Monday, December 5, 2011

DIVINE intermission

well…after that off the wall 3 part series which was actually my first stab at writing a campy sci-fi John Watersish muscial screen play many moons ago...(though tweeked with the current political pawns) and waaaay before i became thee unintentionally internationally unknown blog writer of her own universe you’ve come to love week after week…

it came from a dream i had way back...i scratched the thoughts down with a no.2 pencil lay'n under my i do with many dreams that seem worthy of remember'n...since my noggin can only hold so much data these days

imagine...if you will...a blender from the Cuisinart corporation...

toss in elements from the wonderous world of the "Wizard of Oz"

the over-the-top outer space campiness costumes of "Flash Gordon"

and the whimsicle bitchfest dialogue of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

and you would have the elements that would become an instant cult classsic...known as my "APOKOLYPSTIK!"

which i still want the great Tim Burton to direct...

John Waters to fine tune the write'n with his twisted taste of bad humor...

and Boy George to turn it into some sorta off the wall xanadu production
with his beyond brilliant musical skills

until then...i figure it's time to hop back on my reality trike

so before i go on about some sappy snow covered xmasness…i figered you needed some warm and toasty history lesson this holidazzle season

picture it…the year 1988…i was hang’n out with my friend Robert and Chris and PJ at Robert’s sister’s house watch’n for the first time…

the original “HAIRSPRAY” by John Waters

and not that refried piece of crap that came out a couple years ago
as an homage to the theater production…that was an homage to the movie

starr’n the one and only...DIVINE

it's like hollyweird take'n the brilliant (and Krystal Kleer's birth)

and make’n their shopko version to milk the mashed potatoes minds with
“TO WONG FOO…thanks for everything! Julie Newmar”

which...i'da been more entertained watch'n the porno rip-off version
“TOO MUCH GOO…thanx fer nutt'n! Julia Duffy”

but i digress…i immediately became O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D!

i needed to know anything and everything about the great DIVINE

born on October 19 1945 in Baltimore Maryland as Harris Glenn Milstead

Harris was christened DIVINE after become’n good friends with director John Waters in the 1960’s

Waters wanted to make the trashiest motion pictures in cinema history and made DIVINE the star in many of his movies…and described DIVINE
“as the most beautiful woman in the world…almost!”

Waters had borrowed the name from a character in a book called
“our lady of the flowers” by Jean Genet

DIVINE’s parents whom were well off financially and hard core babtists…bought DIVINE his own hair salon to run in the late 60’s…

but DIVINE had zero interest in manage’n the shop and only did hair
until he took his earnings and poured it into his vintage shop called “DIVINE TRASH” in Provincetown Massachusetts during 1970

DIVINE had already starred in a handful of low budget films by Waters
along with many other of Waters "Dreamlanders" cast like...

Mink Stole

Edith Massey

Mary Vivian Pearce

and David Lochary to name a few

1966 would mark the debut of DIVINE in Waters movie "Roman Candles"
DIVINE played a smoking nun along with the Dreamlanders...this was a plotless collage of random incidents involving sex...drugs...religion and The Wizard of Oz

and later in 1968 the Waters movie entitled “Eat Your Make-Up”

DIVINE portrayed a Jackie Kennedy inspired kidnapper of models
and would make them eat their own make-up

in 1969 DIVINE’s next role was in Waters film “The Diane Linkletter Story”
play’n the daughter of Art Linkletter who commits suicide supposedly under the influence of LSD

that same year DIVINE starred in “Mondo Trasho”
which was Waters first silent movie filled with a rock and roll soundtrack

DIVINE starred as a portly blonde bombshell in this silent sleaze-fest
who drives around town and runs over a woman while stare'n at a hitchhiker who she imagines naked and then spends the rest of the day with the victim drive'n around Baltimore and gett'n into bizzarre situations

in 1970...DIVINE starred in “Multiple Maniacs”

as the one and only Lady Divine
the owner and operator of an exhibit show called The Cavalcade of Perversion...who would rob and eventually murder the visitors that came

the film that became known as "an exercise in bad taste" by Waters in 1972
was none other than “Pink Flamingo’s
this was DIVINE’s turn’n point into become’n an international cult star

DIVINE played Babs Johnson known as the filthiest person alive
the end’n scene did not disappoint and became a huge cult phenomenom

by the year 1974...DIVINE would star in the Waters movie “Female Trouble
that Waters dedicated to Manson Family member Charles "Tex" Watson

