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On his birthday, City Paper’s best of John Waters

April 22, 2013

In honor of his Birthday, we went back through the archives to find CP‘s best stories about, or even by, John Waters.

At the top of the list is this 1984  interview Waters did with Arthur Frederick Goode III, who was on Death Row in Florida. “Parking my rented car in the lot,” Waters wrote.  “I surveyed the incredible amount of barbed wire surrounding the prison and checked in with the administration. After being searched twice, I was escorted through many locked gates by a correctional guard who stopped speaking to me when he learned whom I had come to interview. I realized we were past the final security point when I saw Goode locked in a small holding cell–a cage really–with his hands handcuffed behind his back. “Are you the one to see me?” he asked. “Yes,” I said, making eye contact for the first time.”


And here is our 1998 profile with the director on the release of Pecker, in which he said: “I joke that the only negative thing about being famous is that I’ve lost my right to have bad sex–I can’t do that. Like you’re in a back room and someone says, ‘I have your Odorama card . . . That puts a damper on sex. You have to keep your dignity.”

In 2004, Mink Stole wrote a feature on the making of A Dirty Shame, which began like this: “A couple of months ago, in a darkened room on the west side of Los Angeles, I had sex with Chris Isaak. Well, not really; the darkened room was a recording studio on the Fox lot, John Waters and a sound engineer were with us, and we were only making the sounds of sex, to fill in the gaps where what was recorded on the set of John’s latest film hadn’t been clear enough.”

In our most recent interview with Waters, he said ” City Paper paper readers don’t need advice from me, certainly. Because I read City Paper to get advice about what’s the new thing going that I don’t know about. What’s the thing that will surprise me? The City Paper covers local crime well, and I know about new music from City Paper. And your ad campaign, ‘Get it,’ that used to be what every character in all my movies said when they wanted sex—’get it, get it.’ And somebody once said to me, ‘Do you say that?’ I said ‘No, I don’t say that.’ But when I see your boxes, I think Edith Massey having sex.’”

Happy birthday, sir.