February 12th 2009, a date circled most enthusiastically in my diary, for this was the day when i finally had the honour of paying homage to the most influential lady to ever cross the entertainment, and political stages of Australia. Forget your Chelsea Brown’s and Bronwyn Bishops, none of them hold a melting candle to Joylene Thornbird Hairmouth.
Joylene was starring in a show at the factory theatre ‘Betcha thought i was dead .. ‘ and so it was that the collective Miss’s Tammy, Stephanie, Beryl and Viv went along with butterflies sniffing amyl in our bellies, such was the level of our excitement.
I cant go into a review of the show, it was one of those ‘You just have to see it to believe it’ situations, i went merely excited to be seeing Joylene for the first time but we left having seen an amazingly well written, and sharp piece of theatre.
At the end of the show Joylene left the stage, i thought alas my chance of kneeling before her to pay my respects had flown out the window, but upon leaving the theatre and entering the foyer Miss Stephanie squealed ‘She’s here!’ and so we hung back while Joylene conversed with some friends of hers, i was amazed to realize that for almost the first time in my life i was nervous to be meeting a star!.
I’ve met more famous people than Beryl has had interventions, I’ve done all the biggies, including Diana and Paul McCartney, but Joylene was rooted a little deeper in my belly.
When i thought about it i realised that Joylene was someone who struck a very deep, and early chord with me .. but not an obvious one, Diana yeah for the glam, and Paul for the music, but Joylene went deeper, to a darker more hidden place.
Then it all came together for me while waiting to meet her, when i used to watch Joylene on tv when i was a kid, she was a drag terrorist, she was doing things that no one would dare do in 1970’s Australia, a disemboweling drag queen appearing on the daytime blue rinse Mike Walsh show?, a self immolating drag queen running for the Australian senate?, my little fourteen year old eyes were watching all this, and tho I’ve never had the urge to don an osti frock, i was desperate to be however, and whatever i was meant to be.
I felt crushed, compressed and moulded into what i was supposed to be, or expected to be, but through watching Joylene all those years, it must have sunk in deep, that you can step outside the square, you can do whatever you want to do (sometimes at a high cost, but surely it’s a higher cost to not do that) it is possible to not fit the mold.
I now know that that is what my little eyes were taking in.
When Joylene finished talking to her friends, i went over and introduced myself, and instantly i felt a warmth, a sense of gratitude to her i could not convey. It was a joy for me to see the sense of wonder in Beryl’s eyes as she realised she was in the presence of greatness, she was standing before Australia’s very own Drag terrorist, our very own Filth Queen if you will, and no matter how many rats have lived in Beryl’s drag wigs, she could never hold a torch to Joylenes monolithic, iconic beehive blade (Which should be in the Powerhouse museum along with Joylene’s other fashions, i mean if they can have an exhibition of Diana’s dresses and artifacts surely one dedicated to Joylene cant be far away).
Joylene was so very gracious, and entertained us for several minutes, and accommodated photo’s and autograph’s, we bid our thanks and farewell’s, after fullfilling our desire, to prone ourselves, to prostrate ourselves before her size 12 court heels, in utter gratitude, and thanks.
It was rather telling when we were outside, Stephanie commented ‘Isn’t it lovely when you meet someone you love and admire, and they aren’t an arsehole’.
Click here for my previous Joylene post.
Once again Joylene, thank you from the heart of my bottom.