All you P-town gangstas know of Mr. Kreme's passion for fashion, my penchant for poppin' collars with the flyest ladies in the 602 or the 480.
So when I heard tell of this erotic fashion show called "Feel Me" goin' down at Holga's art colony downtown, I was all up in that like Orlando Bloom in Kate Bosworth. I hit up the Jettster on the two-way, and told her to meet me out front of Wayne Rainey's gallery/low-rent apartment complex at Third Street and Garfield, across the street from Johnny Chu's Fate cafe.
By the time I'd parked the Impala, there was already a crowd millin' before the catwalk that had been set up on the patio of the two-story complex. The lezzie Bai Ling was hanging to one side, cold-chillin' with a tallboy in each hand, but no honey on her arm as per usual. She hands me one of the drinks she'd copped from a nearby Circle K.
"This is for you, playboy," she tells me, passing over a refreshing Sparks malt beverage. "Anyone ever tell you that you look like Bizarre from D12? Minus the shower cap, of course."
"I love you, too, Jett," I say, cracking open the can. "So what, no girlfriend this week?"
"Like Jay-Z says, 'I've got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one.' Let's check out the art, yo."
'Round the corner to the right is the art gallery proper where all of the pieces are "porn-inspired" for this particular show. Some of the highlights of the two-room exhibition: Vicki Olsen's painting Lick the Toad, which shows a girl tonguing a frog's hiney; a small black TV in one corner showing a porno foursome getting busy on someone's couch; and various objects suspended from the ceiling such as a plastic vagina, a purple dildo, and a sex doll with a big plastic cock sticking out of its posterior. Not exactly the Whitney Biennial, but if the point was to turn everyone off freakin' for the evenin', it worked!
Outside, we run into artist Jason Rudolph Pena, 25, a roly-poly dude with a beard who's known for doing live-action paintings at Phoenix clubs. You can check out his sexy, sophisticated portraits of local ladies at www.jasonrudolphpena.com. He describes his work as "dark, urban romanticism," but unlike the stuff up this night, his isn't XXX-rated.
"I like Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo and Norman Rockwell," says Pena of his influences. "People are surprised when I mention Rockwell. A lot of it is cheesy, but when you get into the art he did toward the end of his life, you see he had some deep thoughts behind some of it. Plus he was also an amazingly skilled artist."
"Do you have anything up in here tonight?" I ask.
"Nah, I'm just here for the fashion show," he explains. "There's a hair stylist named Jenny Wofford, who I'm going to collaborate with. She's designed some hair styles, and I'm going to use her designs as reference material for my paintings, which will be up at a show at the reZurrection Gallery on June 12."
"We'll have to check it out. What do you think about the theme of this show?" asks Jett.
He glances back at the door to the gallery. "Well, it's a little risqué. I've seen it before, but shock-value art doesn't do anything for me. That's kind of been done to death."
About that time, we hear the band begin to blast, and so we head over to where they're playing next to the still-empty catwalk. It's a power-pop quintet called Jenna's Arrival (www.jennasarrival.com), which sounds a little like a mix of Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and Green Day. After they rock the crowd with a set of four or five songs, a b-boy troupe takes up the slack with some break-dancing. The J-girl and I scoot up next to the lead singer Anthony Gomez, who, like the rest of his boys, is in the early-twentysomething range. The tall, handsome, spiked-haired vocalist explains the origin of the Valley-based band's moniker.
"Jenna's Arrival is named after Jenna Jameson. See, I was watching one of her pornos with one of my friends, and she started to masturbate, and finally "arrive," or climax, so I asked the guys in the band what they thought of Jenna's Arrival, and they loved it. She knows about the band. I've met her a couple of times. Our drummer Rob Alten's dad actually lives right near her, over in Scottsdale/Paradise Valley."
"Really?!" exclaims Jett, suddenly extremely interested in all things Alten. "Well, please tell all, Rob."
"I didn't know it was her at the time," claims the surfer-dude-looking percussionist in a red tee shirt with brownish-blond bangs falling over his eyes. "My friend works at a steak house restaurant, and I was helping him deliver food to her place. They were making a movie, and there was film stuff all over the place outside."
Her eyes glazed over in lust, Jett inquires, "Was she, uh, performing when you arrived?"
"I wish!" says Rob. "No, nothing like that. She seemed real nice, though."
