The Cockettes on Film with Fayette Hauser



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We are extremely pleased to welcome founding member of the legendary Cockettes, Fayette Hauser to The Horse Hospital!

The Cockettes were a psychedelic loosely organized collective of hippie performers living living communally in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Their extravagant DIY costumes, drag and plays drew from Technicolor musicals and Hollywood icons to Eastern mysticism and chaotically put their anarchic lifestyles on the stage. Their brand of theatre was influenced by The Living Theater, John Vaccaro's Play House of the Ridiculous, the films of Jack Smith and the LSD ethos of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters. The troupe performed all original material doing mostly musicals with original songs.

Initially composed of 8 men, 5 women and an infant, original Cockette members included Hibiscus, Harlow, Scrumbly, Link, Fayette, John Flowers, Gary Cherry, Dusty Dawn, Reggie, Tahara, Sweet Pam, Rumi & Marquel and Baby Ocean. But non-exclusivity was a fundament – everyone could be a Cockette! In the fall of 1969, The Cockettes made their theatrical debut, jumping spontaneously onto the stage at the Palace Theatre during the Midnight Film screenings held by San Francisco’s underground film collective, The Nocturnal Dream Shows, their joyful and shambolic half-naked performance was legendary. Psychedelic gay hippies had been unleashed on the world! Thrusting genitals full of glitter, The Cockettes were propelled to the height of the countercultural avant-garde – capturing all at once the imagination and revolutionary impulses of their generation.

“The Cockettes brought out into the street what was in the closet, in terms of theatrical dress and imaginative theatre.” Allen Ginsberg

They also collectively produced a rich body of exuberant films which explore counter-cultural ideologies, sexual politics and free-form experimentation.

Palace with live narration by Hauser. Directed by Syd Dutton and Scott Runyon Shot Halloween night at the Palace Theater in North Beach, Palace is the only existing footage of a Les Ghouls, a live Cockettes performance. 1970, 22 minutes.

Tricia’s Wedding Directed by Sebastian A satire of the White House wedding of President Richard Nixon’s daughter stars the Cockettes as various celebrities and heads of state in attendance. 1971, 33 minutes.

Elevator Girls in Bondage Written and directed by Michael Kalmen Stars Rumi as 'Maxine' a 'rebellious elevator girl', as well as fellow members of the Cockettes, including Miss Harlow (an original Plaster Caster), Pristine Condition and the Cockettes' originator Hibiscus and his visually stunning Angels of Light. 1972, 50 minutes.

About Fayette Hauser:

The beauty and bounty of drag, performance art, rock ’n’ roll and hallucinogenic heaven collided every time Fayette Hauser got dressed. As one of the treasured few biological females in the celebrated Cockettes, Hauser stepped out, showed off, got wild, and lived in Technicolor with the likes of the Family Dog, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. She has a voice that can only sound right, stories that will bend your mind, and style that turned trends into law.

Hauser grew up on the East Coast and came of age as the fertile Underground of the 1960s was blossoming. She is a graduate of Boston University, College of Fine Arts with a BFA in painting and sculpture. Now living in Los Angeles, she writes, lectures, and travels sharing her photographs, stories, and thoughtful insights.



Kinokulture, LiveTai