Thursday, May 21, 2020

New York Dolls at Club 82

In last Wednesday’s post, I mentioned that newspaper ads for the New York City female impersonator  nightclub Club 82 sparked my fascination with female impersonation – so much so that I began experimenting with female impersonation myself. In response to that post, Paula sent me links to two recent articles (links One and Two) that recount the history of the venue.

From the articles, I learned that the nightclub became a rock venue in the 1970s. Both articles include links to a live performance by the New York Dolls at the nightclub.

The New York Dolls were one of the first glam rock bands. They sported femininely-styled hair, makeup and costumes. You wouldn’t give them a second look today, but back in their heyday, they caught the attention of this young femulator. I expected them to don skirts and dresses at any moment, but they never did.

But it turns out they did!

The video of the group performing at Club 82 shows the group’s singer, David Johansen, wearing a cocktail dress and heels. I don’t know if David donned a dress and heels on a regular basis or if it was a one-time thing in honor of Club 82, but there you have it!

(The quality of the video is poor. So I refer you to a better quality video of the group performing a different song during that same appearance at Club 82.)

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe

M is for this Marvelous Miss from Mount Enterprise High School in Texas, who is certainly “Not a Civilian?”

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader
Frequent film and television femulators Fred Armisen and Bill Hader play sisters in the 2015 mockumentary Sandy Passage. You can view an excerpt on YouTube.


  1. AnonymousMay 21, 2020

    The way the High School Femulator is maker her left hand look small and dainty suggests that may not be her first time en femme

    1. AnonymousMay 21, 2020

      It could just be the photo quality, but it looks like her legs are shaved as well! Definitely not a civilian.

    2. AnonymousMay 21, 2020

      AND perhaps, she appreciates a delicate hand on the knee!

  2. AnonymousMay 21, 2020

    Here's a bit of six degrees of separation: David Johansen graduated from my high school on Staten Island. In fact he was in the same class as my older sister.


  3. As I've written, I had a job that had me in NYC for about 6 months in 1974 running long computer production jobs on weekends. I was able to get out to various clubs and shows during those visits. I usually went to the Club 82 for the last show at about 1-2am. Earlier shows were often full but I never had a problem getting seating for the late, late show. In later years I worked for HP and on my visits to the Bay Area I would go to Finnocchio's, a famous San Francisco Drag show bar. While Finnocchio's had LaVerne Cummings (be still my heart) their shows were smaller but still had little production numbers. Club 82 had much bigger shows, more like The Jewel Box Revue. Their production numbers were big and showy -- lots of glitz. I understood Kit Russell, the great Drag dancer, did the choreography.

    If you look at the photos in the Stana "one" link you'll see many faces that would later show up in Drag/CD/TG mag photo spreads. The girl at the top left was in quite a few of those spreads. If you go over to the fourth girl, that's Vickie Lyunn, an accomplished strip tease artist. We knew what we were seeing at Club 82, but she also worked the East Coast stripper circuit for a while, only letting on her actual identity when she worked gay clubs. Remember, "strip tease" was performance art and the girls never took everything off -- that "other" part was put in the audiences' minds by the dancers. During my first marriage my future-ex and I went with friends to see DC's most famous stripper,, Julie Gibson, work at The Bayou Club in Georgetown. There were several other girls in the show. Imagine my pleasant surprise (I didn't let on that I knew her) to see Vickie Lynn working the show. She did her dance with grace and great sexuality, spinning her tassels to close her act. I wondered then if anyone else in the audience knew. Vickie Lynn got plenty of applause and the couple with us talked her act up while we drove home. I just smiled.

    Thanks for filling in my fond memories of Club 82. Sometimes I grumble about being so old, but then I think of the things I would have missed had I come along later. Nope, I'll be happy with my age and my memories.

  4. Who saw Bill Hader in "The Skeleton Twins". He was a pretty good Drag Queen!