Pork Goes to London

Pork Goes to London

Pork debuted on May 5, 1971 at La MaMa before moving to London’s Roundhouse theater with the Amanda Pork character now played by Cherry Vanilla. Her character appeared naked throughout the show and shot up a speed-like substance called Vitameatavegamin (a classic reference to I Love Lucy). She also rolled around in a bed with two pretty boys named the Pepsodent Twins who wore high heels, and also powdered their pubic hair blue and green. The onstage action was controversial, but it was nothing compared to the cast’s offstage antics. “That outrageousness really flowered in London when we went to do Pork,” Tony Zanetta said, “because we were like Ingrassia. We were really loud, really vulgar exhibitionists. We like to attract attention to ourselves.” David Bowie, who had long worshipped Warhol and the Velvet Underground, attended the Roundhouse production of Pork, but when he invited the cast to one of his concerts the Americans were not impressed with what they saw. Zanetta had been intrigued by The Man Who Sold the World album cover—in which Bowie wears a dress that made him look like Lauren Bacall—but in person he was far from glamorous. “He just looked kind of hippie-ish when he came to see Pork,” Tony said. “He had long, stringy hair.” As Jayne County recalled, “We’d heard that this David Bowie was supposed to be androgynous and everything, but then he came out with long hair, folky clothes, and sat on a stool and played folk songs. We were so disappointed with him.”

From Chapter 24 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


La MaMa (final location)
74 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003