|Thursday, May 26, 2016, 05:16:29 PM|
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Gore Gore Girls: Butts and gore
Miniskirts and B-movie murder
By Newt Briggs
Motor City heartbreaker Amy Hurdu isn't shy about her affection for beehive hairdos, vinyl skirts, platform boots and a surplus of makeup. Nor, as she revealed in a recent phone interview with the Mercury, is she shy about the possibility of accidentally exposing her naughty bits to her fans in the front row.
Mercury: Are you ever concerned about the problem of wearing a miniskirt on a tall stage?
Hurdu: Why is that a problem?
M: You know, because if you're shaking your business in a skirt on a tall stage, you obviously run the risk of exposing yourself in a way that you're not comfortable with.
H: I think performance in general is exposing yourself in ways that you can't foresee. I don't see that as a problem at all.
It's a fitting lack of modesty for a girl who named her band after ill-famed auteur Herschell Gordon Lewis' 1972 sexploitation classic The Gore Gore Girls. Filmed on a budget of $63,500, the movie stars comic Henny Youngman as a strip-club impresario whose dancers are systematically butchered by an unidentified psychopath. Between plentiful scenes of topless dancing, the girls are stabbed, choked, beaten, burnt with various household appliances and even spanked with a meat tenderizer. Not for the sensitive or squeamish, Lewis' Gore Gore Girls was one of the first horror films in history to earn an X rating.
"The name is the perfect synthesis of what I'm into--'60s culture and creepy stuff," Hurdu says. "The actual theme of the movie isn't per se what we're about, but the fact that it's a B-movie made by one of my favorite filmmakers of all time makes it a perfect name for the band."
And the director agrees. Although Hurdu has not met him in person, Lewis penned the liner notes for the band's forthcoming longplayer. An excerpt on the band's website reads, "To appreciate [the Gore Gore Girls'] music, you have to have a streak of wildness, a fierce independence of spirit, and an absolute belief in the unusual, the strange, the unpredictable, the offbeat, and even the generally unacceptable." Although not a prerequisite, a fondness for music history also helps.
"I've always really liked the look and the style more than the sound of traditional girl groups," Hurdu says. "I like the big hair and the matching outfits and the coordinated dance moves. I like the show part of performance. I think jeans-and-T-shirt bands can sound really good and look really cool, but they're still missing something."
Hurdu isn't suggesting that the neighborhood punk band run out and get a makeover; she's simply pointing out that every band could use an injection of style. She and the three other femme fatales who make up the Gore Gore Girls do it with pleather, vinyl and polyester. White is the preferred color, but the girls also keep a set of silver dresses just to mix things up. For guitars, they play Gretsch Falcons--not only because they sound wicked plugged into a Fender Blackface amplifier but because they're "pretty," as Hurdu says.
But while the Gore Gore Girls' look may go as far back as the '50s, their sound is firmly rooted in the late '60s and early '70s. Combining the fuzz-toned snarl of garage with the untamed fury of psychedelic punk, the girls' veins pump the same sludge that powers fellow Detroit hipsters such as the Dirtbombs and the Detroit Cobras. The fact that they look good while they're doing it is simply a bonus.
"I've heard us described as a blend of the Stooges and the Ronnettes," Hurdu says. "I like that description. I think it fits us right."