22. jul, 2016

Glen Meadmore: Cowpunk

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Glen, as a teenager, played bass and sang with Winnipeg punk band The Psychiatrists and appeared on local community television on his own cable show. Glen eventually moved to Los Angeles and joined the burgeoning performance art and avant-garde community that revolved around the Anti-ClubClub Lhasa and Jim Van Tyne's Theoretical Parties. Meadmore incorparated music, drag, and audience interaction into his act, and became renowned for his outrageous performances. He met African-American queer political performance artist Vaginal Creme Davis, and the two formed the band Pedro, Muriel and Esther, also known as PME, one of the earliest queer punk bands to emerge. Both Meadmore and ''Vag'' performed with the band in drag, and were photographed as such for the cover of their EP on Amoeba Records. Meadmore also utilized his drag persona for underground films he made with John Aes-Nihil, such as The DriftThe Goddess Bunny Channels ShakespeareThe Ma Barker Story, and in Nick Bougas' The Goddess Bunny, where he was seen as his Christian Country Punk persona.

Glen developed his Christian Country Punk persona for solo albums he began recording in 1985. His first two LP's, Chicken & Biscuits (1988) and Squaw Bread (1989) merged queerness, countrified yee-haw yodeling, and electronic grooves. ''Do me'', from the first LP was a club hit, remixed by Psychic TV and re-released on WaxTrax! Records. For his next album, Boned (1991), Glen assembled a live band and put forth a punkier sound, leading to his Cow Punk reputation. The band included Dean Opseth on bass and Dave Kendrick (Sparks, Devo) on drums. 

Glen was arrested in 1989 in Santa Barbara for obscenity related to a performance at the University of California during Gay Awareness Week. He was charged with indecent exposure, but this was reduced to 'Disordely Conduct' pertaining to 'Lewd and Dissolute Behavior.' During the 1980s, many queer performance artists were prosecuted for their work and had grants taken away. Glen's case went to trail and was found not guilty. 

Producer Jack Curtis Dubowsky was a huge fan of Glen's, and even go-go danced with him at a performance at Woody's Hyperion in Silverlake. Dubowsky would produce Glen's next album, Hot, Horny & Born Again, recorded in San Francisco in 1993. Dubowsky brought bales of hay into Hyde Street Studio A for the recording, much to the consternation of the studio owner. Hot, Horny & Born Again has a cover portrait of Glen painted by serial killer John Wayne Gacy, and interior booklet art by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. Three songs from the album appear in Hustler White (1996), directed by Rick Castro and Bruce LaBruce

Meadmore's fifth album, Cowboy Songs For Lil Hustlers, continues in the vein set by the previous album. Glen still performs as a three-piece in the style of these last two albums, which are a culmination of his unique style. Meadmore has performed and recorded with other artists and performers, including Helot Revolt. In 2008 Glen did his first tour, playing concerts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with the Munich rockband The Lazy and Fritz Ostermayer as support on two concerts.