Anyone remember Nico? Still care about Marianne Faithfull? OK. And you still care. More on them later.
Anyone remember Tammy Faye Bakker Messner? Not so much. And you care even less!
Harry Shearer once said "her only claim to fame/notoriety was to have been the marital partner of a convicted crooked televangelist," which denies her fame and notoriety as a campy TV personality who rode the tabloid roller-coaster like a pro.
In her prime, she was a frightening parody of Christian wholesomeness, with her drag queen make-up, creepy singing, and her championing of hubby Jim, an Evangelist who seemed to be bisexual, crooked, and about as charismatic as Rick Moranis with vertigo.
In a country that still values inane personality over talent (the Kardashians and Jenners), it really is no surprise that a nutjob like Tammy got a foothold into the public's eye (and wallet) and went to her grave kicking and screaming for just a little more of the spotlight. She went to her grave telling the world that she was really going to heaven. America bought her act. Why not? Just before she died she insisted on going on Larry King's show. She weighed just 65 pounds (and 55 of them was probably make-up). She had endured the collapse of a marriage, a second lousy marriage, infamy and scorn, and 10 years struggling with cancer, but was STILL raving about God existing and being merciful.
So in the end, Tammy Faye Bakker was the Lucille Ball of televangelists; charismatic, unique, and possessed of a deep instinct for survival. Both married assholes first, and parasites second. In Tammy's case, a goofy-faced sex fiend who over-sold timeshares, followed by a fame-clutching ex-con who did time for bankruptcy fraud.
At this point, the details of the scandals have faded, replaced by the latest idiocies from Kim and Kanye and Caitlyn and the rest of the clowns. Did Jim Bakker and a friend drug and rape Jessica Hahn? Did Tammy know how he amassed the money for their three luxury homes? Did she think owning gold faucets was Christian humility? Was a Christian theme park garish and un-Godly? Was she closer to the schemes of Falwell and Swaggart than the sincerity of Billy Graham? At this point we have other things to worry about. Like the gruesome leaders of a religion OTHER than Christianity that is causing trouble.
Yes, mercifully perhaps, some eyesores have faded from view, and Tammy Faye is one.
Other ladies, underappreciated in their time, endure, like Nico.
And so it is, that Tammy Faye Starlite, who first came to semi-fame by mocking Tammy Faye Bakker via a Cheap Trick parody, is still with us, and now impersonating Nico and Marianne Faithfull.
A Jew from New Jersey, the re-named Tammy Faye Starlite has come a long way from 2003 when she was doing country song porn parodies. She's been touring for several years with a Nico tribute. She offers up about a dozen songs doing her 90 minute set, ranging from "I'll Be Your Mirror" to Nico-tributes to ex-lovers. Yes, Tammy-as-Nico sings Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It With Mine" and Jackson Browne's "These Days." "Nico" insists Bob Dylan "was in love with me..." and she hooked up with Jackson when "he was only 16." "Nico" also has some winking remarks about other famous men, like Lou Reed: "He was a usurper of souls, like a cat. He never really liked me because of what my people did to his people. I can't make love to Jews anymore!"
A versatile performer, if you want to book her for both a Friday and Saturday Night, she can do a completely different show each time. "Broken English In Its Entirety," has her performing as Marianne Faithfull. And yes, that does include the entire album.
That is now. Below is then...a twisted Tammy Faye parody of Cheap Trick's "Surrender." You can't go wrong with a song that begins...
""Mother told me, yes she told me, pray to Jesus Christ! I didn't listen, was not a Christian, I led a sinful life...suddenly I heard a voice from somewhere up on high...oh just swallow it..."
Download or listen on line (and may God have mercy on your hole). SURRENDER