie was like a fucking tape recorder. He taped all conversations with people, upstairs in his brain. He was always on ”Ërecord!’
PG: He also borrowed your song “Queenage Baby?”Â
JC: ‘Rebel Rebel’ was a copy of a song I had called ‘Queenage Baby!’ I was recording songs for MainMan and they were all sent to Bowie because he was supposedly ‘interested’ in producing me. All he did was steal all my ideas! Bowie called MainMan and played his ‘Rebel Rebel’ demo over the phone and Cherry Vanilla screamed ‘Oh my God, he’s trying to sound like Wayne! How are we going to tell him?’ Leee Black Childers was there and he related the story to me, as we were roomies at the time. I was FLABBERGASTED! And I was helpless to do anything! It just gnawed at my insides like a rat gnawing away at my stomach. MainMan had me on salary and gave me an account at Max’s Kansas City, which they never paid!
PG: Do you remember the last time you talked to Bowie? Do you have anything you would say to him?
JC: The last time I spoke to Bowie was at a presentation of ANOTHER Wayne/Jayne County rip off called ‘Hedwig.’ Don’t get me started on HEDWIG!! DEADWIG AND THE ANGRY INVESTORS as Jimi LaLumia [Musician, PUNK GLOBE Writer] called it! The conversation consisted of, ‘Oh hi Jayne.’ Then I said ‘Hi.’ That was it! Poor John Cameron Mitchell! Both Bowie and Jayne County were in the audience of “DEADWIG” at the same time! I thought it was fitting actually! The two people in the world who I consider have ripped me off the most, together at last, getting together backstage and getting along like two crooks in a crock!!! I remember a review of Hedwig in the Daily News. It said, “It was a lot better when Jayne County was doing it!!!” I couldn’t believe it! Everyone else was pointing out the ‘similarities’ between Jayne County and Hedwig way before I did! And it wasn’t just a few people either!!! What would I say to Bowie now? I would say, “Just be honest, and give me my credit! ”Â¦AND ALOT OF FUCKING MONEY.” He is a billionaire, and I still have to struggle! He borrowed my ideas so he should pay me! And so should Hedwig! I ain’t bitter but I ain’t afraid to open my mouth either! THEY both know what they did. They can deny it all they want, but they know what they did!
PG: After MainMan you went on to record with the UK label, Safari. While your albums defiantly created new boundaries, do you feel that you were able to accomplish all you wanted, being that it was an indie label and all?
JC: No I don’t feel that I was able to accomplish what I really wanted to do with Safari. They were great guys and I love those guys for giving me a break but, I felt a bit restrained. But the band had a hand in that as well. I wanted to go bigger and better but personal conflicts got in the way and I became confused in what my goals were. Safari was a great label and they treated me with the highest regard. I am very lucky to have had them! I still have the highest respect for them.
PG: You were a tough pill to swallow, were other labels interested?
JC: There were a few other labels interested but Safari gave us the best deal. They still re-release my material to this day and the packaging has been top notch. Very impressive. The Japanese release on CDs of my first three LPs was beautiful! I LOVED it! I totally trust them as well.
PG: You toured around Europe and played with some un-punk bands, did you always steal the show?
JC: I’m doing new things now! I’m doing a festival in Berlin in April! I’m very excited about it! Oh yes! I always steal the show!
PG: Your last album on Safari, “Things Your Mother Never Told You”Â was produced inconvientally by David Cunningham. How did this pairing come about? Did Wayne’s last album accomplish what you wanted it to?
JC: ‘Things Your Mother Never Told You’ was basically an experimental LP. One side rock, the other side was dirty, repetitive, arty stuff that the band wanted to do. All the tracks should have stayed ‘rocky!’ it was an attempt at ‘Psychedelic Punk’ and I think the first side succeeded tremendously, but I hated the other side. That was a case of letting the band have too much say! You hear of people asking, “If you had it too do over would you?” and my answer would be “YES!!!”
PG: The Electric Chairs then continued without you, they even released a single”Â¦?
JC: We met him [Cunningham] thru Patti Paladin, of SNATCH fame. We heard his production on some Flying Lizards stuff I think it was, and thought he might be a good producer. I personally think we should have used the producer of The Buzzcocks who was interested in doing it. Martin Russian [Rushent], I think it was. I know I got that last name wrong. Anyway I think that whole LP was basically a big mistake! If I had it to do over… I WOULD!!!
