I was exchanging few words with my friend Larry Wessel about the kings of sleaze, the Mentors, yesterday. If you don’t know it already, Larry has directed a film about the band, Hollywood Head Bash, in 1991.
During our exchange Larry shared with me a great, funny little story that he has not shared anywhere in public before. It’s a story about the Mentors’ legendary El Duce (1958–1997), “Mr. Wonderful”. The story is published here with Larry’s kind permission.
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by Larry Wessel
Back in the early 80’s I liked to spend my afternoons in Hollywood at The Ivar Theater with my friend Eldon Hoke popularly known as El Duce, the leader of the “rape rock” band, the Mentors. I’ve hung out in the worst of Tijuana’s Zona Rosa Pleasure Palaces but to this day, The Ivar Theater remains the sleaziest strip joint I have ever been to. One night a week was “camera night” and I used to enjoy shooting photographs of the strippers there with my Nimslo 3D camera. My eyes would water from the perpetual reek of Pinesol and I had to make sure to toss plenty of one dollar bills onto the stage or “Mister Cannonball”, the Ivar’s 500 pound black bouncer would gently tap me on the shoulder.
El had a day job there as “Mr. Wonderful”. Perched up high in the projection booth, Mr. Wonderful would lean in to his microphone and introduce each “exotic dancer” as she waited behind the red curtains to enter the stage. These were the ugliest strippers I have ever seen! Ghostly pale, bruised Hollywood street walkers with black eyes, broken teeth and arms covered in track marks and tattoos. The audience for this spectacle was 7 or 8 Japanese businessmen in beige raincoats nursing warm half empty glasses of beer. A blood curdling screech of white feedback noise would blast out from the Ivar’s broken speakers… Mr. Wonderful would then deliver his extravagant ballyhoo to the horny rubes… “Pre-pare to Pitch a Pup Tent in your Pants gentle-men…put your hands together… and give a warm Ivar welcome to the lovely Linnnnnn Dahhhhh!!!!”.
He would then push the play button on a cheap plastic ghetto blaster covered in duct tape and cigarette burns and wired to the Ivar’s antique public address system. The deafening onslaught of Deep Purple’s Smoke on the water was now the soundtrack for the lovely Linda as she seductively stumbled out into the spotlight in her six inch stilletos. While she was doing her dirty dance, El and I would pass a joint back and forth waiting for the song to end. Two more songs, two more lurid Linda dance routines and Mr. Wonderful would introduce the next one in line. “Alright gentleman, you might want to repair to the lobby for a cigarette now because the next one up is REAL ugly! How ugly? Well let me put it this way… she is a two bagger. What is a two bagger you ask? A two bagger is when you are fucking her, you put a bag over HER head AND a bag over YOUR head in case HER bag breaks! Without any further ah doo…here comes the incredibly FUG-LY No-reeeeen!”
It was showtime folks and once again Mr. Wonderful taps the play button. Mountain’s Mississippi Queen vibrates the old and sagging cum stained seats as Noreen enters the stage, black Maybelline teardrops rolling down both of her acne scarred cheeks. After Noreen’s three numbers are concluded and she slowly stoops down to pick up a wadded up one dollar bill, the house lights are turned off and Mr. Wonderful flips the on switch of a 16mm movie projector. A grainy purple and pink hued, faded and scratched up print of an old xxx rated fuck reel is projected onto the Ivar’s movie screen.
Mr. Wonderful lights up another joint and passes it to me. The Ivar Theater is now permeated with the echoing sounds of lustful moaning orgasms as my pal Eldon Hoke looks at me and smiles, “Thanks for comin’ up here to visit me man! I have a great idea Larry, we should be co-anchors on our own nightly news program. Everytime there is a fatal car crash or someone gets murdered we would both start laughing uncontrollably!” I agreed with him. I totally agreed.
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The year was 1991. The video begins late at night in the parking lot behind Raji’s nightclub in Hollywood. El Duce holds court with English Frank and Rev. Bud Green. Eldon and English Frank reminise about the “peanut butter and apricot brandy incident”. The party moves from the parking lot to backstage where El can be observed sampling the goodies being offered by a tattooed and pierced punk rock hottie! A wee bit later El dons a rubber Adolph Hitler mask and sieg heils the crowd before donning the black hood and launching into Peeping Tom with a killer guitar solo by Sickie Wifebeater. Golden Shower is played next by request.
I sat on the floor at the foot of the stage tilting the camera upwards for great close-up shots. It is during their third song, When you’re horny, you’re horny that an a-hole wearing a kilt and a pair of steel-toe combat boots lept off the short stage and booted me in the face, smashing the microphone off the camera and knocking the camera out of my hands and onto the floor. The remaining two minutes of the film is me, blood streaming down my face looking for the s.o.b. that sucker-kicked me. I was so pissed off and traumatized by this incident that I never showed this video to anyone…until now.
To all who miss the master of rape rock I highly recommend this amazing video, a priveleged peek into the past… a “must have” for all the fans of the one, the only, El Duce.
“The video Hollywood Head Bash is killer!” – Dr. Heathen Scum, The Mentors.
41 Minutes Color DVD (Region 1) $25. Each DVD is signed and numbered by Larry Wessel. Each DVD is packaged and mailed in it’s own protective bubblewrap mailer. Each DVD is available within the U.S. for $25 (postpaid). Other countries: $30 (postpaid).
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