After a one year 1992-93 run of Penny Arcade's Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! at Art D'Lugoff's venerable Villlage Gate in New York City, the house that played host to some of the 20th centuries greatest legends: Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday....for the show and venue's final performance, Penny Arcade added one more deserving creature to the lexicon, Marianne Faithfull. With Quentin Crisp, Jeff Buckley, Laurie Anderson and nearly 400 hundred other souls in attendance; sultry, fierce, lioness Marianne sang four majestic heart rendered songs with Marc Ribot on guitar, David Mansfield on violin and Greg Cohen on bass....add in Penny's world-class erotic dancers, Jill Morley, Veronica Newton, Alicia Hopkins, Leta Davis, Carson Sayers, Guinevere Liberty, Cynthia Henry; and this was a performance for the ages. "Why D'Ya Do It", co- writtten by Marianne Faithfull, is from her landmark LP, Broken English.
...from Wikipedia. "Why D’Ya Do It?", was a caustic, graphic rant of a woman reacting to her lover's infidelity. The lyrics began with the man's point of view, relating the bitter tirade of his jilted lover. It was set to a grinding tune inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s recording of Bob Dylan’s " All Along the Watchtower". Poet and writer Heathcote Williams had originally conceived the lyrics as a piece for Tina Turner to record, but Faithfull succeeded in convincing him that Turner would never record such a number. Its plethora of four-letter words and explicit references to oral sex caused controversy and led to a ban in Australia, where local pressings of the LP were released with smooth vinyl in place of the track and a 'bonus' 45 single as compensation (the ban did not extend to import copies)."
Penny Arcade: A runaway at thirteen, a reform-school graduate at sixteen, a performer in the legendary New York City Play-House of the Ridiculous at seventeen, and an escapee from Andy Warhol’s Factory scene at nineteen, Penny Arcade emerged in the 1980s as a primal force on the New York art scene and an originator of what came to be called performance art. Arcade’s brand of high camp and street-smart, punk-rock cabaret showmanship has been winning over international audiences ever since.
Penny Arcade is the author of ten full-length performance pieces including the mainstream hit Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! Her work been presented in venues as celebrated as the Sydney Opera House and as sordid as New York’s Pyramid Club.
With long-time collaborator Steve Zehentner, Arcade is the co-producer of The Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history project. The project’s biographies cablecast in New York City every Monday at 11pm EST. LIKE us on Facebook and see the current cablecast schedule facebook.com/LowerEastSideBiographyProject
Bad Reputation, her first book was published by Semiotexte/MIT Press, and she was recently portrayed by Sex in the City actress Cynthia Nixon in the film, Englishman in New York, the biopic about her friend Quentin Crisp. pennyarcade.tv
If there is an underlying thematic in all of Arcade’s work, it is perhaps this concern to advocate the full expression of our “life force”—creative, sexual, physically and verbally expressive—and to speak out against those societal and political forces that would repress such energizing self-realization. – Stephen Bottoms, University of Leeds, U.K.
If you like this video and want to support our work, please click the Tip Jar. We are currently fundraising to preserve Penny Arcade's & The Lower East Side Biography Project's video tape archive and to produce more content like this. Thank you kindly! Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner
Steve Zehentner Credits: B!D!F!W! design/co-direction/sound score; Video edit
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