By Conan The Destroyhhher
Tasty Tim is indeed…..the tasty one. From the UK, Tasty Tim no doubt has been around the block of drag queen and gaydom since the early 80s Djing in the most prominent of the underground gay scene spinning an definitive mix of house, Italo Disco and synth pop
No doubt Tasty Tim has risen in the ranks in the gay scene so much so that he dabbled in production which accumulated into a duo called T Total and a magnificent single from the duo ‘Baby’s on Fire’ with his longtime Friend Marc Almond of Softcell Fame.
Today he is still doing his thing of Hi-jinks and debauchery and will be releasing a rehash single called The Anthem on Kinetika Records later this year. So with that, we got to ask Tasty Tim about all things Gay and Drag baby.
(Thanks to George over at Kinetika Records in NYC for arranging this interview)
Hey Tasty Tim thanks for talking to us here at Nerdy Frames. Okay according to what we’ve gathered on you Tasty Tim is that your started your foray into music during the 80s, tell us what the scene was like back then?
Colorful and creative but small. There were only two big Gay clubs.Bang for the ‘hairdressers’ and Heaven for the ‘clones’….no Muscle Marys yet! If you were like me and wanted to prance about in makeup and theatrical clothes you were called ‘alternative’. We had to make our own clubs. The emphasis was always on dressing up and the music was always electronic and glam rock. NOT hi-nrg….that’s what clones dance to…ugh! HAHA.
So tell us about being original gender bender and perennial club ornament? That is one hell of a description to live up to?
Well it’s easy Gurl. I stood still and the world spun around me. I’m like a stopped clock. As Quentin would have said.
Ludicrous question here, how Tasty is Tasty Tim?
That’s for me to know….and you to find out.
Tell us about the highs and lows of the gay dance scene in 80s?
The high for me was the sheer hedonistic pleasure of being able to run wild in my Vivienne Westwood and high heels …. terrorizing the still quite new Gay Scene. Heaven opened in 79 and by 81 my generation was already changing the way it looked. With our wackky fashion and crazy electronic music. We were NOT liked. But we were on the cutting edge and it felt amazing.
Things that were happening in our little world suddenly went mainstream. Visgage, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet. We felt like we were changing the world. It was fun, Really fun and then the low point, AIDS.
Of course it hit NY first and there were rumors but we didn’t believe them. It’s so hard to lose so many friends, so young and so talented and so beautiful. I still shed a tear to this day. Waterproof mascara permitting!
What was the soundtrack you spun in gay nightclubs all across London back in the 80s?
The cutting edge electronic trax, Human League, Fad Gadget, and Depeche Mode. Lots went on to break the mainstream but at the time they were cool and underground. We thought we were the shit! HA HA
Who are some of your peers in the drag queen scene (past/present)?
A lot of the New York Gurls. Lady Bunny. Peppermint. Justin Bond. All great friends.
And here in the U.K. we have a drag club on a Wednesday so of course all the gurls who work there. Dusty O ,Lady LLoyd, Glendora and Ritzy….all an absolute scream!
Now you went to New York, were you also around for the infamous Club Kids era while in the big apple and if so, what was your take on it?
Yes. That’s hag-sactley when I was there. At the time I though it was all a bit tired. I was in London when Leigh Bowery’s nite club Taboo was the hit of the season. 1986. So to see all the kids basically copying all Leigh’s looks and reworking the designers of that era ‘Bodymap’…passing it off as their own in 1992 was all a bit sad. But hey.
They were having fun and shaking up the scene. Pretty much as we had done 10 years earlier.
How many residencies do you hold at the moment and what have been some of the most memorable ones (past or present)?
Wednesday is Trannyshack U.K. the drag club I mentioned. Always a hoot. Thursday is Retrosexual. All the old 80′s stuff I played the first time round. Thank God I kept all the trax. I knew they’d come in useful. And Friday is Disco 3000 where we spin everything and anything.
Can you lay down a typical scenario as to what goes down at one of your parties or residences you DJ? The Hi-jinks and debauchery would be a good start.
You’ve hit the nail on the head. Hi-jinks and debauchery. Indeed. Djing is a job after all, but I make it look as effortless as possible. Mainly because I can do the ’360′. That’s dropping a tune. Talking (shouting) drinking and smoking (?) All at the same time.
Do you have any influences in the dance scene or in general that you cite as your own?
Oooh no dear. I’m FAR too modest! HAHA
What bands/albums/or groups were you listening to when you were growing up?
I absolutely LOVED Glam Rock. Which I guess explains everything!
Do many bands or artists of the gay/lesbian persuasion tend to get glanced over in the mainstream? The reason I say this is that I tend to find the good gay/lesbian musical movement predominately in the underground.