PG: In the Electric Chairs had quite a variety of members, including musicians from Mott the Hoople and the Police, as well as others. Often co-writing with your band members, when did you find your material to be the most fulfilling?
JC: When The Electric Chairs broke up they attempted to go on without me and people turned up at their shows expecting to see me and they fell flat on their flat asses. The drummer was having mental and sexual problems and he took out all his frustrations on the band. Jumping all over our guitar player, for missing one chord on one song!!! He eventually broke up the band! I think he is in a nut house for mentally retarded pot heads now! The bass player moved to Hollywood and got a few bit acting jobs in movies playing Lurch from The Adams Family! Both The Electric Chairs guitar players are now male prostitutes working in a male brothel in Budapest! I found the material I wrote on my own, to be the most fulfilling, because the other band members couldn’t write their ways out of a possums ass hole! They fucked up all the songs with too many pot head ideas and they wanted to be Brian Eno or John Cale! They turned out to be more like Jerry Peabody, from the band, The Oblong Turds.
PG: Speaking of The Police, what can you say about Sting”Â¦?
JC: When we toured France, Holland, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and Britain with The Police, we had to put up with all sorts of Rock and Roll horrors from them, like, drinking tea and reading highly intellectual books and publications on a daily basis! One Pill Makes You Taller! It drove us all round the bend and over the rainbow! One day I got so angry I tried to push Greg, my guitarist, and bisexual lover, out of a moving van on a busy motorway in Rotterdam! I think he’s dead now. Frank Sinatra is also dead!!! Hee hee hee!! Suck my dick and lick my ass!!! Frank Sinatra is DEAD!!! Ha Ha!!! And Sting had a gorgeous bod! Too bad, cause his songs all stink, like his shitty asshole! I think Stings best song is the one with that crazy Arab man on it, screaming like a wounded buzzard! I think he is boring and the Police are a horrible band! I could mention some other bands I toured with, but I don’t like insulting the dead!
PG: Patti Paladin originally sung backup vocals for you, was that the beginning of your friendship with her?
JC: I first met Patti on the set of the AmeriKan TV Western, ‘Have Gun Will Travel!’ She played a woman on a wagon train who was married to a Native American. It was all so Cher, in the song ‘Halfbreed!’ She was a good friend of David Cunningham. Patti is an amazing artist. I hope I can work with her again one day, before I die! She reminds me a lot of Ronnie Spector! I love. ‘Walking in the Rain’ and hope to possibly record that number with Patti one day.
PG: You then went on to record with her and Johnny Thunders; what was recording with Johnny like? What tracks did you sing on?
JC: Did I record with Johnny Thunders? I don’t remember that! I don’t think I recorded with him. He was always a mess but I love and miss Johnny, big time! Ask Jim LaLumia. He remembers more than I do!
I also want to record with Jimi! I wanted to do an old fashioned style EP with him before I die. Sort of a mini version of Wayne’s Fave Raves AKA, “PINUPS.”Â I have a condition and will be dead soon anyway, so who cares! Jayne County isn’t real anyway. It would have to be 4 or 5 tracks.
1. Honey I Need – The Pretty Things 2. Evil Hearted You – The Yardbirds 3. Gonna Make You – The Troggs 4. If I Were You – Peter and Gordon 5. We’re Thru – The Poets EXTRA BONUS TRANK NON BRITISH INVASION ‘From A Buick Six’ – Bob Dylan.
After later talking, Jayne remembers her appearance on Johnny Thunders’ LP “Copy Cats”Â
PG: What was the most fun recording you have done?
JC: The most fun recording I ever did was ‘Too Much to Dream!’ it was originally recorded by The Electric Prunes. I had a ball doing that! Henry Padavoni’s guitars on that are amazing! I’m sorry I never got to record more with Henry! He’s a big star in France now! I turned him on to The Ventures, and the rest is history! And I had fun recording ‘Double Shot!’ That is a fun song to do at random along la gay waytra!!! Fun!!! Fun!!! Fun!!!! Till my Daddy, takes my pain pills away!! One pill makes you smaller!!!
PG: Recently, your albums have featured covers of your fan-favorite tunes. Are you still trying to perfect “Fuck Off,”Â or are you trying to satisfy fans?
