Punk Globe

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Interview with the Truly Remarkable Donna Destri!

Published September 21, 2013 by glgiles

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Introduction:

Donna Destri is a truly talented singer who sang backup vocals on the Blondie album No Exit. In addition, she sang with Jayne County, Ronnie Spector, Cherry Vanilla and many more groundbreaking bands. On top of that, she’s worked with producer Steven Jones (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcGmfTc9HCo&feature=youtu.be). She grew up around musically-talented family members to boot. Her uncle was the drummer for Joey Dee and the Starlighters, and her brother, Jimmy Destri, wrote lyrics and played keyboards for Blondie. Yet, she is not merely known for her angelic voice, as she is also a great performer who can also play piano and keyboards—besides writing lyrics!  In addition to her amazing musical career, she’s a mother and holds a master’s degree in literature. Recently, she teamed up with Fred Schneider (vocalist/frontman for The B-52s) on the stellar “FEEL” track and video!

 

 

 

 

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GL:  I adore your new track, “FEEL,” and the video for it at: http://youtu.be/rYWKgUopWRM. One of the best descriptions I’ve heard regarding it is that it’s ‘shimmering divinity’. How did you come to work with Fred Schneider on this? And, what part did Steven Jones play in it?

DD:   Well, Gia, Steven loves collaborations and so do I. It’s always been a secret desire of mine to reproduce something akin to what This Mortal Coil did in the past, that is have a group of talented musicians, singers who would revolve around a core team that would play on tracks, sing backups, write and produce. In this case, that core would be Steven and I because we have such a similar musical sensibility. Steven had contacted Fred a couple of years ago initially, but then everyone got busy with other projects. It wasn’t until very recently that Fred phoned and said, “I’m back and available.” I had met Fred in the early days of Max’s Kansas City and Mud Club, so I think he was pleased that I was going to be involved as well. Fred wanted to do a dance track and Steven offered him a part on “Feel” which we had already recorded on our Empire State Neon EP. We wrote much of that EP on one of Steven’s trips here last year. It was such fun doing those recordings and if you listen closely you can hear us laughing in the mix. I knew from Fred’s personality that we would have just as much fun shooting the video for “Feel,” but I have to say that while recording the vocals at John Kilgore Sound, Fred was nothing but professional. You’ll probably never see them, but the outtakes from the video shoot are hilarious. At one point I fall through a scrim. It was like an episode of I Love Lucy—To that end, I will always refer to my collaboration with Fred as “Fred and Ethel.” There’s also a blackmail video of me and Fred doing a startling version of “If I Had a Hammer” on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan…amidst a heavy traffic of puzzled passersby!

GL:  A glamorous version of “Fred and Ethel” maybe—now I really want to see those outtakes! LOL Switching gears, I recently watched Steven Jones’ YouTube message of forthcoming events regarding Etrangers Music, etcetera at: http://youtu.be/6CmFfgyWrZI You two have an EP collaboration coming out in October, correct?  

DD:  Yes, Transparent People was written by our good friend Angela Caruccio. Angela heads the Wicked 7 Booking and Public Relations Agency in London, and she is currently branching out into other places like Ibiza and Barcelona. We recorded her song, and Angela got several DJs from major clubs in London (Most notably Martin Bundsen, and Miss Luna) and Ibiza to do rather brilliant mixes of it. It is soon to be released on a German label and even before its release, the track has gotten some airplay on Ibiza Global Radio and London radio as well. The thing with remixes of the same song (especially remixes done by talented DJs) is that each one sounds so dramatically different that it’s like having four different songs on the EP. Angela has managed to hook us up with a diversely talented group of people. Steven and I also recorded another of her songs called “Music is the Medicine” and that was produced by the duo Loverdose. That mix actually went to the top ten of the Beatport Charts, and we were really pleased about that!  I also did a vocal for an up and coming new DJ called Chris Galbraith. The tune is called Baby all Night Long, and it’s a really sexy track, I’ll tell you!  In addition to doing these tracks, Angela has us do the voiceovers for a weekly Ibiza radio show. Our collaboration with her has been fruitful to say the least. 

GL:  Can’t wait to check out that track, too! Plus, I really enjoyed the interview you conducted at Punk Globe Magazine with Will Sid Smith recently at: punkglobe.com/willsidsmithinterview0913.php. Will you be interviewing for Punk Globe more in the future?

