At its best New Wave/punk represents a fundamental and age-old Utopian dream: that if you give people the license to be as outrageous as they want in absolutely any fashion they can dream up, they'll be creative about it, and do something good besides. -- Lester Bangs
Have you ever wanted to dose your grandmother? Ever wonder what would happen?
Many years ago, my mom gave me a record of Dora Hall. I listened to it, off and on; mostly because there was something strange about her that I wasn't able to put my finger on. But I liked it, just because it was so strange and weird, to say the least.
It wasn't until years later, when her name came up in a conversation, that a delighted Biafra (who is also a fan) told me the story of Dora Hall: the woman whose husband owned the Solo cup company, who attempted to buy her stardom, by giving away her albums, funding prime-time TV specials (on the big three of the time- no UHF stuff for her!), even going as extreme as to create an faux film advisory group and music journalist union in order to give her records and variety shows an air of legitimacy.
One cannot listen to her songs or watch her TV specials without being drawn into the strange world of the grandmother who combined ragtime & vaudeville with 1970's variety shows, psychedelia, and pop music of the time. Imagine dosing your grandmother or great-grandmother, letting her loose inside a Shakey's or Chuck-E-Cheese, then Rush comes in, puts her on stage, and lets her sing **ANYTHING** she wants.
That's Dora Hall.
Aside from Jello Biafra, I've only met one other person who was aware of the strange and yet exotic story of Ms. Hall. Now, you are too.