Fed up with living in a squat in Amsterdam with a couple of junkies, I moved across the Atlantic to New Amsterdam, my head filled with tales of the times my father had there. I wanted to visit CBGBs; I wanted cops to warn me off crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk as they couldn’t guarantee my safety, just as they had my parents who did it any way to find the same two cops waiting the other side to ensure they had made it over in one piece; I wanted to walk from one block to the next and feel the edginess that made one block distinct from the next. Imagine my disappointment to discover that, on my arrival, New York was no longer the playground of Travis Bickle, that Times Square had been cleansed of its porno palaces and massage parlours and Manhattan had become homogeonised, its slut heart torn out by Republicans who were determined to put commerce above art.
There were compensations. Firstly, I had a small apartment just off Washington Square, on the edge of Greenwich Village. Secondly, I had a friend already living there who knew some enclaves that still harked back to the time of my imagined New York. One of these was a gay club in the East Village which had no name and didn’t officially exist but seemed to spring up every other Friday night. And it was whilst I was here I heard this single which was so full on in its sexual innuendo you could do little but praise the warped mind that had constructed it. John McLaughlin was a performance artist who, because of his promiscuity, had been given his stage name of John Sex by Morrissey favourite Klaus Nomi. His naturally long blonde hair was coiffed in an elaborate bouffant using egg whites, beer, and semen. In addition to being a student at New York’s School of Visual Arts alongside Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquait, he used to hang out at various clubs with Andy Warhol. Just like Nomi and Haring, John Sex died of illnesses associated with AIDS but not before leaving behind this classic of bad taste.
It begins with a woman exclaiming excitedly about the attributes of a man while exuding shrieks of sexual delight culminating in, “Now I know why they call you the ruler.” John Sex then starts singing over a disco beat whilst the rather excited woman interjects with her observations. It’s like a perverse disco B52s fronted by a young William Burroughs: “I’ve been with queens / I’ve been with whores/ I’ll make your pussy / Jump out of its drawers.” What is suggested by the lyric might be rather disturbing if it wasn’t for its camp, knowing nature which has you both gasping at the audacity at the same time as laughing out loud (at least I did – but that probably says more about me than the song): “Move your ass,girl / And roll that big fat belly / I’ll jam your box / Till it’s good and smelly.” And all the time there are priapic, moans and groans worthy of a cartoon Donna Summer.
With a chorus of “Hustle with the muscle / Can you handle the man below my belt / Hustle with the muscle / Girl, I got the most I think you ever felt,” this is the one 12″ that has seen constant action at parties chez Corday, constantly assures that the partying is hard and never leaves participants feeling unfulfilled.