DD:  It’s funny, GL, I really think that I have a sixth sense sometimes about people…it’s either that, or I should have been a personal manager or PR person, because I think that I can really predict when someone will be hugely famous. I said it about Debbie Harry when I used to see her in small little clubs. I feel the same thing about Will Sid Smith. For someone so young, he writes and sings with a passion, maturity and sincerity that would be common in someone far beyond his tender age, and I think he’s going to be a pop sensation.  He’s just got that “it” factor in much the same way as Debbie had it so many years ago. Therefore, it was a joy to interview him because I feel like I will have been there before he hits it really big. He is such a gentleman and so very astute for someone so young! He really made my job super easy, and, yeah, I would love to do more for Punk Globe. I love Ginger, and I think the magazine really has staying power…which is a perfect segue to your next question, I think! LOL

GL:  Yes, it is…thank you! That’s been happening a lot recently. Either I have a bunch of wonderful super psychic friends or I’m getting too predictable—really hope it’s the former! LOL So, what is it that makes Punk Globe such a good read, and why do you think it’s had such amazing staying power?

DD:  What makes Punk Globe such a good read and what makes it have so much staying power, I think, is the whole premise of what it is based on. I’ve always felt that more than the fashion and the music, Punk is an attitude, and Ginger and the magazine embody that attitude—that sense of rebellion and flying in the face of conformity. Moreover, she always manages to get people that are very interesting, edgy and current—and “Hot Gossip” is oh so much fun. I mean, there’s a reason an online magazine has such a huge following that it gets more that 400,000 hits some weeks. I think that says a lot about its entertainment value and readability.

GL:  I certainly agree! What other projects do you have in the pipeline for the tail end of 2013 and heading into 2014?

DD:  Basically, we hope to do more collaborations, maybe a live show or two or three in Europe when Transparent People is released. Who knows, maybe a live show or two here…I’m also hard at work putting the finishing touches on a forthcoming Donna Destri EP called London. It’s going to be a bit of a departure from dance music. The songs are kind of dark and moody and it will even showcase my piano playing on one track, so I’m rather excited about that. Steven and Ashi (AKA Francis Perry) will produce that one. I have to say, it’s been a really exciting ride for me these last couple of years, and I’m so thankful to the people who have brought me back to life in so many ways…and I thank you, GL, for your time and your interest. Peace. 

GL:  Thank you so much for your time, Donna. It’s always a pleasure and an honor.

 

 

 

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My Interview with the Forever-Fabulous Ginger Coyote!

Published September 12, 2013 by glgiles

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Introduction:

Ginger Coyote, who needs no introduction to the punk community, is the outspoken and ever-fabulous founder of Punk Globe Magazine.  To add to that, she is also the lead singer of the outrageously fun punk rock band, White Trash Debutantes. Coyote is an advocate of gender equality and rights for those who’ve been outcasts in society and/or shunned by many. She has made a great difference in the world by changing it for the better through awareness and party lifestyle FUN!  She’s mingled with some other great talents along the way as well: Donna Destri, Iris Berry, Liv Tyler, Bebe Buell and Joey Ramone — just to name a handful.  You can check her out at these sites:

punkglobe.com

facebook.com/pages/PUNK-GLOBE-MAGAZINE/53902870002

facebook.com/pages/WHITE-TRASH-DEBUTANTES/43641361847

 

 

 

GL:  First, it’s truly my pleasure to interview you again, Ginger! I always love what you have to say, as it’s always heartfelt, edgy and FUN! Now, the last time I interviewed you we talked about the remarkable longevity of Punk Globe. You started the magazine in 1977 as a print publication, but it became available online in 2005 and is no longer a print publication, correct? If so, then would you like to see Punk Globe available as a print publication again, and why? 

Ginger:  No, I am really happy with the size of the audience that Punk Globe reaches by being online. Doing a print publication is so expensive with half tones, printing costs and all the other incidentals. Then there is getting good distributor who can get your magazine on the stands and having it placed properly for readers to find. It is a very hard process, but, most importantly, I am proud of all the trees that I have saved by doing Punk Globe on the Internet.  I am all about “Green Power” and Al Gore…

GL:  You have conducted many great interviews at Punk Globe. What are some of the interviews that you felt made a big difference in bettering the world through raising awareness?