DIVINE plays the teenage delinquent Dawn Davenport
who thought crime was art and soon became executed by electrocution for her violent behavior…

Divine also played the driver in an edsel station wagon...Earl Peterson
who drives Dawn to a dump and rapes her...though she consents halfway through...and later finds out she's preggers and wants money from Earl... which Earl says..."Go fuck yourself"...which Divine did by play'n both parts

this was one of DIVINE’s favorite performances
since he didn’t wanna be typecast as just a perform’n illusionist

by 1981 DIVINE’s next movie “Polyester”…DIVINE played Francine Fishpaw

a middle class suburban Baltimore housewife...married to a cheat'n hubby who owns a porn shop and who's world crumble's around her until she falls in love with her dream boat…Todd Tomorrow…played by Tab Hunter...

this was the first movie ever released in brilliant "odorama”
which gave audience members "scratch 'n' sniff" cards to smell at certain points during the experience it like no other movie

DIVINE’s next film was made in 1985…his first not filmed by Waters…and teamed up once again with Tab Hunter as Rosie Velez in “Lust in the Dust
parody’n the old western movies from the 1960’s

Rosie gets lost in the desert and finds her way to the town Chile Verde
and winds up at the saloon run by Marguerita Ventura played by Lainie Kazan...where the locals have been in search for the town's buried gold

that same year DIVINE starred as his first small but important all male role in “Trouble in Mind”

as Hillie Blue with Kris Kristofferson and Keith Carradine

originally penned "White Lipstick" by Waters...“HAIRSPRAY”…which came out in 1988…would be DIVINE’s last brilliant performance...once again play'n duel roles as both Edna Turnblad…
a housewife in 1960’s Baltimore and mother to hair hopper Tracey Turnblad…played by pleasantly plump new comer Ricki Lake

and Arvin Hodgepile…owner and segregationist of “The Corny Collins Show”
which was based on the real life show “The Buddy Dean Show

also starr’n Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono as the pushy stage parents Velma and Frank Von Tussle…
who were owners of the “Tilted Acres Amusement Park”...based on the real life racial problems of Baltimore’s “Gwynn Oak Amusement Park

along with their spoiled beauty queen daughter Amber Von Tussle

the movie also stars Jerry Stiller as Wilbur Turnblad…DIVINE’s husband

DIVINE was not limited to just the big screen...she also was seen on stage

in the summer of 1972...DIVINE starred in "Journey to the Center of Uranus"...sing'n "The Crab at the Center of Uranus" dressed as a lobster
with the psychedelic san fransico drag queen troupe called the "Cockettes"
which became a brilliant documentary released on dvd in 2003

in 1976...DIVINE starred in his 2nd stage production "Women Behind Bars"

play'n Pauline...the head of a womens prison

in 1978...DIVINE did the follow-up show and starred in "the Neon Woman"

as Flash Storm...the owner and retired stripper...set in the 1960's
inspired by Gypsy Rose Lee’s burlesque thriller...The G-String Murders

thru-out DIVINE’s amaze’n and humurously twisted movie and stage career...

DIVINE was also an amaze'n record'n artist with an unmistakeble voice

DIVINE had recorded a plethera of songs in the 1980’s and released several disco club hits

DIVINE was an internationally loved staple thru the club scene of the 1980's

on march 7 1988… two weeks after HAIRSPRAY was released in theaters…
DIVINE was stay’n at the Regency hotel in LA…

and was scheduled to film the pilot as the next door neighbor to Al and Peggy Bundy in the tv series "Married with Children"

DIVINE would never make rehearsals as he passed away in his sleep
after dine’n out with his friends of an enlarged heart…DIVINE was 42

2 amaze’n books have been released since DIVINE’s death called

NOT SIMPLY DIVINE” by his manager and friend Bernard Jay

his mother Frances released the book simply titled “MY SON DIVINE

another book entitled “POSTCARDS FROM DIVINE” will be released from the DIVINE estate in 2012

DIVINE’s legacy has carried on and was the inspiration for Ursula the Sea Witch in the Disney movie “The Little Mermaid”

in 1998...director Steve Yeager released "Divine Trash"
a brillaint documentary explore'n the life and times of John Waters and his famous star and good friend DIVINE

I AM DIVINE” is a full length feature documentary
that is currently in production about the life of the great DIVINE


  1. Great post! Interesting and so many cool photos of Divine I've never seen before.

  2. glad you enjoyed...DIVINE was gone way before her time...but her legacy lives on :)