Babs Johnson and Edie The Egg Lady get psychedelicized.
Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.”
Mr. Vader: “Do you believe in God?”
Babs Johnson: “I AM GOD!”
Watching those three films growing up (and watching them, and watching them), Massey always struck me as being infinitely stranger than larger-than-life drag queen, Divine. Maybe it was because I somehow grasped that “drag” was, by definition, “performative,” and thus safer than the whacked-out maternalism that Massey so artlessly channeled. In fact, whereas Divine’s acting method might be described as quotation-marks-within-quotation-marks, Massey seemingly acted without the cushion of any marks whatsoever—quotation or otherwise.
Massey’s life after Waters was perhaps no odder than her life before it, and its trajectory has an arc straight out of Dickens: from orphanage to reform school, from freight train rider to brothel madam, and then, as these things sometimes go, to Hollywood.
Some of this ground is covered in the ‘74 documentary on her life: Love Letter To Edie (you can watch a clip from that film here). The below interview from the early 80’s is also amusing:
Of course, no Massey entry would be complete without the infamous “Egg Man” moment from Pink Flamingos. That follows below:
After a battle with cancer and diabetes, Massey passed away in Venice, California, in 1984. That was 2 years after Massey and her band, called, naturally, Edie and the Eggs, released the below Rodney on the Roq staple, Punks, Get Off The Grass:
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