JC: I sometimes rerecord my material, because I may have been a bit dissatisfied with the first recordings. Billy Holiday constantly rerecorded her songs! I’m like her. Never satisfied with the recording and having fun doing different versions of familiar material. I’m doing it again soon! At least I think I am! Therefore, I am! I think!!! With The Electric Queers. My Atlanta band. A more Cramps style version of ‘Evil Minded Mama’ and a more Punk Rock version of ‘Man Enough To Be A Woman.’ We’re recording in an Atlanta studio! We are using disabled backup singers. That way, we get the studio for free. We are also doing a version of a Lou Reed song mixed in with a Bowie song. It’s gonna floor everybody!!! And a Doors song mixed in with a Kinks song. I want FUN!!! Don’t turn on that light! I WANT MAGIC!!!!!
PG: Looking back, is there anything in particular you would have done differently?
JC: I am no longer trying to satisfy fans! I am ONLY, trying to satisfy myself now! I am only doing what I want to do!!!
PG: What is next for Ms. Jayne County? ”Â¦ Marriage?
JC: Ha ha ha! I hate marriage! I am against ALL marriage, but I think everyone should have equal rights to be miserable! Did I spell miserable correctly? I believe in marriage equality, but I don’t believe in marriage! It’s an ancient, outdated, institution that has no place in a modern world!
PG: ”Â¦A return to the world-changing Electric Chairs?
JC: For the future, I want to work with as many different people and bands as possible! I love working with others! I don’t want to limit myself by working exclusively with anyone. I get claustrophobic. I need room and space to spread my wings!!! I hate people who get all insulted and over possessive when you want to work with others. The minute anyone tries to keep me from being creative with others, I drop them like a hot potato! No one owns me!!! I work with who I want, anytime I want! And I want to concentrate on my art as well. On my paintings. And let different people promote them in their own different ways. I would NEVER sign exclusively with anyone. I don’t believe in it! I want to work with different people at the same OR at different times! And anyone that doesn’t like that can go fucks themselves. I don’t like CONTROLL FREAKS!!!
PG: Fuck/Kill/Marry: Robin Zander, Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper”Â¦ AND WHY?
JC: I would never work with any far right wing RepubliKKKan like Alice Cooper! He’s also a born again Christian. But not a real Christian. A narrow minded war mongering, George Bush, ass licking RepubliKKKan RETARD. I love the character he plays on stage and the music is fantastic. ‘Is It My Body’ is fucking FANTASTIC!!! I love it! But unfortunately, the man behind the mask is a far cry from the character on stage. I could never work with anyone like him because we would probably kill each other! I am a LEFT LEANING ANARCHIST. And as far as I am concerned, all the established political parties in AmeriKKKa are FULL OF FLY BLOWING SHIT. I hope they ALL burn in HADES!!!
PG: Finish the sentence: “I’m your cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cheerrry:”Â
JC: Same goes for that fucking, right wing, immigrant bashing, NAZI BITCH, HAIRY PUSSY!!! Her mind is as plastic as her tits! I’m your, K K K K K K K K KLANNIE MOM!!! Cherry, Strawberry, Banana Too! ”Â¦Who hates, Mexicans, blacks and Jews!!!! Hairy Pussy, Klannie Mom!!! When her soul (If she has one.) burns in HELL, it will smell worse than the lamb korma, curried shit, that runs out her diseased, herpes infected mouth!
PG: Leif Garret or Justin Bieber?
JC: Who is Leif Garret? Does he have a HUGE cock and huge, low hung balls !?!? Justin Beaver??? Beiver??? Bieevar??? Who the Hell fucking cares!!!??? Lol i ain’t going to jail for no JAIL BAIT!!! JAIL BAIT !!! The REAL story of the Runnaways!!! Fuck your way to prison!!!
PG: Do you own any sexy underwear? How often do you wear it?
JC: BAEZ. My most sexiest undies, used to belong to my idol, JOAN BAEZ !!! She wore them at the 1964, Newport Folk Festival! They are RANCID! MMMMMMMM!!! I love to wear them over my face when i listen to my early Bob Dylan records! The scratched bits sound so sexy, on ‘PILL BOXED HAT!!!’ MMMMMM I am cumming in BUCKETS!!!
PG: Thanks SO much for the time, Jayne. Is there any advice you could give our readers?
JC: Yes!! My advice to the readers of PUNK GLOBE is “Don’t take any wooden nickels, AND DO IT YOURSELF!!!