If you say “Bada Bing”, you’ve naturally got to complete the sentence with “Bada Ba!”. “Bada Bing, Bada Ba!” – loosely translated it means “Hey fuck you, I can do it like this – or I can do it like that!”
Bada Bing. It sounds like an idea that just popped into your head with a bit of cheap magic. Which is what happened to Danielle de Picciotto and Alexander Hacke when they took the name of Tony Soprano’s strip club from the TV series “The Sopranos”, and came up with the idea for their own bump-and-grind party.
Flashback to sometime late 2002: so there it was on tv: the much lauded re-opening of the once-notorious Big Eden Club on the Ku’damm. To the un-innocent viewer it looked just like it must have done in its gluttonous heyday: Rolf Eden, red-faced and sweaty with his arms around 4 or 5 young bunnies; topless cocktail shakers; tanned, muscled cocks; vainglorious V.I.P.s… in short the kind of place no self-respecting Dorfdisco reader would ever show their face.
Three months later, after the hype had died down, the place was left practically empty with its freshly- lacquered black tabletops, boudoir lounge room and excess of mirrors. Its gladiator-style ringed dance floor was splattered only with a few ghosts of the past still wearing parachute pants, sweatbands and constipated faces. It looked like the resurrection of the Big Eden had not been a rip-roaring success, despite their business alliance to the young, hip and trendy Sage Club.
Enter Danielle and Hacke. Hacke, respected bassist for the Einstürzende Neubauten and general man about town, had always wanted to have a forum for presenting bands he liked and the chance to play the role of wacked-out master of ceremonies. Danielle – painter, photographer, filmmaker, organisatrice extraordinaire – was the natural compliment to get the idea rolling and give it a visual spin.
The Sleazeball’s grand opening was on February 8th. For the occasion the infamous Razi squeezed into his finest hot pink g-string and transformed into Boy from Brazil, his dirty electro-ballad act, which received rave reviews on this night, particularly from the authentic jaded-eighties set. Shambhu and Trinity and their entourage, the Sin City Circus Ladies, kicked out some liquid-eyeliner jams. Kryolan Superstar, Berlin’s favourite faux-femme fatale, did a naughty little song and dance number showing just enough to keep us drooling and wondering. And can-can dancers took the stage.
As for the crowd, Big Eden was given over to a new generation of pervs, those who know how to take the sex trade with a dash of hallucinogenic-MSG: dressed up in vintage lingerie, lurid ballgowns, wigs and cowboy hats. While Danielle’s retro, pin-up, dancing girls jiggled teasingly on super 8, just above everyone’s heads.
The first Sleazeball was a success, achieving Danielle and Hacke’s goals of mixing and matching music styles and social scenes to create, in Danielle’s own words, “scandals and clashes”. They went on to organise (at time of printing) three more, at one a month.
Going for outright and outrageously trashy acts, rather than anything vaguely slick or ‘clean’, Hacke and de Picciotto also put acts back to back that your average promoter wouldn’t dream of:
Sleazeball #2 threw in the torch singers with Paula P’Cay, house and blues, Sherry Vine N.Y. transvestite chanteuse and Martin Dean, the crooner.
Sleazeball #3 rubbed up some kitsch friction with Death Kamp, rock’s newest provocateurs; the Nasen Flute Orchestra – a selection of distinguished Berlin gentlemen playing popular hits on nose flutes; and Fuzzy Love, eezy pleezy sleezy cover versions played with bongo drums, organ and melting vocals.
Sleazeball #4 got out the pony and rode it with French straddlers, Nouvelle Vague; hot rod rockabillies, the Rodeo Pimps; and bubble-gum garage favourites, Cherry Bomb, featuring Angie Reed, who made her appearance on this month’s Dorfdisco Homepage.
It’s no mean feat to draw crowds out of the familiar late-night landscape of East Berlin, especially in the heart of (what was until recently) winter. But Hacke and Danielle succeeded in doing that, they also succeeded in keeping alive quality ‘fringe’ entertainment, something that Danielle maintains clubs and media have been shying away from since the economic crash of September 11th, preferring instead to promote what is safe and clean.
Safe and clean???!!!!
Let’s keep it dangerous and let’s keep it dirty. ‘Cause you can do it like that…or you can do it like that.