John Gilmour – vox
Jon Graf – Bass
Weezul – Drums
Piss Torpedo – Lead Guitar
Bayen – Rythym Guitar
I started band after 5 Story Fall loved 5sf but it was getting kinda limiting you know? i was digging heavier stuff…. Weezul (Mike Mosely currently in Brown Sugar/Gibbous Moon) was drumming for the Sadistic Exploits who were kinda packing it in….he came on board to join 5sf but i told him lets do something new instead. I met Bayen thru Toby from Mr Mehta. Weez grew up with Piss (who went on to play in Throttle after Shemales) We met Graf who was visiting from VA and decided to move to Philly start the band. When it wasn’t a complete shitshow Shemales was an amazing band.
We were in the right place at the right time with the right sound and we looked really cool…. this was before the 90s made all that rocknroll stuff look stock you know? We were taking influences from everywhere…. it was kinda freeing in 86 87 to breakout of that rigid hardcore boots and teeshirts look…. we were dressing like 1/4 crossdressing english post-punk glam shit 1/4 grebo zodiac mindwarp, motorhead etc… it was all fucking thrift store chic at the time. A lot of credit for how we looked goes to our girlfriends at the time.- Mine, Lisa Hilliard, Bayen’s Tammy Diner and Heather who was Dating Jon Young from the Slacks The girls, well Lisa owned a badass thrift shop in west philly called South of Soho Tammy and Heather worked there.. so they had access to tons of cool clothes and used to Hand Make all of our cool shit. I don’t think they ever got enough credit without them no distinctive shemale look
Me and Graf were drawing our lyric inspiration from Birthday party Nick Cave, Vosco from Ruin, Jim Thirwell. Baudelaire, cool cool shit when put on top of cool ass riffs We never wanted to play stock riffs Piss and Weez were music school grads so they were throwing in off time shit and crazy chords in the back ground that on top off Bayen’s absolute ear for killer rock riffs made for amazing tunes….. and we used to fuck with song structure as much as possible… no choruses or putting them at the end rarely verse chorus verse chorus. Then the whole traveling sideshow aspect e. g.
We named the band after a VHS porn series called She Male Encounters… our first early flyers were straight up shemale porn. Our first show, a bunch of Tranny streetwalkers thought it was some kind of support group, lol So about 15-20 showed up. They were awesome, became instant fans. We were the most popular rock band among phila’s black trans sexworkers. At one show three of them Diamond, Fabulous and So What saved me from being stomped by some skinheads around the corner from Revival. They carry razors in there wigs and who knew that high heels are amazing weapons.
Anyway the band had like 2 perfect years and i think we easily would have been on a major in the 90s, we were way ahead of the times e. g. Slash wore his She Male Tee shirt when GnR played their first show at the Troc. Chris Schwartz from Ruffhouse, who at the time was my best friend and our manager, was working his ass off for us but……..
My drug addiction ruined everything. I really let those guys down getting lost in Heroin/Alcohol and just this Ego driven Rock Star entitlement. I mean i was a kid i was 19-21and shooting Dope with Johnny Thunders…… shit so went to my head it stopped being about the music for me, it became about everything else. I stopped being able to create. It was weird after writing like 10 songs a week since i was 12 i spent the last year not being able to put 2 words together in a creative way. I would scat sing and pretend i had written lyrics…. puke on stage….. the whole 9.Same old story about too much too soon. Chris used to tell me “Nothing says nothing like nothing from the oven” He meant that no matter how big the hype at the end of the day if you can’t produce it just doesn’t matter so…..
Anyway She Males was great I had more fun than 100 monkeys…. people, and the band guys, ask me about doing a reunion but i can’t we tried one, it was awful for me lol, i can’t be the singer that the band and the crowd deserves when im sober. She Males need to stay Young Pretty and Mangled.
oh i forgot to mention the rest of the members…. so after Piss we had Trick from Grafs old VA hardcore band Schmyzer on Lead for a minute then he went on to play with Shag Motor Pony which was Charlie and Alice from The Vels band we then got Carl Hinds (later he went on to start Dandelion) on Lead and the line up with Carl was the best, that was the definitive SheMales line up however the line up with Piss was the most interesting
Its actually a little known fact that She Males was a heavy Acid/Shrooms band on top of the Heroin and Booze lol The pic of me with red hair and red white stripe pants was at the Troc first time opening up for Anvil Bitch and Motorhead. I had taken 4 hits of some Mind blowing pink window pane. I spent the whole gig staring at our own light show and rolling around on stage making David Yow hairball noises! I shaved off my eyebrows right before the show like Bob Geldof in the Wall! The metal kids loved it they didn’t know what to think – John Gilmour
Thanks for the tape Jackie and the additional tracks Rennie Resmini
Studio 4 Tracks
The Farm Tapes Tracks
MediaFire Zip of all files
Info about the Studio 14 and Farm Tape:
ok so these two tapes are like…. a pretty clear documentation of the band(i should prob just say me, lol) imploding.
So you notice that the Studio 4 demos have no vocals, but man the tracks sound awesome, and believe me they would have been great songs, lyrics were killer, vocal arrangements awesome. Problem was nobody and i mean NOBODY, could get me to stand up straight in the studio long enough to actually cut the great vocal tracks in my head, that occasionally made their way into a microphone at a live show between psychotic babbling incoherent mumbling and incessant demands for more whiskey on stage. This was when Chris Schwartz was busting his ass to get us signed. The guys at Studio 4 believed in us too and were their usual fucking wizard selves!
Anyway….. We(by we of course I mean I) couldn’t complete the demo.
Wiser minds decided the band(i mean me) basically needed a time out.
The band (me) needed to go away from all the distractions that the streets of (north) Philly had to offer. We(I) needed to clean up and refocus. So our lighting guy Fran’s Family had a Cabin in the woods outside of Puxatawny PA.
Chris Schwartz and Sean Tierney set us up with a 16 track studio and left us there in the middle of the Blair Witch Project to get our(my) shit together. So the results should be the farm tape.
Unfortunately the opposite of what everyone intended actually happened!
See by the time we(i mean me) got out to the farm we(i) had burned most of my bridges, all the bartenders in the few bars i wasn’t kicked out of actually began to want me to pay for my drinks and my drug dealers were done fronting me….. so things were looking a bleak on the old free ride horizon
so anyway by the time we got to the farm we (the royal we meaning me of course) were pretty much persona non grata literally everywhere.
But the funny thing is when we(I) went to the farm to get our(my) shit together people became like “hey im kinda proud of them, they (Gilmour) is trying to get their (really just his) shit together, i think ill bring him a little something something” but EVERYBODY thought that way! So everybody that visited us(me) came out stocked up. Oh baby the rainy season had returned at last!!!
I wound up with more dope, acid and booze out there then i could ever have gotten my grubby little hands on at home.
Alls i really remember is tripping face everyday, snorting dope off a female friends belly, playing dungeons and dragons and shooting guns drunk.
Needless to say, the plan was sound. The execution….. not so much.
Fuck it what can i say?
I was just a dumb kid.
Paraphrase Lin Manual-Miranda….. I didn’t know how to say no to it all.
Anyway that’s my point of view.
You can ask Michael Mosley Lindsey Williams Butler Jon Graf et al.
Maybe they remember different
– John Gilmour (Thanks for all the background John)