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When did you start Wig Out (Girl Trouble's own fanzine), what is its purpose, and what topics do you cover?

Bon: In 1984 when we realized that no legit local music paper would beat down our door to write about us, we decided to cut out the middle man and do it ourselves. At that time 99% of the "zines" were political/punk. It was like the printed word was so revered that you didn't dare waste it on frivolous tripe and self-promotion like we wanted to publish. People actually said "how dare you make such a silly magazine." We thought it was a good idea to bring back the 16 Magazine mentality. I'd much rather hear about somebody's "hates and loves" than their view on violence in society. Wig Out was only meant to be a one or two-shot deal until we got famous enough for the real mags. Little did we know we'd never be that famous and people really liked Wig Out. So far we've published 24 issues (although the later ones are few and far between) and we'll do it just as long as we still have fun doing it. Currently we published the "Girl Trouble 2000" calendar to replace our brilliant four-year model which is used up this year. If anyone would like some of the 1000 four-year copies we overprinted, be sure to let us know.

Wig Out topics have always been just whatever we feel like writing. Back 15 years ago we had a wide open field of just about anything '60s and '70s, Americana junk that no one cared about. In my more vain moments I think that Wig Out must have had some influence on current fanzine publications because those '50s, '60s, '70s, movie, snack, old magazine ads and graphics have just about been picked clean by everybody putting out magazines today. Wig Out stood almost alone but now it's just one of thousands. We still have topics that interest us but they are pretty much being covered to death in other publications. But yeah, we'll still do them. We can't help it.

[ onstage ]

"My Hometown" mp3

Our energies in the writing mode lately have been taken up with our web page, which we are having a blast doing. As we gain control over this high-tech world of the future, we are figuring out ways to use it to our advantage. We just put up our first music, a never before heard Christmas tune that is available to download. We will continue to have new things going on the web page so any fans of Wig Out can check that out.

Who was Granny Go-Go (R.I.P.) and how did she fit in the Girl Trouble fold?

K.P.: Sylvia Eads (a.k.a. Granny Go-Go) was a local legend who had made numerous television appearances including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson as well as Mike Douglas Griffin and The Gong Show. In the 1960s she was a regular dancer, already in her mid-fifties, on a late night movie show on channel 11 called Stu's Late Date. I don't have to tell you that these were more than enough eye-popping credentials for a third-rate rock band. We met her originally at the Java Jive (the same place that I met Bill--hmmm?) in 1989. Bon remembered her from Stu's and we thought it would be a great idea if we could get her to perform at a GT show. She was popping quarters in the jukebox and trying to get us to dance. Her attempts were just as much to behold as her actual dancing was, which by the way was stupendous. Coincidentally, my sister-in-law lived down the alley from her and when she related this information to her weeks later she was totally keen on the idea.

Her first show with Girl Trouble was at the Off Ramp in Seattle at a Thee Headcoats show. The Mummies were to open so needless to say it was a packed show. We were second on the bill and it couldn't have gone better. She wore an old nightgown over her go-go outfit, which was a gold lam fringe mini-skirt. When it was time for her to come out I made a big announcement while a friend of hers assisted in removing her nightgown. She came out on stage and immediately we launched into "Homework" and the crowd went nuts! I felt like I was at a Beatles concert.

[ satan made 'em do it! ]

Granny had a real rough life and prior to hooking up with us her recent "gigs" were pretty nonexistent and dissatisfying to say the least. She was dancing at a local strip joint (not stripping contrary to some rumors) and periodically dancing recreation halls at local nursing homes for $20. When she got a taste of the GT action there was no going back; she felt she should be dancing at every gig. It was hard to explain to her the novelty and rare treat of doing it less often than every show we played, not to mention all the "granny wrangling" involved. She really glommed on to me and we actually hit it off in a mom/son, boyfriend/girlfriend, manager/performance artist sort of way. We really miss her and if you never got to see her dance it was definitely a treat to see this 80-something lady up there onstage playing up to the audience. She was made for the stage. She ended up dancing for us about half a dozen times before she took ill and couldn't do it anymore. Our last show with her was at the Swiss Tavern in Tacoma. We were told we would have to play for four hours! We played just about every single song we had ever learned and she danced almost the entire time! I don't know how she did it. She passed away at the age of 86 on December 22nd, 1996. That woman was an inspiration to us all. Talk about survival.

Girl Trouble are known for their exciting fan appreciation events like dance contests, free giveaways and others. When was the first time you incorporated these events, why did you include them and what is a typical Girl Trouble show like?

K.P.: When we started, our first and most important goal was to entertain and have fun while keeping our integrity intact. All the bands we saw at the time were usually political or taking themselves way too seriously. They were all coming from "Hey, check it out I'm in a rock band." While we were from the school of "Come on you guys, let's put on a show." Keep in mind the music has never played second fiddle to the "show," it's just that we would see so many local bands perform and it was just snoozeville. I mean God forbid they should break a string because the minute that happens it would be nothing but dead air. This is where they would start to lose the crowd.

[ new american shame ]

"Men's Room" mp3

We would see these great groups at The Showbox in the early Eighties and those were some of the best shows I have ever seen. Then when our friends started to form bands we would go support them but often times I would leave thinking "Guys, come on. Do your homework for God's sake you were at the same show I was. Didn't you learn anything?!" We feel that the minute the show starts it can't hesitate from the "entertainment factor" or you may very well be done for. There are so many no-nos I still see bands do and it's really quite simple but I guess they just don't get it. When we played the Battle of Bands I thought that since the winner was decided on by audience vote that we should bribe them by tossing out free root beers when we came out--and the free giveaway has been going on since. Another real important rule of ours is to not exclude the audience. They are just as much a part of the show as we are. We also try to give everyone equal time. Don't ignore someone just because they aren't dressed in what you deem is cool. They in fact may be much cooler than everybody in the club and you would never even know it. So dissing is not allowed. But above all remember this simple basic rule and it goes like this: Keep the show going.

You have been around for some time now. You have six LPs/EPs, and about eight singles. What makes for a good Girl Trouble song or record other than plenty of time?

K.P.: Well, plenty of time is right. Girl Trouble is not the most prolific band around. Considering how long we have been around by most bands' standards we should be working on our second greatest hits album but we're not. In the time since our 3rd album, New American Shame (1993), to our next album, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (1998), bands have formed, put out several albums and broken up. We are currently working on our 5th long player. I think it has much to do with our own slow going as it does with our strict policy of what is and is not acceptable as a song. I'll bet we've got several albums worth of half-baked songs on tape but they just didn't make the cut. We are not the kind of band to perform and/or record everything we come up with and I think that is generally the "norm" for most bands. I know it is, because you can tell by the songs they play. I personally know of groups who never toss anything out. So in defense of our spotty track record I would say that I guess we are just a bit picky. Sometimes however it just comes down to writer's block. This is one of the reasons that a label (big and small, but mostly big) would bode well for us. We could never live under the demands of, "Where's your new album?" and, "There are no hits on this," or, "You guys got until the end of this month to finish this thing up," because all they are gonna get out of us is a pointy middle finger. What makes a good Girl Trouble song above all is, could we listen to this and if so would we like it. I guess that pretty much applies to all groups. We also like to dance and with that in mind we tend to write songs that get a '60s-type teen dance vibe to it.

[ scopitone presents girl trouble ]

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