Traci Lords
This year’s Burger Boogaloo will include a meet and greet with Traci Lords

Are you sitting down? Sit the fuck down, this is huge. The lineup for this year’s Burger Boogaloo is here! Cult worshipers rejoice: The Trashwomen, The Real Kids & The Lyres will all reunite for this freak fest. The Mummies make a triumphant return, as does King Kahn who will bring his full orquestra, The Shrines!

Check out the full schedule below. Did I mention the meet n’ greet with Traci Lords? Best known for her underage porn scandal, she ultimately became a NY Times best-selling author, and in 1990 starred in John Waters’ incredible Cry-Baby with Johnny Depp.

And yes, praise Satan, John Waters WILL return to this year’s Boogaloo as MC!!! Really, who could possibly do it better? We had the ultimate thrill of talking to Mr. Waters for this Bay Bridged exxxclusive!

Follow all the dirt at the Burger Boogaloo site and get tickets via Ticketfly!


The Bay Bridged/MBL: John Waters, I can’t believe you are talking on my cell phone. Thank you. We the people are so glad you will be returning to Oakland for this year’s Burger Boogaloo!

John Waters: I had such a great time last year. I was secretly hoping they’d ask me back and they did so I’m excited. I like to do my homework on each band and I was thrilled to see them all

[last year]. My street cred went up for the whole thing. I realize there is such a thing as punk rock nostalgia.

TBB/MBL: Your movies had amazing soundtracks. You had Elvis Presley, Chubby Checker, Fats Domino but also some super obscure stuff.

JW: I’ve had punk rock, I’ve had noise bands, I’ve had classical music. The music is very important. I always turn the music in when I turn in the script. The music is never put in at the end. I always know what the music is gonna be. I especially love punk rock. I didn’t listen to any music between the Beatles and punk ’cause I thought the Beatles ruined rock n’ roll for me because I liked all the rhythm and blues. Punk got me back into listening to new music so I always loved punk rock. I worked with Stiv Bators. He was the first punk star I ever worked with. I always feel safe in the punk rock world. There are so many undercover gays in the punk world. I’ve had a lot to do with country [music]. I love novelty records. You know I’m really proud I was in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie this year. The only thing that was as exciting to me as the Burger Boogaloo was meeting Alvin and the Chipmunks.

TBB/MBL: Where did all the soundtrack music come from? Was it from your own record collection?

JW: Yeah, they were from my own collection. I have a huge collection and I work with different people. I work with Larry Benicewicz and I’ll say “I need songs on bears” and he’ll give me 100 songs, not on gay bears but regular bears that we’ll put in gay bears in an ironic way. He makes me tapes of everything. I think he has every record that ever came out ever.

“Cry Baby”, the original one by The Bonnie Sisters, was the first record I ever got. The first record I ever stole. I didn’t really feel bad because later I paid $35,000 for each one of these songs to put in one of my movies so if I stole them they cost $1 at the time. They got their money back.

TBB/MBL: No hesitation to MC the Boogaloo 2 years in a row?

JW: No I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to see what groups they picked and do my research. I get to listen to them all, I introduce each one, I am kind of like the bookends to each band. I feel like Bob Hope with GG Allin put together.

I saw grandmothers pogo dancing so that was really a wonderful sight. You know punk came out in the 70’s so basically a lot of these people [at The Boogaloo] might be in their 40s or 50s. It is like me going to see Jerry Lee Lewis or Fats Domino just later. I love the fact that there is some punk nostalgia now.

TBB/MBL: Any favorite bands from last year?

JW: The Mummies were so good. I’m not going to pick favorites. I liked them all. I liked the whole experience. It was a rainbow of hideousness in the best sense of the word.

TBB/MBL: San Francisco is dying. Rising rents are flushing out all the talented, creative people. Oakland is booming.

JW: They really hate it when you say Oakland is the Brooklyn of San Francisco so I would never say that but Oakland is the Baltimore of San Francisco maybe. The rents are rising everywhere except Baltimore. Baltimore just keeps getting cheaper.

TBB/MBL: Yeah, how do you do that?

JW: Riots help keep the rents down. Fear, crime, all the things you try to hide about your city makes it cheaper rents. I still think Baltimore is my favorite place I’d live. You can still be a bohemian there. Can you still be a bohemian in Oakland?

