Big Girls Don't Cry
Edith Massey Big Girls Don't Cry b/w Punks, Get Off the Grass 45 (Egg, 1982)
If Divine was The Star in John Waters' celluloid universe, Edith Massey was the Cosmic Egg. Both ladies were outrageous but with Massey there was always something real, the sense that you could meet Edith Massey on the street or at a bus stop or working behind the counter of a junk shop, Fans of Waters' movies took an instant liking to Edith Massey so much so that she became known simply as Edie. What made her popular wasn't her bad acting, but what it revealed, an every day person, a sweet, odd lady. Waters' might get freaky or outrageous or campy or all of the above but as long as Edie was in a film, there was still a bit of reality, that everydayness that gives at least a fraction of a possibility that Waters' fantasies could become reality. Yeah, right.
Pleasant thoughts and a bunch of babble BUT, still, Edie had fans and she was enough of a cult icon that someone teamed her up with disco producer Howard Lee Wolen and a studio band to pump out this great novelty single. Like most novelty records, Big Girls b/w Punks, isn't about great songs or great playing. It is about presentation and that is where this works. Granted, both songs would sound better with a shitty pick up band, but that would push this out of the realm of novelty and into something more art/punk brut, which, on second thought, wouldn't do well for "Punks, Get Off the Grass", one of the most moronic punksploitaion songs ever made (and about 3 years late for the trend!). Hmmmm, come to think of it, I am not sure Edie's cover of the Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry" would sound better without the musical polish. Sure, it would sound like the great Titmachine, but then there would be no reason for Edie to be Edie on the record. And that is what this record is about, Edith Massey.