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Cockettes

Thrillpeddlers Polish Up The Cockettes’ 'Pearls Over Shanghai'

For kids who were born too late to experience the fabulous freaks and drag delights of San Francisco’s world-famous underground song-and-dance company the Cockettes, your moment has come to truly sample the, ahem, wares of the groundbreaking psychedelic tranny troupe. The Cockettes may be gone, but it hasn’t been forgotten - thanks to the 2002 documentary The Cockettes and, notably, Devendra Banhart’s recent bouts of bearded-lady dress-up (commemorated with a fashion spread in The New York Times Magazine). The group gave safe harbor to performance icons like Divine and Sylvester amid the show tunes, bawdy bromides, and razzle-dazzle visuals, before it splintered in 1971.

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