TBB/MBL: I don’t know. There may be a few.

JW: It’s vanishing everywhere. It’s not really vanishing in Baltimore. There is such a great music scene coming from Baltimore now.

TBB/MBL: Are you endorsing a presidential candidate?

JW: Hillary, I don’t think there is much choice. I always said I want Bill in the White House as a first lady like Mimi Eisenhower baking pies and wearing an apron.

TBB/MBL: Do you have a back up plan in case we get Trump?

JW: I don’t rise to his bait. I hope they do pick him cause then I think we’ll win. And if we don’t win, well then anyone that’s an anarchist will be thrilled because that is what we’ll have. I lived through Nixon, I lived through Reagan, they were really horrible too. The other Republican candidates are even worse than Trump. At least Trump has met a gay person.

TBB/MBL: Speaking of Bill Clinton, do you trust people that have not inhaled?

JW: I don’t trust anyone that’s never been arrested once. I go much further than just inhaling. I think everybody should have certainly tried marijuana. I tried every drug. I don’t trust anybody that hasn’t tried 10 different drugs. I don’t take drugs [anymore]. People that I took drugs with when I was young are dead now. I never became a drug addict. I never had problems with drugs. If I had a kid and they were taking drugs I would be nervous. I shot heroin once just to see what it was like and thought, this is horrible, you sit around and puke and nod. It’s only good if you still like listening to jazz. When I took drugs when I was young I liked ups but I’m not really gonna be taking diet pills at 70. It’s not gonna produce a lot of good work.

TBB/MBL: How do you stay current?

JW: I read music reviews. I buy CDs. I’m definitely an old person. How you punish your child today is to give them CDs or worse, the most humiliating thing is give them a landline. I go out. I read everything. I read 100 newspapers every day. If I was young I’d be a hacker probably, an insane hacker, shutting down the government in my parents bedroom. I never think that we had more fun than young kids are having today.

TBB/MBL: You worked with a lot of far out people on the fringes of society. How did you accomplish so much?

JW: Nobody was high when we were making the movies. When we were young we did drugs all the time but we didn’t do it when we made the movies. I look back on all the movies and think, how did I ever make these? When I was really young, when we were making Multiple Maniacs, I went out every night! How did I get it together to do it? I guess I was always ambitious. The people that came to work for me, some might call them amateurs ’cause they hadn’t done anything yet, but they were pros. They were better than pros. They had to do their own stunts. They had to memorize 20 pages of dialog with no cut. They had to swim across a river in drag in November. They had to eat shit. They were really dedicated. What we did then was almost like a cell, a political act against the tyranny of good taste. I think I just worked with people that wanted to be on the team and make this product. People have died since of drugs or different terrible things but the creative community is always hit by drugs, suicide, sexual diseases. They have been throughout history.

TBB/MBL: How do you stay healthy in this lifestyle?

JW: I go to Hopkins which is one of the best hospitals in the whole world. I’ve had a shrink that I went back to see, I hadn’t seen since 1979. That was great. I just went for a touch up. You should go to a shrink for touch ups all the time just like you get your roots done. I don’t have dyed hair. Maybe I have a dyed soul. Get physicals and do all the things you have to.

Life is not fair. There is no such thing as karma. Are you kidding? There are so many assholes I know that are alive and great people are dead. People say “I love nature.” I say “I don’t know why, it’s killing you.”

TBB/MBL: Will you spend some time out here before or after the fest?

JW: I have an apartment in San Francisco. I’m here a lot. It is my ultimate luxury. I come here whenever I can. I like to go eat at The Front Porch. I like to go to all my favorite bookstores: Bolerium Books, Kayo books, MAC is my favorite clothing store. I’m curating a show at the Fraenkel Gallery in April. I was here when I was really young. This is one of the first places my films caught on outside of Baltimore. I spent my wild youth here. It is kind of odd and great to walk by a place where I slept in my car for two weeks when I first came here. At least I picked a good neighborhood to sleep in my car. I didn’t realize it then. What other people drive to Nob Hill to sleep in your car? My instincts were right.

TBB/MBL: I know Mark, Amy and all the Boogaloo staff are working overtime to make it a great festival. Thank you so much for doing it! We can’t wait!!

JW: I didn’t know a lot of the bands he had last time and I ended up loving them. I like his taste. I’ll see you there!