What’s the perfect soundtrack for this often confusing emotion that actor Peter Ustinov once characterized as “an endless act of forgiveness”? Filmmaker John Waters, the King of Sleaze, thinks he has the answer.
A Date with John Waters is the latest CD compilation from the outrageous director who brought us such heartwarming cinematic portraits of misfits and miscreants as Pecker and Pink Flamingos. Waters scours his record collection to compile this campy companion to the 2004 party CD A John Waters Christmas, which also blended the stupid and the sentimental (who can forget “Here Comes Fatty Claus”?).
A Date with John Waters kicks off with the saccharine 1956 puppy-love ballad “Tonight I Belong to You” (recorded by 11- and 14-year-old sisters Patience and Prudence) and then soars into Elton Motello’s gender-bending anthem “Jet Boy Jet Girl.” Clarence Frogman Henry’s quirky “Ain’t Got No Home” fits nicely with John Prine and Iris Dement’s homespun country duet “In Spite of Ourselves.” Ike and Tina Turner’s soulful “All I Can Do Is Cry” has new meaning in light of revelations about Ike’s alleged spousal abuse. The aged ensemble actress Edith Massey, who appeared in five of Waters’ films and fronted the punk band Edie and the Eggs, delivers her dizzying Jersey girl spin “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Ray Charles is on board (“Night Time Is the Right Time”) and so is Dean Martin (“Hit the Road to Dreamland”). And Josie Cotton gives us the rockin’ “Johnnie Are You Queer” from the 1983 Valley Girl soundtrack.
But it’s Mink Stole who steals the show with “Sometimes I Wish I had a Gun.”
Hmm, guess forgiveness isn’t always an option . . .