Big Hair, Big Party

Lipstick N Leather is a hard-working hair band that covers the oldies of the late ’70s/early ’80s, when glam rock was, you know, cool. Lipstick N Leather has gigs every weekend, from House of Blues to dive bars to private parties to outdoor events.

Why cover the glam-hair hits instead of playing original music? Singer D.D. Dre Deville says, “For me, it’s not ‘instead of,’ it’s ‘in addition to.’ I also sing for an original band based in Orange County called Sick Eddy. I enjoy the pride that comes from singing songs I wrote, but I love the enthusiasm and fun that comes with the cover band.”

What kind of songs do you play? “Only the best songs that make the young girls cry,” says bass player Tommy 2 Tuff, “and make the older ladies throw up their bras.”

“We are a party band,” says guitarist Guy Gunz. “We can go into any club or party, and people can sing along with the songs we play right from the first song. I have done original music before, and it’s great, but I am focusing now on giving people a great time.”

Stevie Wilde, on guitar and keys, explains how they choose their set list: “Each member develops her or his wish list. After compiling a master list, we narrow it down by imagining that we’re playing those songs in front of a packed tavern.”

Drummer Jonny Basher didn’t have anything to add, having had one too many shots of Jäger.

LIVE-SHOW ISSUES?

D.D. Dre Deville: “Our poor floor-fan keeps getting hammered! Drop a case on it, I fall off the stage and land on it, someone gets pushed onto it.… Stevie Wilde’s keyboard wires catching on fire during a show was a good one, too.”

Tommy 2 Tuff: “Having to change in a bathroom stall really sucks. Ever try putting a wig on without a mirror? Let me tell you, it isn’t easy.”

BEST GIG?

Tommy 2 Tuff: “Belly Up Tavern, by far. Great stage and sound system and always a crowd full of hot ladies. They treat you like rock stars. Oh, wait, I am a rock star.”

Guy Gunz: “A private party we played recently for a girl’s 23rd birthday. The crowd was super fun, and they all dressed up in ’80s hair-metal outfits.”

Stevie Wilde: “Ocean Beach, Gallagher’s. The house is packed shoulder-to-shoulder. At one point I’m on my knees on the floor soloing away, only to look up and realize that an esteemed and respected colleague from work is standing over me, laughing like hell. I’m in drag and leather pants wheedily-deedilying through a Scorpions solo, thinking, I’ve got an 8 a.m. with this person on Monday to discuss funding for my next project.

WORST GIG?

Guy Gunz: “We played an outdoor gig just over a lunch hour one weekday. The sound was bad, not many people were there, and we all got sunburnt.”

Stevie Wilde: “Dive bar in Point Loma. Tumbleweeds are rolling through the place, and the only two people in the bar get into a slap fight during our second set. Lame-ola. I think at the end of the night we were handed $12 to split amongst all members of the band. I’m surprised we weren’t handed a bill for the electricity used.”

SEXIEST SAN DIEGO PERFORMER?

Tommy 2 Tuff: “Have you ever seen me in spandex? Yes, ladies, it’s real.”

Jonny Basher: “Dre, of course. Have you seen our show and the fan blowing up her skirt all night? Who wouldn’t love that?”

IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ANYONE…

Stevie Wilde: “Kurt Vonnegut. Between our discussions of the firebombing of Dresden, the poisoning of the planet, and the absolute failure of mankind to nurture anything other than its own myopic self-serving gain, we’d have more than enough comic material to have clam chowder coming out of our noses for hours. But, alas, he’s up in heaven now.”

Jonny Basher: “I’d love to have lunch with Tommy Lee! It would probably be more of a liquid lunch, and I’d hope he’d bring some of his ‘nasty habit’ — chick backup singers. Would love to hear more stories from back in the day, some of the crazy times he had on the Strip back then.”

LAST BOOK READ?

Guy Gunz: “I read a lot and have read many books of substance, but the last book I happen to have read was How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson. It was a gift — I swear — and I was pretty curious about it. Unfortunately, I thought it was only mildly interesting and not very entertaining.”

Stevie Wilde: “Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass, by Bruno Schulz. It’s a very good piece, in many ways more intimate and personal than his previous Street of Crocodiles. Yet there’s something missing that leaves the reader yearning. The surrealism that so permeated and ultimately defined Street of Crocodiles manifests itself in Sanatorium in the form of an extended and at times derivative stream of consciousness, more often disorienting the reader rather than enchanting her. But none of that prevents the work from being a lyrical masterpiece.”

Comments

from the cutting room floor:

LIVE SHOW ISSUES? Tommy 2 Tuff: “The band bar tab usually runs out way before it should, and having to change in a bathroom stall really sucks. Ever try putting a wig on without a mirror? Let me tell you, it isn't easy.”

EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY? D.D. Dre Deville: “I was about 3, I remember being dressed up in a little lamb costume performing a dance routine on the big stage at the International Street Fair in Orange [County].”

Tommy 2 Tuff: “Seeing KISS in 1977 at the Sports Arena. I was 6, and my mom took the whole family to see them. My sister passed out due to the pot smoke flowing through the air.”

Stevie Wilde: “The way the subways on the N-train smelled going from 18th and 64th to Coney Island. They always had a strange underlying odor of pink cotton candy. Not blue cotton candy -- the pink stuff.”

Johnny Basher: “I remember breaking all my toy drums and air guitar-ing to my mom and dad’s oldies like Beach Boys, Beatles, Elvis and of course Sha Na Na.”

WHAT SONG IS STUCK IN YOUR HEAD RIGHT NOW? D.D. Dre Deville: “Lady GaGa: ‘Just Dance’ which is probably tied with ‘Poker Face’ also by Lady GaGa. You will catch me just randomly singing it at any given time. You know doing the laundry and busting out with ‘I’ve had a little bit too much, all of the people start to rush/Where are my keys I lost my phone/It’s all right just dance.’ It’s uplifting with such a tedious task.”

Johnny Basher: “Motley Crue: ‘Same Ol’ Situation’ some chick was playing it early this morning over and over again and it’s been in my head all day. I did a follow up of … girl… don’t go away mad… girl… just go away… haha.”

LAST BOOK READ...

Johnny Basher: “I can’t read -- a grown man that can’t read -- so sad -- stay in school kids!”

hey that stevie wilde is a pretty literate cover-band musician, were any of those quotes enhanced???

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