Friday, February 19, 2016

Have You Seen Your Brother, Baby, Standing in High Heels?

Commenting on the "Moaning Lisa Smile" post, Beverly wrote,
I'm not sure, but I think the first use of a trans person in a music video was The B-52's "Love Shack." My trans-radar always went off when I saw that video. Then I found out the video was the debut of the tall woman of color with the huge hair. A local Georgia girl named Ru Paul who was a friend of the band.
"Love Shack" was a hit in 1989 and I recall seeing the video, but I missed Ru Paul.

Back then, I watched music videos on MTV and recall a number of trans moments, but I don't know if they involved actual trans people. For example, in ZZ Top's 1984 video for "Legs," there is a young guy in a boutique dress-shopping. Who knows if the actor playing the guy was actually trans ― probably not.

Then there's David Bowie's music video for his 1979 hit "Boys Keep Swinging" in which he appears in three drag personas. David claimed he was bisexual, but never trans, although he appeared in female clothing quite often, especially early in his career.

Before there were "music videos," as popularized by MTV, there were promotional films made to stimulate the sale of singles. For example, The Beatles made a bunch of these and they would be shown on The Ed Sullivan Show in lieu of live appearances by the Fab Four.

The Rolling Stones made a promo film for their 1966 single "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" If you recall, the front side of the picture sleeve of the 45 RPM recording of that song had the boys standing around in a group, while the back side of the picture sleeve had the boys standing around dressed as girls.

The promo film for "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" shows the band performing the song interspersed with clips of the boys getting dressed en femme for the picture sleeve photoshoot. Needless to say, that version of the promo did not get much airplay anywhere in 1966.

Wearing Etienne Aigner.

David Bowie
David Bowie in the Boys Keep Swinging music video (1979).


  1. I still have that 45!!!! I didn't think anyone else remembered 45's!!!!
    I always thought Mick looked pretty cute....I think it was something about the lips!!!!


    1. I still have all my 45s and LPs. I even have a turntable to play them!

      IMHO, Brian looked pretty good, too!

  2. That photo of Bowie belies him being more that a casual dresser.

    I also seem to recall that there was a Queen album with a cover shot of Freddie Mercury, etc. dressed as ladies, either on the cover or on an interior shot.

    Of course, there was the Stones album "Some Girls"


    1. Mick Jagger has crossdressed numerous times. I have about ten photos as "evidence."

      The members of Queen crossdressed for a music video for the song "I Want To Be Free" ( Freddie Mercury did it again for "The Great Pretender" music video (

  3. Don't really remember most of the albums and songs. Wonder how many can be found on youtube?


  4. You are, of course, correct. For some reason I was thinking Love Shack was way before 1989. In fact, didn't Joan Jet use some drag queens in The French Song around 1983?

  5. Stana love your blog. I always enjoyed the Van Halen (Oh) Pretty Woman video