Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Divinely Decadent

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Divinely Decadent

Article excerpt

The film-maker John Waters specialises in weirdos. His new book, Role Models (Beautiful Books, £15.99), is a collection of interviews and anecdotes seasoned with offbeat fashion tips.

One of his earliest films, Multiple Maniacs, was a reaction to the Manson family massacres of 1969.

He attended a pre-trial hearing where 'the atmosphere was electric with twisted evil beauty.' He later befriended Leslie Van Houten, sentenced to life for the LaBianca murders, and he now lobbies for her to be granted parole.

There are no extremes of freakish behaviour he's not willing to embrace. Raised as a Catholic, he particularly admires St Catherine of Siena who drank suppurating pus drawn 'by the ladle' from the tumours of her patients.

He tells us his trademark moustache - achieved with a Maybelline eyebrow pencil - was a reaction to the 'preppy look' his parents insisted on. …

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