The Art of Rozz Williams – From Christian Death to Death
Edited by Nico B.
It’s hidden toward the end, in a section aptly titled “Miscellaneous.” In between brooding stills from Rozz Williams’ performance in the short film Pig and some collage material, there’s a job application for goth-esque clothing line Retail Slut. A job application filled out by Rozz Williams. That, friends, had better have been one of Rozz Williams’ pop-art pranks, because if THE Rozz Williams was getting so ripped off and underpaid by his various record labels (Triple X, Cleopatra — all too happy to flood the market after his tragic death), that he had to get a wage-slave job, well there is no hope for the purity of art to endure. None. Rozz Williams the performer, Rozz Williams the artist, was pretty goddamn near perfect, the perfect balance between style and substance. He knew when the time was right to strike an iconic pose or two himself, dressed to the nines in Bowie drag, and he knew when the time was right to retreat into the shadowy recesses inhabited by purest inspirations and release smoldering albums of suicide cabaret and long spoken-word mantras. Goth? Don’t make me laugh. At the age of 16, Rozz Williams defined the whole fucking genre for us ignorant Americans and then abandoned it by the time he was legally old enough to drink. Christian Death? Just a tiny milestone. Williams was forced out of his own band by a bunch of lipsticked hicks that are living in trailer parks now. These pretenders have to play HIS songs to survive, while he made adventurous solo albums that we’re gonna be unearthing for years to come like treasured time capsules pointing to an unmatched musical dystopia. That being said, let’s talk about the book. Buy it. No, really. BUY IT NOW. If you consider yourself a fan of rock and roll in its most adventurous forms and practitioners, you’ll put this paper down and but the damn book. Whatever the purity of his motives, editor Nico B. has done a splendidly thorough job of gathering together everything that the discerning Rozz Williams fan would need-scores of photos, performance shots, lyrics, art, and all manner of unpublished works that show Rozz to be one of the most under-appreciated creative geniuses of the late-twentieth century. Let’s rectify that fucking situation now. The true thin white duke…
Cult Epics/Nico B., PO Box 461556, Los Angeles CA 90046