"So if she had invited you to join her, but you had to perform on camera, would you do it?"
Rob thinks a minute. "Depends on how much money I was gonna make."
His bandmates let loose a collective groan of incredulity, as the fashion show finally gets revved up nearby. We crowd in with everyone else to watch the funky couture passing us. After a series of clotheshorses, I see a line of pink flesh out of the corner of one eye, and suddenly there are a buncha thin, nekkid ladies with big, poufy Elvis-like do's strutting their stuff on that catwalk of carnality. The point of being bare-breasted was to emphasize (Get this!) their wacky hair styles. Only somebody obsessed with hair (read: a het woman or a queer guy) would think this way! The ladies weren't completely nude, as they were all wearing bikini panties down below and their chests had been smeared with body paint, but it was enough to get Jett slobbering, and to amuse Phoenix's finest, who just happened to be rolling by ever-so-slowly as the gals were flashing their assets.
The audience goes nuts as the fashion show ends, and Jett and I run up to grab some chicks before they get out of their birthday suits. Jett's faster than I am in this regard, and corners Ta Nee' Townsend, a part-time model, photographer and waitress over at State Senator Ken Cheuvront's eponymously named wine-and-cheese bar on Central. Jett's stunned speechless by Ta Nee's pierced nips, leaving me to begin the questioning.
"Okay, you're not bothered by being naked in front of others, and that's a booful thing, but are guys and girls all over you, or are they intimidated?"
"I don't really care," she tells me, as I do my best to look her in the eye. "I just tell 'em to stop being a pervert. Actually, all the girls were in the same apartment getting undressed, and we kept getting knocks on the door. Guys were saying, 'I'm looking for someone,' and 'Liquor delivery!' trying to sneak a peak at us."
"Wow!" says Jett, finally snapping out of it. "How many girls were naked in the same apartment?"
"About 10, probably," answers Ta Nee'. "There was a guy in the bathroom who was trying to pee in the toilet, and he actually peed in my shoe, because he couldn't stop looking, got so excited, and didn't aim right."
Ta Nee' exits stage left because her ta-tas are getting goose bumps. We hang a bit and speak to hair stylist Jenny Wofford, a cutie with '20s-style bleached-blonde hair, who, along with spiky-haired nymphet/hair stylist Traci Barrett, organized this event.
"We just wanted to do something really sexual that portrays desire and lust," says Wofford. "We were going to do it through hair originally, but then it kind of expanded into having live bands, dance performers, and everything else."
"Jenny's a hair goddess," chimes Jett. "She works at the Toni and Guy's in Scottsdale Fashion Square, and I always go to her."
"I won't hold that against you, Jenny," I say, smiling.
"I haven't been to her in a while, Sir Kreme-a-lot," says Jett, slapping my arm. "I'm wearing my own creation right now."
"Hmm, then it's time to fire the fool who fucked up yo' head," I say. Just then, a playa with long brown hair, a grizzled beard and a black cap with a policeman's badge on it strolls by us. His vintage tee has been artfully cut up with a razor, and he boasts that this is one of his latest works of art. Come to find out we're speaking to the one and only T. Roy, 24, who Jett asserts to be one of the most talented fashion designers in the PHX.
"I'm an ar-tist, man," explains Mr. T., who contributed to the evening's fab fashion fete. "I just do this on the side for money. I want to do something golden. I want to change the world. And what better way to change the world than by putting something on a billboard that everybody wears every day -- clothing. Clothing is a fucking billboard."
"I hear you. So tell me about what you had in the show tonight," I say.
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"It's all about destruction," he says. "My fashion is totally wasted. Totally de-funct. Everything is do-it-yourself. The stitches look like the footsteps of a drunken id."
"Drunken id?" I look around. This guy's giving me a mental wedgie. "Is Mini-Me here?"
"My fashion is predicting the destruction of the United States in the next 10 years," claims T. Diddy, who's from Mesa originally. "I'm trying to educate people to do something creative and not just follow along with everyone else. Yeah, you can say I'm the Jesus of the fashion world."
T. Roy heads out into the darkness, looking for some water to walk across. Jett's disappeared by now, no doubt attempting to hook up with some near-naked model. And me? An inner voice tells me that there's a cheeseburger with my name on it at the 5 & Diner.