You can make music and put it out there and make people aware. You don’t need some corporate giant to get your voice heard. OK you might not make MTV. But from what I see on those channels….would you want to?
I’m not sure if people get looked over because of their sexuality or because they don’t fit the record company’s criteria for that particular month, and then you can say ‘it’s because I’m Gay’. Jake Shears did it so did Beth Ditto, so it CAN be done.
Now I want to extrapolate on your most provocative moment when you Djed in Moscow awhile back when they imposed a Kissing in public crackdown. What was your take on that situation?
Personally I’m all for it. No P.D.A I say. And why stop there? Why not nightclubs too? I don’t want to see it when I’m concentrating on a mix. Most off putting….and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. I’m just jealous. oh yeah, and bitter! HAHA.
Okay let’s talk music, in particular your earlier works. I’ve noticed that you’ve dabbled in music in the mid 80s with ‘Sugar Sugar’ and ‘Too Hot To Handle’. Can you give us a little background on those releases if you can?
These have been completely whitewashed over in my brain and I have no idea what you are talking about.!!!!
Ahhh the follies of youth. Let’s leave it there.
Did you ever guest starred in anyone else’s production or tracks back then?
No, but I was in quite a few videos. Frankie goes to Hollywood, Joan Jett and The Pretenders.You can always pick up a few extra coins if you’re a dragoon. Still doing it now. A whole bunch of us pranced about with Ke$ha on a TV special last week. She’s a riot.
You also in a duo called T Total with roots from as early as 1997. Tell us also about T Total and the music you’ve done with that particular project?
We started out as a trio. Robert myself and our mate Tino. We put out dance 12′s and remixed a whole bunch of artists including Danny Tenaglia and Cevin Fisher as well as remixing pop trax for Pet Shop Boys and Boy George.
Robert very sadly passed away in 2007. Cancer dear, HATEFUL. I didn’t want to do
anymore music after that. It just wasn’t the same. I don’t think dear Bobby is resting quietly though. I think she’s still got her dancing shoes on and she keeps prodding us to crank up the old music machine once again. We suddenly got ‘the urge’….I blame Bobby! Bless her.
So here we are. A whole bunch of new trax waiting in the wings…
Marc Almond from Soft Cell was in the track ‘Baby’s on Fire.’ How did this collaboration happen with Marc Almond?
I’ve known Marc since time began! We always said we wanted to work with each other and FINALLY we made it happen. It almost didn’t happen though.
Marc had a terrible motorcycle accident in between recording sessions, it was touch and go as to whether he would pull through. But she’s a fighter and absolutely insisted on finishing the project AND making a video…..what a trooper!
You’ve done many remixes under T Total. What goes into a remix from your perspective? Do you change more or less the original track to fit your vision of the remix?
Yeah. We pretty much write a new track using a few key elements from the original. A snippet of vocal usually. Then Tino works his magic with the drum programming. I whack in a massive bass line. Then we both have a cup of tea, HA!!
Now you’re going to release an EP with our friend’s Kinetika Records. Can you let us in on what will be on this EP release?
Yes, we’re very excited about the Kinetika release. This first one is a classic T-Total track from way back called ‘The Anthem.’ We’ve completely reworked it and also thrilled to have 3 brand new mixes from other Djs, Sammy Jo and Nita Aviance from New York. Nacha World from Italy and Disco Damage from London. It’s H.O.T.
Have you met or heard any of the artists from Kinetika Records or are familiar with any of their musical works?
Yes quite a few. Its a great quality label. It’s an honor to be asked to release with them.
In what appears to be 20-30 years of music experience under your belt, what are your thoughts about the dance music scene of today? Is it exciting today for you as it was back then?
It’s always exciting, I wouldn’t be doing other wise. The great thing about dance music and indeed pop music it’s always mutating, always changing.It still gives me a buzz.
Mother always said ‘Life’s not one long party Timothy’….but she was wrong!
What about the gay dance music scene? Have there been many strides in that movement with breakthrough dance act’s or producers?
The Gays have always been pumping out the tunes for as long as I can remember….all the way back to Disco and beyond. So I guess we’re just ‘carrying on Girlfriend’ and ALL dance acts are Gay aren’t they? HAHA, Gay’s Rule!!
Do you have any plans for 2010 in regards to parties/residences/music and so forth?
I’m the laziest Gurl in town. Like I said before. I just stand still and the world spins around me. Whatever happens happens. But one things for sure there will be MUCH more music. Can’t wait.
How does the Tasty one relax from the maddening life of club culture?
Valium and Codene. HA!
Any wise words to impart onto our readers Tim?
The higher the hair, the nearer you are to God.
The higher the heels, the more you can charge!!!!
And with that….we thank you Tasty Tim!
For more info on Tasty Tim goto: