Poster for Hollywood Babylon
Los Angeles: Jeffrey Mann/Mercuryhead Workshop, 1971. 11 ¼ x 25 ¾ in.
screenprint on metallic foil. Some minor edgewear and dents to print, else fine.
The Cockettes were a drag performance troupe that briefly coalesced in 1969
around the figure Hibiscus (George Edgarly Harris II), who had moved to
California with the beat generation writer Irving Rosenthal in 1969 to live in
the Sutter Street commune. Perhaps most well known as the subject of iconic
photograph at the Pentagon protest (in which he places a flower in the muzzle
of a soldier’s rife), under the influence of groups like The Living Theatre and
film-makers like Jack Smith, Hibiscus began pioneering a new breed of hippie
drag performance utilizing elaborate costumes, glitter, and a mix of decadent
orientalist phantasy and show tunes.
The Stooges’ sound was a primal mixture of blues and psychedelic rock
highlighted by loud, charged guitars. The Stooges were known for their intense,
energized, and transgressive live performances.
On July 16, 1971, these two representatives of varying counterculture currents
met at the Palladium in Hollywood at the end of one cultural era and the
beginning of another: hippy vs. proto-punk, love vs. aggression, two opposing
underground giants in a show which must have been a perfect coincidence of