By Michael E. Miller
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Although Fishbone and the Chili Peppers have followings too large for the 300-capacity Lingerie, the young stars couldn't pass up the chance to perform alongside their hero. Mullen decided to not hype their presence so as not to detract from Blowfly's status as the star of the show. But under those terms, publicizing the concert was a nightmare.
For one thing, Mullen could not obtain a black-and-white promotional photograph of Blowfly. "We shot an old album cover," Mullen says. "The stat, with him in his mask, was the most bizarre-looking photo when it appeared in the ads. I was really upset, but Jimmy thought it was great. He said it enhanced the mystique - a `what the hell is this?' sort of thing." Maslon was right. Several hundred customers were turned away at the door. "It was a complete blockbuster," Mullen recalls. "Quite an event." Blowfly is expected to return to the Lingerie for a show this month, when he also plans to appear in Las Vegas.
Maslon used to be a musician himself, specializing in rockabilly, before shifting careers by purchasing the rights to Herschell Gordon Lewis's Blood Feast and other chop-and-slop horror movies. Placing the films in theaters as midnight-movie features wasn't particularly lucrative, but when the pictures were converted to videocassette and released to the rental market, they returned some profits. As a cinema writer-producer, Maslon chose the natural path when his concert dream came true - he filmed the action. After that, Maslon says, "it was one thing after another. We shot some wraparounds and vignettes and that led to a full feature." Using his own money and a two-man crew, Maslon spent his weekends putting the film together. "That's why it's taking so long," he notes. The Twisted World of Blowfly, shot on both tape and film, has been in the works for a couple of years, and several earlier release dates were announced, but now Maslon says the movie will be out this summer.
"I'm booking the theaters myself," he adds. "It'll be a midnight-type thing, or art house. I'm not even going to bother to get it rated. The only thing X-rated is the language." At the mention of his fledgling movie career, Blowfly simply laughs. "When they say there ain't no business like show business," he offers, "they ain't bullshittin'."
The Chili Peppers and Fishbone aren't the only cool bands hip to Blowfly. In March, when Sonic Youth opened for Neil Young at the Miami Arena, Youth singer-guitarist Thurston Moore dedicated a song to the masked Miamian. More significantly, the Pixies were so enamored of Blowfly they tracked down Maslon in Germany to find out if the raunch rapper was available to open their big show at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. He was, and despite positive reviews, Blowfly suffered some loss. "I brought a bunch of my records, I was going to sell there. You know what, I hate to mention it, 'cause I could've made $500 there. But the Pixies wanted this one and that one. It's hard - I'd never heard of the Pixies, but they're real big on the college market. They could sing all my old tunes, which is why they wanted copies of the records. So I gave 'em this and gave them that. Then I went downstairs to talk to some people, and when I came back, the records were all gone. It's funny, I work at all the nigger nightclubs and nothing happens. Then I work there at the Universal, and all my records get stolen. Aahhhaooohhhahh!"
Blowfly's first New York City appearance in five years happened January 30 at S.O.B.'s in the West Village. That show was proudly presented by an outfit called the Groove Academy, also responsible for bringing New Yorkers shows by Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, and Gil Scott-Heron. The show was strongly recommended by the alternative press, and the Village Voice's Michael Musto reviewed it, mentioning that "all expectations were shot to hell like rejected spermatozoa. The guy eats women alive with his words."
As Maslon's movie lingers in cinema limbo, an offshoot of the project is hitting the streets and inaugurating the imminent Summer of Blowfly. "Some Fishbone and Chili Peppers members were begging to be in the band," Maslon says. "These guys used to sneak his records into the basement and play them when they were kids. I was a musician. So I figured we might as well do a Blowfly record with all these guys." Pandisc released the soundtrack to the movie last week. That was preceded a few weeks ago by a twelve-inch single that features mixes of the lead cut, "Shake Your Ass!"/"Shake Your Thang!"
Using tapes of the first Lingerie live show as well as studio sessions, Maslon produced what might be the finest Blowfly album yet. "Shake Your Ass!" is as infectious as herpes, a popping party tune that encourages listeners to "do it like a dog" in various settings - on your knees, in the trees, in Miami, et cetera. The trademark laugh - Aahhhaooohhhahh! - makes appearances in just the right places, and Blowfly really sings, too, most notably in the grooving R&B entry "Please Let Me Cum in Your Mouth."