Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Was this the last of the great, late-'80s keyboard records or first of the great, late-'90s, retro-'80s keyboard records? You decide. The Prima Donnas' followers are many, and this long-lost testament to the glorious word of unholy synth-punk as translated by three young lads from Sussex, UK, had been rumoured for some great many years, but no one believed it to be true. Finally available to an eager public, this album holds a collection of Prima Donnas hits recorded in Monte Carlo, Bristol, Sussex, London and on a hot-air baloon circling the globe from 1983 to 1998, before all the drugs, fame and depravity dragged them into a dissipated cycle of self-destruction, but just following a bunch of other drugs, fame and depravity that resulted in their exile from England.
After leaving the confines of their Sussex orphanage and stowing away on a submarine to America in the early '90s, Otto Matik, Niki Holiday and Julius Seizure found themselves in Texas. They were miserable. They got jobs as payroll guards on the Southern Pacific Railroad but soon quit after being held up at gunpoint by the Mexican Mafia. Other "straight" jobs followed, but it quickly became clear to the boys, and to their creditors, that they were good for one thing only: stem cell research. However, this field was still too new and undeveloped so they began composing tales of woe, a la the blues, to whittle away at their long hours of unemployment.
Texas blues pioneer Emery "Little Boy Roy" Lincoln heard this raw, uncompromising music and immediately signed them to his Rhythm Turkey label. Lincoln overhauled their look and sound to fit in more with the resurgent gay techno market that was popular in southeast Texas at the time and christened the band The Prima Donnas. The acoustic guitars were out and keyboards were in. The transition was difficult, but in no time at all audiences were flocking to the group's live shows in droves. Their meteoric rise can only be described as meteoric. But, like a meteor, they crashed headfirst into the giant planet known as drugs.
On the eve of their biggest show ever, opening for George Strait in the Houston Astrodome, Julius Seizure went into a narcotics-induced coma onstage and the band was forced off on a tide of boos. They were never to perform live, or at least concious, again. In the next days, papers were filled with stories of Julius' drugging around as well as his incestuous homosexual relationship with his twin brother Nigel, who was murdered mysteriously the previous year, having been pushed onto the electrified rail of a New York City subway track. The press had a field day, and Nikki Holiday was deported after selling homemade pornography of himself to undercover police agents at a local mall. Otto found himself once again riding the Southern Pacific Railroad, only this time it was with a red polka dotted sack on the end of a stick.
Drugs, Sex & Discotheques