Ginger: I think that Cyndi Ford’s article in the September 2013 issue about the 10 year old boy being abducted by his birth mother and her mother was wonderful. Making this aware to the ‘as many people as possible’ is the real goal. We MUST find him!!  For his birth father’s sake. I also did an article about bullying happening in a school district and the ordeal that the child’s parents were having with the parents of the students involved. It surprises me that this behavior still exists with adults. For that matter, it also surprises me that the kids are not more aware of the bullying problem and trying to change it. I am also happy with all the wonderful people on staff who work on Punk Globe.  I have a wonderful writer whose name is Lisa Lunney. A brilliant young woman who has third degree melanoma. She has her bad days and her good days. She does not let the ‘Big C’ get her down. Life is just not fair. I loved Laura Linney and The Big C. We have Tyler Vile who just turned 19 years old and suffers from cerebral palsy, but you would never know by his fantastic, well-crafted and very intelligent interviews. Check out his interview with Nina Antonia, George Tabb and Roddy Byers of The Specials [Thanks, Ginger! I also dig this one at: http://punkglobe.com/ninaantoniainterview0812.php%5D. He has not let his handicap hinder his ability. Will Sid Smith just turned 18. He has been writing since he was 16. He is pulling in some great interviews. Please google his interview with Pauline Black of The Selector [Thanks, Ginger! I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. Interested readers can check it out at: http://punkglobe.com/paulineblackinterview0713.php%5D. All the other people who work on Punk Globe have had their share of setbacks. But we are all forces to be reckoned with. So, I am very proud of the fact that I have never closed a door on anyone who wanted to be a part of the Punk Globe family.

 GL:  Punk Globe also reviews many cutting-edge reads, etcetera. Which books, albums and movies would you recommend based on their really capturing the spirit of punk culture?

 Ginger:  Well, of course Punk Globe would be first and foremost—at the top of the list. For myself, I have also found inspiration from comediennes such as Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho, Judy Tenuta, Julie Brown and the iconic Joan Rivers. They all lay it on the line and know NO fear. Plus they are so fucking funny!  I am an advocate of humor and how you can reach so many more people by using comedy as a learning tool. Rather than being preachy and boring people to death to make a point. In the ‘80s Peter Belsito and Bob Davis released a book called “Hardcore California:  A History of Punk and New Wave.” I was impressed by how diverse the table top book was. They covered so many people. As far as fanzines, I always loved Flipside Magazine in Los Angeles. They covered everyone.  Most of the other fanzines were very elitist and did not support anyone but a few choice few. Steven Blush’s movie, American Hardcore, was good but there was a blatant lack of women in the film version.  Also, the lack of bi, gay and trans people (who should always be included in all films). I was personally sad that I was not lucky enough to have made the movie version of the film. But I am on the DVD release.  I still get stopped and asked about my involvement in punk rock. Susanne Tabata from Vancouver has a documentary called “Bloodied But Unbowed,” and I think it is a well-rounded film. There are so many writers, filmmakers and photographers who are putting together so many projects. I hope I will be included in their projects. Of course, Shameless is stellar! The show is so brilliant that it’s like having John Waters and Matthew Bright on Showtime writing it. The show is one of the best that TV has to offer.

GL:  You partially read my mind, Ginger, because I was going to ask you next about some of the  comedians whom you and I both share a love and respect for—off the bat, Margaret Cho, Lily Tomlin and Judy Tenuta come to mind. What makes their comedic sensibilities resonate with you? Who are some other comedians you admire?

