By Dave Barton
By LP Hastings
By Sarah Bennett
By LP Hastings
By Jena Ardell
By Steve Lowery
By R. Scott Moxley
By Joel Beers
These bodacious and battle-worn babes continue to revitalize and reinvent their time-honored art forms, and in a world in which kitsch and camp are often in short supply, they are solid proof that marketing geniuses can, indeed, come wrapped in fishnets.
We got the lowdown on a few of these bountiful, bold glamazons—what makes them tick, what makes them stick, and what leaves them as numb as Heidi Montag’s . . . well, entire face.
DIZZY VON DAMN!
HEELS! Origin: Bastard child of Bettie Page and Liberace. Status: Crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas in 2008, she has performed with burlesque legend Satan’s Angel, queen of the fire tassels. Best props: Apple-shaped pasties for her back-to-school number and Stars of David—please contact her for your next bar mitzvah. Most unusual night: Performed at a tattoo shop and, midroutine, noticed a group of 10-year-old boys hanging from the rafters. Prop that went awry: The time her 7-foot birdcage fell into the band’s drum kit. Worst pick-up line: “I have anchors tattooed on the backs of my legs, and a guy once asked me to ‘drop anchor’ on either side of his head.” Oddest request: Recently asked to sign a canned ham.
WHEELS! Origin: Hits girls like a ton of you-know-what, and then laughs. Status: Co-captain of the OC Crushers and so adored by fans that she has her own “I [Heart] Brik Wall” tees. Sexiest apparel: “Boycut undies, if you’re rocking them the right way.” Best derby night: Once hit a jammer so hard the gal flew up into the air and popped her collarbone when she landed. “I felt bad, but it was pretty hot.” Celebrity crush: Adam Sandler. Burlesque alter-ego would be: Hot Chocolate—“with marshmallows.” Turn-off: Limited wardrobe. “If on date three, you’re wearing the same thing you wore on date one, it’s no bueno.”
CHARLOTTE LA BELLE ARAIGNE’E
HEELS! Origin: Animated spider from Charlotte’s Web. Status: Placed third in the Viva Las Vegas burlesque contest—losing second place to a girl who humped a rocket. Earliest burlesque memory: Seeing a topless show in Las Vegas with her parents when she was 8 and announcing she would one day be a stripper. Their response: “Oh, you will be!” Interested in: Guys who look like the devil. Fantasy: “Sitting in a sparkly spider-web hammock on top of a building in Manhattan while a three-piece mariachi band play Spanish love songs as I sip on champagne and eat dark chocolate.” Burlesque mentor: Alice Cooper. Turn-ons: Caterpillar tractors and chicks who can beat the shit out of people in dark alleys.
DIRTY DEBORAH HARRY
WHEELS! Origin: Love child of her two namesakes. Status: Known as the “jammer assassin” and creator of the Psycho Ex-Girlfriends. Former claim to fame: Competitive figure skater. Mantra: “I don’t get hurt; I hurt other people.” Longs for: The days when kids and dogs could ride in the back of pickup trucks on the freeway. Best prop: “My ass.” Best move: Once hit a girl so hard that girl flew off the track, through the double auditorium doors and landed in the parking lot. Burlesque alter-ego would be: Mae West. Most-devoted fans: “Little girls who only have slutty, pole-dancing Hannah Montana princesses to idolize until they see us and realize they can be powerful.” Sexiest food/drink: “Booze. Who cares about food?” Turn-off: “Him living with his mom . . . and liking it.”
WHEELS! AND HEELS! Origin: Devil in Disguise. Status: Retired derby player with the LA Derby Dolls, now a burlesque performer. Mantra: In it for the violence. Worst injury: Broken fingers. Best derby uniform: For the Berzerkers, she wore a Viking helmet, long blond pigtails and furry boot covers. Likes: Falling—called the “Weeble” because she never really went all the way down. Favorite burlesque personas: A Boy Scout; the goddess Meditrina, pouring a bottle of wine over herself onstage. Good-luck slogan she hates: Pop a pastie. Perfect Valentine’s Day: Seeing the Vagina Monologues starring burlesque dancers and derby girls.
HEELS! Origin: Homage to stripper icon Gypsy Rose Lee. Status: Known as the “Muppet of Burlesque” because of her fuzzy pink-and-green costume that is summarily stripped off by a surly hand puppet to the “Mahna Mahna” song. Best night: Dressed as the Elephant Man in a suit and with a bag on her head; at the final reveal, she proved she was “not an animal!” Favorite prop: Googly-eyed pasties. Perfect date: A trip into space with James Brown serenading her in zero gravity. Turn-off: General douchebaggery.
WHEELS! Origin: Born with a mirror-ball rattle in her hand. Status: Founder, OC Roller Girls. Mantra: Cheeky, not slutty. Turned on to derby after: Seeing a roller girl lift up her skirt, blow kisses to the audience and leave with a bloody nose at the end of the night. Best props: Corsets and red wigs. Favorite Valentines’s Day: “In third grade, there was this boy who’d chase me around, and he bought me this little card and some bubble bath—that’s when guys said, ‘I love you’ pretty fast!” Turn-on: Brains.
HEELS! Origin: A proper British equestrian lady. Status: Founder, OC Underground Burlesque Society. Bestmove: The Booty Drop. Best routine: “Snow White biting into the apple and falling under a spell of crazed sexuality, writhing all over the stage.” Favorite prop: Sparkly Union Jack pasties—“a real pain in the ass to make.” Celebrity crush: French actress Eva Green. Would attempt roller derby if . . . she could skate and wasn’t a wuss.
MACHINE GUN JUBBLIES
WHEELS! Origin: Austin Powers fembot. Status: Fresh meat—first bout last September with the Crash Test Bunnies. Favorite uniform: Fishnets, thigh-high socks, garters and a mini derby skirt. Feelings about love: Owns a T-shirt that reads, “Cupid is a Rat Bastard.” Perfect derby night: “Make the winning score after knocking someone into the announcers’ table and walk out with my fishnets unripped.” Perfect Valentine’s Day gift: Heritage Softail Harley-Davidson. Best reply to a pick-up line: “I once told a guy I was a female impersonator. He didn’t believe me, so I pointed at my feet, and he ran off. My size 10s saved me.” Sexiest food: A Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger—“if you can eat it while riding a mechanical bull.” Turn-off: Guys who don’t “manscape.”
This article appeared in print as "Wheels, Heels & Sex Appeal."