Ginger:  As I said in my answer to the prior question Margaret, Lily and Judy take no prisoners and say what we all are thinking—that is a gift!!! Margaret was a member of my band, White Trash Debutantes, at one time. I have written a song called “Judy Tenuta” about the Giver Goddess Fashion Plate Saint.  Get on your knees pigs…Make no complaints…Judy came to see The White Trash Debutantes when they played The Blue Lamp in San Francisco. That is when I first introduced Margaret Cho to Judy. When I met Lily Tomlin I was just bowled over by her brilliance. She is an amazingly cool woman. I love the work she is doing with Lisa Kudrow on Web Therapy [me, too, Ginger, that’s one of my favorite shows—consistently funny!] I love Lisa Lampanelli, Kathy Griffin, Wendy Liebman, Jayne County, Joan Rivers, Dorothy Lyman, Fran Drescher, Delta Burke, Bea Athur, Kim Dallesandro, Tina Fey, Joy Behar, Rosie O’ Donnell, Betty White, Sandra Bullock, Bill Maher and Don Rickles .  I only wish I had Kathy Griffin’s sharp wit. She can throw it down with the best of ‘em. Bebe Buell, G.L. Giles, Iris Berry, Mary Powers, Kathy Peck, Pleasant Gehman, Will Sid Smith, Pauley Paurette, Sebastian Kinder, Ms. Ligaya, Sharla Cartner, Marc Floyd, Steven Jones, Evol Powers, Jimmy Walls,  Debbie Harry, Donna Destri, The Gypsy Poet, Johnny Paris, Steve Balderson, Randy Jones, Wendy Kaufman, Liv Tyler, Jon Gries, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Kim Dallesandro, Mink Stole, Miss Guy, Jayne County,  Cherry Vanilla, Brandon Smith, Siobhan Lowe, Alex, Pauli Gray, Denise Demise,  Eric Borst, Chelsea Rose, Joe Dallesandro, Jeff are just a few of the great people who exist that help me keep going!! [Thank-you, Ginger—likewise!]

GL:  What has the White Trash Debutantes been working on recently—materials-wise? Where will you be touring in 2014? Which track(s) were on the Nash Bridges’ soundtrack?

 Ginger:  With White Trash Debutantes it depends if we get an offer for a show that interests us. When I first heard about his Punk Homecoming it sounded like a lot of fun. However, now I am on the fence with what seems to be happening. I see the old cliques from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s reappearing. And all their favorites getting good time lots and the rest of us are throwaway bands. It is sad but true. Hopefully it will prove to be fun. George Michaelski, who was the music supervisor for Nash Bridges, was a fan of the band and used quite a lot of our material. Since the show was filmed in San Francisco he wanted to use SF bands. Thank you so much, George! We are open to working with film makers, documentaries and the media in general. I am getting approached about writing my memoirs and possibly an indie film about myself. I must remember ‘Orange Is The New Black’. Working more with Spikes Jewelry on product jingles…

GL:  The White Trash Debutantes have also been featured in several films—one of David Markey’s comes to mind as well as one about the fans of one of my favorite movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. How did these features come about? And, will the White Trash Debutantes be in any upcoming movies that you can tell readers about?   

Ginger:  Yes, we were highly featured in the film Tweak City by Eric Johnson, starring Giuseppe Andrews of Detroit Rock City and American History X —among many more films. It was filmed in San Francisco and was fun but a lot of work to make. Dave Markey’s film was about Shonen Knife, and we had a small role in the film. Dave is a sweetheart and an old time pal. We were asked to participate in The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s 25th Anniversary with a Rocky Tribute company called Midnight Insanity. It was so much fun! We performed with Pat Quinn, the original Magenta, and the wonderful Cassandra Peterson (who is Elvira). My dear friend, Vitamin C (Colleen Fitzpatrick who played Amber in John Waters’ wonderful flick, Hairspray) was our guest and she was pals with Cassandra, so we became friends. In fact, I reconnected Colleen with Debbie Harry. I was on Mad TV a few times and that gave me a lot of recognition. Our music was used in many films, and I did a film about the life of the late great Marian Anderson who was the lead singer for The Insaints. The film was called The Last Fast Ride.  I am also featured in Susanne Tabata’s film:  Bloody But Unbowed (about the early Vancouver punk scene and the impact it made on the west coast). I was on MTV a lot and would like to thank Kurt Loder for being so very kind and generous to myself and the band.

GL:  What other projects do you have in the pipeline for the tail end of 2013 and heading into 2014? 

Ginger:  Hopefully, my memoirs getting written and working on a film about myself. Of course, any shows that White Trash Debutantes may be offered and, most importantly, keeping Punk Globe alive and even more fun! Always VOTE Liberal! Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Tammy Baldwin rule!

GL:  Thanks again, Ginger! There’s truly never a dull moment with you, and that’s one of the reasons I love you!

Ginger Coyote

Lily Tomlin and Ginger Coyote

The White Trash Debutantes Photo by Chester Simpson